It’s that time again. Time for that little event that happens once every four years and gets everyone talking about the issues that matter to them: the presidential election. Knowing the young vote can weigh heavily on an election’s outcome, the candidates usually try their best to reach out to Gen Y. Take President Obama’s recent interview with MTV, for example, which clearly aimed to reel in young supporters.
So which issues are on the minds of the 18 to 34 set this year? According to the consumer insights firm the Intelligence Group’s “The Good Guide,” a survey of 900 people from this age group, the economy, education and the environment top the list. The first two of these three are no surprise, given the struggles Gen Y has faced in regards to unemployment and student loan debt. The environment is a topic that seems to have lost momentum in recent years, but it’s apparently still popular among young adults.
Another key finding from the survey relates to Gen Y’s preferred method of activism. Two out of three of them believe spreading political messages online has more impact than participating in live rallies or protests does. Does this mean young adults are too lazy to get off their laptops and mobile devices and take real action? Or is it a testament to the unarguable power of social media? I personally think it’s the latter.
The survey not only intended to provide insight into how young adults might vote on Nov. 6, it also shared findings on what matters most to them from a brand marketing standpoint. These findings, which Intelligence Group President Joe Kessler explained in an interview with The Washington Post, pointed toward a few key takeaways for organizations looking to draw in Gen Y through marketing and advertising, including credit unions.
First, Kessler said young people value sincerity, both from politicians and the brands trying to woo them. I certainly agree. We don’t like to be misled or tricked, and can usually see right through a sales pitch if it sounds too good to be true. Credit unions should follow a policy of complete honesty as they communicate with Gen Y.
Second, he notes that promotions via social circles on digital platforms carry more weight than TV advertisements do. Credit unions are also starting to find that young adults’ friends and family members can be their most effective advocates. Gaining fans through social media who can then spread the word about your credit union to their networks is a viable strategy for growing young membership.
This year’s candidates for president had a limited time to win over Gen Y, but credit unions’ campaigns will continue well after election day. Don’t miss a single opportunity to get them on your side.