November 18, 2021

Okay Boomers: Digital Strategies that Don’t Leave Baby Boomers in the Dust

Baby Boomers are the nation's second largest living generation and hold over 53% of U.S. wealth. Keeping Boomers front and center should not be a hard decision so DeepTarget provides three tips for financial institutions engage this generation.

As many experts are sharing insights on marketing that appeals to Millennials or how to reach Gen Z (including us), it is important not to leave the Baby Boomer Generation in the dust. At a 76.4 million population, Baby Boomers are the nation's second largest living generation. They were influenced by the rise of television, the Civil Rights Movement, the Beatles, the Vietnam War, the Apollo moon landing, and Woodstock. The oldest boomers are just in their mid-70s, and this generation is aging youthfully. Boomers are staying active to keep up with their grandkids, or take advantage of their disposable income to experience the adventures they put off during their child-raising years.

But perhaps the most important statistic that financial institutions need to be aware of is related to wealth. Millennials dominate the US workforce but recent Fed data found that they only hold 4.6% of US wealth.  That accounts for 10 times less that the U.S. wealth that baby boomers hold – which amounts to over 53%!

Keeping Boomers front and center should not be a hard decision. For financial institutions interested in engaging this generation, what does that mean?  Here are three easy tips to follow:

Make it easy

With ages ranging from the mid-50s to mid-70s, many Boomers are actively involved in the finances of their adult children and aging parents in addition to their own. The good news is that many Boomers are open to the advantages that technology can bring to their banking.

71% of Boomers bank online at least once per week, and their use of mobile banking is growing exponentially as more and more of this generation utilizes online banking, mobile check deposits, fund transfers and payments options each year. This means that banks and credit unions have a prime opportunity to promote these financial services to a targeted group segment that will appreciate the simplicity and 24/7 access that online and mobile banking can bring.

Make it secure

Adoption rates of Baby Boomers have been steadily on the rise but jumped in response to the pandemic. 88% of Baby Boomers agreed that they will continue to use digital technology to make daily life easier once the COVID-19 pandemic has resolved. This demonstrates this generation’s ability to adapt, however, the 2008 recession hit their wallets hard and retirement accounts harder. Many experience lingering suspicions about the trustworthiness of devices, networks, and online banking exchanges. Due to the fear of fraud or security breaches, Baby Boomers like the idea of security alerts attached to their accounts in conjunction with a local branch or representative that is just a phone call away.  Just as important as security is to them, so is communication of all that you are doing to ensure security is a top priority for your FI.  Reaching out and touching them while they are digitally engaged to reassure them of your FI’s commitment to security is a great strategy. Digital engagement is about a lot more than cross selling your products and services!

Don’t make assumptions

A recent study discovered that 27% of pre-retirees plan to work part-time during retirement with no plan to stop working. Not only is this a reflection of this generation’s work ethic and commitment to staying intellectually engaged, it is also an avenue to maintain their disposable income.

This spending money means that products typically marketed to young adults can be an even better fit for the Boomer generation. New car? Kitchen renovation? Dream vacation? Even small business loans are opportunities that Baby Boomers will be looking to their financial institution to help them navigate.

The overwhelming message to financial institutions is that it's the age of the customer (no pun intended!). Customers are in control, and they ultimately will decide where to look for their next financial product or service. Banks and credit unions that improve their understanding of an increasingly powerful customer base in order to communicate with and engage them will gain a competitive edge. Identifying audience segments, from Baby Boomers to Gen Z, and going even further to understand microsegments in order to create comprehensive, custom communications that are relevant to their financial journey is a key to success. There has never been a time when technology has been more accessible nor had a greater impact on a financial institution’s ability to retain customers and increase revenue.  So, what are you waiting for?

DeepTarget DXP is in use by hundreds of community banks and credit unions as they enable the automation of intelligent marketing and sales campaigns powered by a one-stop solution that deploys data-powered designs to engage account holders in unique digital experiences across all digital app spaces. Use meaningful digital experiences at scale to grow deposits, increase loans, gain loyalty, and boost revenue with ease.

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