generation-gap“Money makes the world go around.”

That’s not just a song. That’s a fact. And for most people it makes choosing a financial institution a critical and very personal issue. But as a financial professional you already know that. The real question is, “How do you influence that decision and make sure they choose you?”

If you want to influence your audience, you’ve got to get to know them first. Again, no surprises here. It’s a basic principle of marketing that you have to know what makes your audience tick in order to engage them. In fact, according to the Content Marketing Institute, market research helped marketers become 42% more effective in 2014.

One of the biggest hurdles for the financial market is that practically everyone uses a bank or credit union, so your target audience is enormous and diverse. To get a good handle on the full scope of your audience you’re going to have to segment them. One of the best ways to do that is by generation. From teens born in the 2000s to octogenarians and beyond, age makes a difference in the way we bank.

To gather additional data, Curtis 1000 conducted a survey exploring the banking habits of people in different generations. The 528 survey respondents were equally divided into four generational categories: Traditionalists born between 1925 and 1945, Baby Boomers born between 1946 and 1964, Generation X born between 1965 and 1980 and Millennials born between 1981 and 2000. We asked them a series of questions about the way they bank. And here we did find a few surprises.

For example, when asked how long they have been with their bank, guess which segment has been banking there the longest? Traditionalist? No. Baby Boomer? No. It’s those young Millennials who are the most loyal to their bank with nearly 100% saying they have been with their bank for more than two years. Perhaps that’s because nearly 50% of them chose their bank because other family members bank there. Regardless, now that you have them, you need to figure out a way to keep them!

Watching the general public constantly respond to the “ping” that signals they’ve received a text would make you think it’s the preferred form of communication for everyone. But here’s another surprise. We may like to receive texts from our friends, but when it comes to our bank, texts are a very distant third behind email and paper, which were respectively the #1 and #2 preferred methods of communication.

And here’s one more surprise in this high-tech age when we’re all encouraged to “go paperless.” When asked if they open their paper statements, a minimum of 80% in each generation said they do. No matter how you slice it, that makes monthly statements a valid way to deliver versioned messages targeted for each generation.

Interesting stuff, right? If you’d like to learn more about the secrets to generational marketing in the financial segment, please click this link to view the full results of our survey. You might also enjoy our light-hearted video exploring the same topic at this link

At this point, you may be wondering how you can use this information to improve your marketing efforts. Now that can get pretty complicated.

The right direct marketing partner can help you interpret market data and design a personalized, one-to-one campaign strategy that will get the results you’re looking for. Make sure you choose a vendor with the data and digital print experience to provide versioned print pieces that deliver a core message and look with variable copy and images relevant to different generations. If they are experts in multi-touch and multi-channel options, response management and postal regulations then you’re well on your way to success. And if they can also meet your day-to-day needs for forms, envelopes, corporate identity products, signage, labels, promotional products, online ordering and statement processing you might just have found your business communications soul mate.

Curtis 1000’s local sales consultants and direct marketing experts have been uncomplicating the marketing and print needs of the financial community for over 130 years. If you’re ready to uncomplicate your communication efforts, call us at 877-287-8715 or fill out the “How Can We Help You?” form on our website today!