Understanding the millennial mindset is a topic being discussed with increasing regularity these days. Given my interest in how they will affect the way in which financial services evolve over the next few years, I thought I would make good use of the car ride to school each morning and tap into the thinking of two (of four) of my own millennials. Fredrik is 14 and Andreas is 12.
Me: So what did you think of that email I forwarded you on the school ski trip?
Fredrik: What email?
Me: I sent it a week ago...
Fredrik: I didn't read it.
(Perplexed look of disbelief enters my face)
Me: Why not?
Fredrik: I don't read my emails
Me: So why did you get me to buy you a blackberry?
Fredrik: So I could BBM with my friends
Me: OK...so can you give me your BBM pin so that I can get hold of you when I need to, because you don't reply to my SMSs either.
Fredrik: I don't use BBM anymore
Me: eh? Why not?
Fredrik: because all my friends use Whatsapp now.
Me: fine...so if I need to get hold of you then I should use Whatsapp.
Andreas: everyone uses Whatsapp now
Me: what about this snapchat thing?
Fredrik: Nah snapchat is lame it's for people who like taking photo's of themselves, and I hate photo's
Me: I thought snapchat was really popular in schools?
Fredrik: nah...only the older kids use it with their girlfriends....but they're just stupid taking photo's of themselves.
Me: why is that stupid?
Fredrik: because hackers got the photo's and put all the rude one's on a website
Andreas: really? What site Fredrik?
Fredrik: I don't know..Pewdiepie mentioned it the other day.
Fredrik: a youtuber that Andreas and I watch
Me: Okey dokey....so do you want to go on the ski trip or not?
Me: thank you...that wasn't difficult was it?
Me: next time just read the emails I send you and reply..
Fredrik: what's the point?
Me: (in disbelief) what do you mean what's the point...
Fredrik: well if it that's important then you'll just ask me and I'll tell you won't I?
Lesson 1: Email as a communication tool is obviously dead by 2020.
Therein finishes the first interview with a millennial. My conclusion is that by the time 2020 comes along it is going to be increasingly difficult to maintain communications with these customers, and whilst one social media site or IM tool may be popular today, it will almost certainly be replaced by a newer one with increasing regularity. Our Social Media teams are going to need to be young and nimble!
If you have a fintech topic in mind for another interview with a millennial, then feel free to let me know......