• C.E.K. & Partners

Five Key Ways Cards Issuers Can Improve Their Marketing This Year


A 2016 outlook from C.E.K. & Partners

What are the key marketing trends that card issuers and financial companies overall need to embrace for success?

What are the key marketing trends that card issuers and financial companies overall need to embrace for success?While financial institutions are trying out many strategies to engage and delight consumers, digital marketing is the big focus for many companies. Here are five key digital marketing trends we're monitoring.

1. Capturing revenue from millennials

Millennials are now the largest living generation, accounting for nearly 80 million Americans. As they reach their late 20s and 30s, many are starting families and businesses – depending on credit cards to finance their evolving lifestyles. Banks have gained a better understanding of the millennials' financial goals and needs. But it’s time to truly understand what offers, incentives, rewards or tools appeal to them.

The payments industry, like many other financial segments, has struggled to connect with this generation. But it is imperative that they do so – and soon – since as the baby boomers age in the coming years, issuers will find that the bulk of their cardholders are millennials, whose collective annual income will be worth trillions of dollars. According to Sarbjit Nahal of Bank of America Merrill Lynch in a CNBC interview, "by 2018 [millennials are] going to overtake the boomers. By 2025, we're looking at over $8 trillion worth of annual net income."

2. Keeping up with mobile apps

With eMarketer reporting there are 190 million U.S. smartphone users, representing 73 percent of all Internet users, it's no surprise that mobile-first responsive Web design is essential for any business. This is in conjunction with mobile apps, which flourished in 2015, and will continue to do so this year.

The payments industry, like many other financial segments,

has struggled to connect with this generation.

Mobile apps used to be just one of many channels customers could choose, but are now poised to become the preferred channel. While consumer brands like Realtor.com or Uber invest in creating the best mobile experiences, banks must catch up or risk losing consumers' attention to competitors or even alternate payments companies such as PayPal's Venmo.

Banks' apps must