September 28 2021

Your Goal: Attracting Younger Audiences

attracting younger audiencesWhen redesigning a website, most banks and credit unions state that one of their goals is to attract younger audiences. The reasons for this are likely obvious: growing customers or membership is vital to an institution’s revenue and future, and these younger generations have a combined spending power of nearly $3 trillion. However, to get these younger audiences interested in switching institutions has a unique set of challenges, so it’s vital to have a solid plan in place to make this goal achievable. When done well, generational marketing is authentic and relevant to audiences, and therefore inspires conversions.

Defining the Generations

Some of the generational terms are used improperly, so let’s begin by defining the different generations.

  • Generation A: the newest generation, starting with children born in 2012 and including about 48 million people in the U.S.

  • Generation Z: Born between 1997 & 2012; there are currently about 68 million Gen Zers in the United States

  • Millennials (aka Generation Y): Born between 1981 & 1996, they are currently over 72 million strong in the U.S.

  • Generation X: Born between 1965 & 1980, there are currently over 65 million Gen Xers in the U.S.

  • Baby Boomers: Born between 1946 & 1964, there are over 70 million U.S boomers

  • Silent Generation: Born between 1928 & 1945 and makes up just over 7% of the U.S. population.

Understanding Millennials (currently ages 25-40)

Now that you know that the term millennials isn’t just a catch all phrase for young professionals and students, it’s also it’s important to know that not all millennials are at the same stage in life. This generation spans quite a few years, so some may be in their early adulthood years, while others have built a family and well into their careers. This generation also deviates from some of the traditional life stages, making it important to consider unique lifestyles. For this reason, you may want to further segment millennials by more defined attributes, interests and goals. As an example, a millennial buying their first home has very different needs than one looking to refinance their mortgage or save for their child’s college education. Importantly, this is a generation that does their research, expects frictionless customer service and is heavily influenced by online reviews. They are also comfortable with well-known brands they’ve grown up with, like Apple and Google, but are open to new brands when they perceive value.

  • Technology: Millennials witnessed the explosion of the internet and as such, technology is very important to them. Emphasizing how easy and user-friendly your technology is and how it can improve their lives is an important selling point – and one millennials expect.

  • Social Media: This generation is very reliant on social media for information and entertainment and likely spend time across many platforms. They are also hit with a massive amount of information at once, so your messaging needs to be memorable enough to stand out.

  • Marketing tone: Many in this generation are still paying off student debt, so being aware of this financial situation can help you better target your messaging. This generation also likes tools to help them in decision-making, without being overbearing, so consider appearing to their sensible, “how can you help me” desires. It’s also important to know that this is a generally impatient generation, so provide information in a clear, informative format. 

Understanding Generation X (currently ages 41-56)

Generation X makes up about 25% of the U.S population, or about 65 million people in the U.S. This generation has the highest income of all of the generations so has a lot of purchasing power, but is also the most brand loyal of all the generations. They still prefer TV and newspapers but at the same time will  heavily research businesses on the web – so marketing consistently across all channels is key.

  • Technology: This generation is pretty tech-savvy but also does their research and values in-person interactions as well. Successfully balancing both can yield success.

  • Social Media: This generation loves their Facebook so use that to your advantage when marketing your products and services. Remember that they are likely raising children, saving for retirement and on social media primarily to be, well, social, so your marketing messaging needs to be authentic and tailored towards this.

  • Marketing tone: Most in this generation live pretty busy lives – juggling kids, careers, aging parents and more. Being sensitive to this can go a long way in your marketing success. This is also a generation that enjoys nostalgia. Finally, because this is the most brand loyal of any generation, be prepared for this when developing your messaging and craft your marketing tactics around it. A thank you email or loyalty coupon can help make this audience feel valued, so make sure your customer service experience supports this vision, too.

Targeting specific generations

When marketing to a specific generation, your plan needs to be thoughtful and devoid of stereotypes. Take a look at current customers in that demographic and try to understand their specific needs. Then, develop targeted campaigns that have relevant messaging, and use tactics that will get the most visibility. Upon campaign launch, be sure that you have the analytics in place to evaluate performance. Successful generational marketing involves solid planning, creativity and monitoring, but when done well, will be relevant and appreciated by audiences, and should generate results for your institution.

  • Banks
  • Credit Unions
  • Website

posted by
Michelle Brown
Michelle Brown
VP of Sales & Marketing

ZAG Interactive is a full-service digital agency in Glastonbury, CT, offering website design, development, marketing and digital strategy to clients nationwide. See current job openings.
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