Learning the importance of engaging with your customer community on mobile: lessons from Taylor Swift, Justin Bieber and Rihanna for banks in 2015

Senior decision makers in banks probably focus much of their energies on what analysts, experts and the market itself when it comes to developing strategies. But, following recent research we’ve conducted into the youth market, I’d argue they need to be paying much closer attention to pop stars like Justin Bieber, Taylor Swift and Rihanna. Why? I hear you ask.

Well this chart-topping billionaire trio represent the future of banking – Generation M. They are all between 18 and 27 years old; and as I wrote in my last post, this age group is the first generation of digital natives – and they will become the dominant adults in the global population over the next decade.

But what exactly are @rihanna, @taylorswift13 and @justinbieber doing that warrants financial institutions’ attention – other than churning out top ten hit after top ten hit, and hitting the headlines of course?

justin bieber twitterThe secret is in their inclusion in Twitter’s top ten most followed accounts in the world. They have a combined following of over 142 million people, mainly fellow Generation M-ers;  who hang on every minute detail, image and moment of their lives shared and viewed through their mobile devices. While Justin Bieber is tweeted pics of himself making a snowman with his little sister, Rihanna is Instagramming photos of herself frolicking on beach back home in Barbados.

rihanna twitterThis behavior is indicative of most 18-27 year olds for whom mobile is the way of life, not just a way of life.

As our Generation mBanking report reveals, mobile devices have evolved from a desirable piece of consumer technology to an integral part of daily life. They are no longer about making phone calls but are the go-to-device to access information and connect with friends through the internet. 1.2 billion people around the world use their smartphone to get online, around 25% of which are young adults.

Our research showed that 92% of young adults own smartphones, 43% own a tablet and 38% own both – and they spend a significant amount of time using them. 70% of young people spend two hours or more every day on their mobile device, with over a third spending more than five hours.

According to Forrester, 2015 is the year that banking teams need to get serious about digital and mobile in order to meet and exceed customer expectations. Combined with the more detailed stats from our Generation mBanking report, it’s easy to see why.

We’ll be discussing this in more detail future posts. In the meantime, share anything you think banks can learn from the way Generation Y operates in the comments below.

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