Language is a powerful motivator of action. It is one of the most important levers that brand marketers have to personalise their outreach and engage their audiences. Lisa Spira of Persado is unswerving in her assertion that banks and financial services providers must adapt their language to resonate with younger generations.

She speaks from a position of some strength given Persado’s track record. Take first of all, the calibre of the Persado client line-up. In financial services alone, Persado key clients include Chase, Ally Bank, Emirates NBD, SoFi and Lending Club. Other partners who feature among Persado’s biggest clients include Marks and Spencer, Carrefour, Vodafone, Dropbox, Verizon and Audible.

What does Persado do?

Persado provides the only motivation AI platform that generates personalised communications at scale, inspiring each individual to engage and act. That means it helps clients engage customers across their journey, from acquisition communications to online cart conversion. Its Gen-AI software is trained on responses from 1.2 billion consumers direct response actions across industries, enabling marketers to motivate customers and drive significant business value.

Persado Essential Motivation

Take Persado Essential Motivation as a leading example of how the firm is working with its clients. First launched in August 2023, this self-service GenAI solution accelerates marketing content outputs. It boosts outcomes and increases compliance throughout customer journeys. The product leverages Persado’s motivation AI platform using advanced machine learning, natural language processing, and deep learning transformer models to understand copy intent and create messages that motivate consumer action. To date, Persado says it has driven $4.25bn in incremental revenue for its customers.

Chase: a key Persado client since 2016

If a vendor such as Persado could select just one bank to flag-up as a key client, Chase would be at the top or very near the top of any vendor’s wish list. Persado has been working with Chase since 2016 when the bank began a pilot with Persado’s Message Machine. The advanced marketing language knowledge base of more than one million tagged and scored words and phrases. Through the tool, Chase redrafted marketing messages in its card and mortgage businesses and saw significant lift. In its pilot, Chase saw as high as a 450% lift in click-through rates on ads rendered by Persado, compared with others in the 50-200% range

It worked so well that in 2019, Chase agreed a five-year, enterprise-wide deal with Persado. The bank expanded its partnership across the company to cover marketing creative that reaches millions of current and potential customers.

How well do you really know your competitors?

Access the most comprehensive Company Profiles on the market, powered by GlobalData. Save hours of research. Gain competitive edge.

Company Profile – free sample

Thank you!

Your download email will arrive shortly

Not ready to buy yet? Download a free sample

We are confident about the unique quality of our Company Profiles. However, we want you to make the most beneficial decision for your business, so we offer a free sample that you can download by submitting the below form

By GlobalData
Visit our Privacy Policy for more information about our services, how we may use, process and share your personal data, including information of your rights in respect of your personal data and how you can unsubscribe from future marketing communications. Our services are intended for corporate subscribers and you warrant that the email address submitted is your corporate email address.

How to reach GenZ via personalised marketing

Gen-Z represents about 20% of the US population. It is estimated that at least 4 million Gen-Zers will open a bank account each year until 2026. And yet, many banks are still communicating as if all of their customers are boomers. Spira argues this is a major own-goal. Moreover, there is no excuse for such carelessness as banks can use AI to adjust their marketing strategies and language to resonate with younger audiences.

Spira tells RBI that banks need to reframe their value proposition in a way that is going to resonate with the narratives that are part of their generation.

“Older generations often want to control their finances down to the penny. Meantime, younger generations often want to stay on top of their finances by accessing them quickly and conveniently. In effect, everyone wants the same thing: knowledge of their financial situation. However, these distinct audiences don’t think of it that way. By speaking to “control” or “convenience,” brands can weave a more personalised narrative about how a product will help a potential customer.

She adds: “Gen-Zers don’t notice the marketing materials that is going to the older segments of the market. They’re really focused on what’s going to them and what’s resonating with them. And I don’t think that they’re looking at the marketing that’s going to their parents and making any sort of judgments on it. They’re just not even seeing it. Because you really want to put the right marketing on the right platforms. So, you need to find Gen Z where they are, and that’s not the same place as their parents.

“They don’t open their emails as readily. They’re not on Facebook as much, but they’re using YouTube as their primary search engine instead of Google and they’re on Tik Tok and they’re on Instagram or Snapchat, and they are seeing the content that’s designed for them. They are not even seeing the mailer that arrived at their parents’ house.”

Tone of voice is key

That however, is not the whole story. Banks need to go further and adopt their tone of voice.

She adds: “Most financial brands strive to be ‘informative’ and educate their audience about financial literacy. Brands can adapt the tone of how they present information to connect with younger generations. For example, a financial brand can position itself as ‘helpful’ or ‘considerate’ or ‘supportive’ and use language that resonates more with younger consumers, who are seeking the same information as the generations before them, but more as friendly guidance than fact sheets.”

Persado: partnering with 6 of the 10 largest US banks

From her vantage point of working with 6 of the 10 biggest US banks, Spira has witnessed major marketing hits in successfully reaching Gen Z.

“One of the things I’ve seen be really successful is speaking to value propositions, so sending messages that say, everything’s online, it’s just one click, it’s really easy, download the app, and it takes just one minute. That has worked well. I’ve also seen really great use of emotional language.

Persado is really known for figuring out through very involved testing what emotions work best for sending different messages. So, you might be wanting to tap into a feeling of exclusivity, making customers feel special. It means the customer will then they take an action, or tap into the emotion of achievement, make them feel rewarded, make them feel like they’ve earned something.

By testing how to tap into those emotions, we have seen some great results for banks looking to reach Gen Z. And those emotions can be very different from that of their parents. It’s just how you restructure the sentence or add an emoji or change a specific word. So, you may use more ellipses or hit a cadence that feels right for someone of a different generation, how they would be speaking. It might kind of sound like gibberish to their parents, because it just doesn’t sound like perfectly structured English. But perfectly structured English maybe doesn’t resonate with the person who is used to their style of texting.”

Six out of the 10 biggest US banks as clients is a great soundbite. Whatever language or emojis, structured or unstructured English it is deploying, Persado is doing something very well.