9 Reasons Why Credit Unions Should Turn Marketing Efforts from Millennials to Baby Boomers Right Now

It’s obvious why the “ever-elusive” millennials are the apple of every marketing team’s eye, as the population is soon to control 75% of the workforce. Millennials are demanding of the companies and brands with which they do business, they’re technologically advanced as it’s been ingrained into their habits from a young age, and they’re the most educated generation living now. They’re an attractive population, especially for credit unions and financial institutions who are seeking to lock in lifetime members from an early age. They are also easier to reach for less expense because 86% of this generation uses social media and it directly influences their buying habits.

Again, it’s easy to see why most financial institutions are focusing on the millennials, but I’m here to say that it’s time for credit unions to turn their attention back to the baby boomers. Here are nine reasons that financial institutions should turn their marketing sites to the baby boomer generation instead of the millennials:

  1. Let’s look at the sheer volume of people needing similar information simultaneously. Half of the entire US population is age 50 and over currently. 10,000 people are aging into government systems like Medicare and Social Security every day. The biggest year of the baby boomer wave won’t even hit until 2022 (those born in 1957) and the numbers will increase until then. This population of people is huge and looking for retirement information from trusted sources constantly. Why should they look any further than your credit union?
  2. People are living longer and have more time to accumulate wealth and, of course, spend it. The average male life expectancy in the United States is about 77 years old and for females about 81 years old. The average retiree’s biggest fear is outliving their money, yet they have three times the wealth of their kids and grandkids and are choosing to work longer. They also outspend every other generation, with a whopping $400 billion spent on goods and services each year. The predicted longevity of this generation gives a brand enough time to foster a lifelong relationship, even if it happens later in the member’s life. This time of a person’s life is also when they make critical decisions regarding retirement, and they spend more money with newfound extra time.
  3. Did we mention they control a lot of wealth? Baby boomers have more disposable income, more money in savings and loans, and they outspend every other generation. We’ve all heard the expression “show me the money,” and my response to that would be to point to the baby boomers. This generation makes up about 26% of the country’s population, yet they control 47% of the income. The group also owns 80% of all money in loans and savings accounts. The average baby boomer has about $24,000 a year in disposable income, and they have three times the net worth than that of their kids and grandkids. If you’re looking for members with money to spend, then look no further than the boomers.
  4. Boomer spending is already the highest among the generations and will continue to increase over the next two decades. Researchers are estimating that within twenty years baby boomer spending will increase by almost 60%, and in that same time frame, millennial spending is only increasing by 25%. The baby boomer wealth is vast and growing exponentially.
  5. Boomers are set to accrue even more money soon. This group is predicted to inherit over $15 trillion from their “silent” parents and grandparents. As the traditionalists (otherwise known as the silent generation) pass away and leave their legacies, many baby boomers will inherit significant assets. It’s estimated that another $15 trillion (or more) in assets will be in the hands of the baby boomer generation. Another amazing statistic- only 52% of boomers plan to leave inheritances for their children. The rest plan to spend it before they die! In fact, luxury travel is one of the most significant spends of the boomer generation.
  6. Everybody else is targeting millennials – but you were born to stand out! Only 5-10% of ALL existing marketing is directed at baby boomers. If you’re like me, then you would prefer to take the road less traveled. It may be against what competitors are doing but in a lot of cases that is a great thing. Going against the grain, especially when the numbers make sense, is a delightful walk on the wild side. Those who find and influence the baby boomers with their marketing will earn the more profitable members, and meanwhile, enjoy a less saturated target market for prospecting.
  7. You can access the millennials VIA the baby boomers. Most baby boomers influence their loved ones, especially kids and grandkids, which includes those mystifying millennials. Baby boomers have close relationships with their children and grandchildren (for the most part) and are influential in their brand and product choices. The millennials listen to their relatives, in fact, with 63% of them saying they use all or many of the same brands as their parents and grandparents. Moreover, 38% of millennials are willing to change brands because of a recommendation from a relative. If the baby boomers are directly influencing the generation that most CUs are targeting, then it seems a natural move to attract and delight that group as well.
  8. Baby boomers seek in-person engagement and are a highly attentive audience for seminars and workshops with topics they care about. Baby boomers tend to desire human interaction and connection when making a purchase or gathering research to make a purchase, much more than the millennial generation. Boomers care about important issues and take opportunities to learn and understand the retirement landscape they’re entering. Putting the human interaction together with a learning and social occasion is a match made in heaven! If you’ve ever struggled with attendance at your events, aim for the boomers to be your audience for better results and provide them topics relevant to their lives.
  9. Baby boomers are more loyal to brands than millennials, which means once you have them you are likely to keep them. While millennials are undoubtedly capable of brand loyalty, they make brands work a lot harder to keep them. They have higher expectations when it comes to customer service, probably due in part to the fact that they’ve always had options at their fingertips via their mobile devices. Not only that, but they are known to “jump ship” from brands for many different reasons. In fact, 80% of millennials would switch a brand simply to save money. Boomers are more loyal and additionally more likely to refer when they’re satisfied. When a member is genuinely loyal, they will buy about 66% more from you than your non-loyal members throughout the membership. It pays to have loyal members (pun definitely intended).

So, there you have it. Nine reasons why I believe that credit unions need to take a walk on the wild side and change up their target market. Take it from me- I’m a millennial who markets to baby boomers for a living. Millennials are an obvious market to choose because of our near domination in the workforce and our demanding consumer habits, but we waiver and easily “brand jump” when we can save a buck or are unhappy with customer service. Growing up in a world where we have “option overload,” millennials are the riskier group to recruit. I hate to admit it, but as a millennial, I absolutely believe that.

Baby boomers have massive wealth and not near as much debt as millennials, they’re more loyal when given opportunities to get to know a brand, they’re more likely to refer when their delighted by a product, service, or brand, and to top it all off, very few brands out there are marketing to them. Baby boomers are where it’s at.

We’ll be breaking down how to market to baby boomers with some tips and tricks for CUs in future posts. Follow our blog and comment with more topics you’d like to see!

Stay classy, CU world!

Cortney Ventrone

 

Sources: 1) “The Generational Shift in Brand Loyalty” by Guest Contributor, SmallBizClub. www.smallbizclub.com., 2) “How Brand Loyalty Differs Among the Generations” by Matt Graywood, Modern Restaurant Management. www.modernrestaurantmanagement.com., 3) “30 Customer Loyalty Stats You Need to Know” by Sara Spaventa, thanx.com. 4) “31 Stunning Baby Boomer Population Statistics” by Brandon Gaille, www.brandongaille.com.

How amazing leaders gain followers

Integrity is key: The people who you are leading should not have any doubt in their minds that you are working for their best interest. If you keep your intentions pure and actions open, those who you are leading will not worry about what you are hiding from them. Tony Dungy says, “Integrity, the choice between what’s convenient, and what’s right.” When you lead, constantly remind yourself of this statement. Ask yourself am I doing this because it’s the easiest option, or am I doing this because it’s the right option? If you keep this in the forefront of your mind, you will not have depend on your position for power.

Trust: Trust is more than a five letter word, it’s a motivator, rationale, a unifying idea, and a guide. If you trust in your team and your team trusts in you, moving forward to your goal will minimize obstacles. Trust will allow you as a leader to unlock the potential of your following. If you build your foundation on trust, you will be able to focus on elevating your team, rather than focusing on if they will do their job properly.

Influence: Even though trust is the foundation, influence is the “way” you gain the trust of your following. Many amazing leaders like Martin Luther King, Steve Jobs, Oprah Winfrey, and Malala Yousafzai could transfer their ideas to the hearts of their listeners. When speaking to your following, do not forget that the message is important, but the delivery is what makes it “stick”.  Influence is not only what you say, but it is also what you do. Leaders can influence many people with their words, but exceptional leaders influence the masses by their words and actions.

Be Free, Be Open: We all can agree that the role of a leader can de-humanize the individual at times. Your followers may see you as a title rather than a person. To change that, allow your followers to see your vulnerability and the things that push you on a daily basis.  When you humanize yourself, it allows room for growth, for change, and many more elements of leadership.  It also eases the separation from yourself and your followers.

Please let us know which tip stands out to you!

Tips to separate your brand from your competition

  1. Don’t wait to make meaningful connections.
    1. The time to cultivate personal connections with your clients should not only be prior to a launch or an event. The time to create these relationship should start when your client begin the process to becoming a client. The quicker you create that relationship, the quicker your client sees your company more as a person than a business. If you can make a personal connection with your clients, you will see an increase in retention and loyalty.
  2. Make it playful.
    1. Allow your clients to see the playful side of your brand! You can use subtle hints such as color schemes, or you can be bold and create a nice game or animation as they are waiting for a landing page to load. Many companies have created sketches and funny one-liners for their clients to listen to while they are waiting. Brands everywhere are capturing their audiences in a more playful style to engage and entertain them.
  3. Be bold with your hiring.
    1. Don’t be scared to go bold, or to try new things. If you are looking for longevity with your clientele, attracting the younger generation is the way to go. The younger generation will allow your brand to grow, be experimental, and reinvent the brand if needed. Being bold also means using social media platforms to their fullest ability. For example, using an Instagram story to create a poll, or creating a Snapchat filter for one of your events.
  4. Share precious moments.
    1. Allow your clients to see the beautiful moments that your brand creates. A couple of ideas are celebrating clients/employees’ birthdays, hosting a monumental sale, attending or hosting a community outreach event, and sharing client success stories. These moments can really humanize your brand and company for people, almost instantly. Highlighting these events not only help retain your current clients, but it allows you to cast a wider net of prospects.
  5. Make it worth sharing.
    1. We all know the best marketing is word of mouth. If a picture says 1,000 words, then posting a picture allows us to speak without saying anything. If the moment that was photographed was shared…your brand could reach millions of people in seconds! Every picture, video or image that is posted on the behalf of your brand should be a piece of the overall story that you’re trying to create for your clients and prospects.

5 Tips to maximize your brand

  1. Don’t wait to make meaningful connections
    1. The time to make deep and personal connections with your clients are not 1 or 2 months prior to a launch or an event. The time to create these relationship should start when your client begin the process to becoming a client. The quicker you create that relationship, the quicker your client sees your company as a person rather than a business. If your clients can make a personal connection, you will see an increase in retention and loyalty.
  2. Make it Playful
    1. Allow your clients to see the playful side of your brand! You can use subtle hints such as color schemes, or you can be bold and create a nice game as they are waiting for a landing page to load. Many companies have created sketches and funny one-liners for the clients to listen to while they are waiting.
  3. Be Bold
    1. Don’t be scared to go Bold, to try new things. If you are looking for longevity, attracting the younger generation is the way to go. The younger generation will allow your brand to grow, be experimental, and reinvent the brand if need be. Being bold also encompasses using social media platforms to their fullest ability. For example, using Instagram to story create a poll, or creating a snapchat filter at one of your events.
  4. Share Precious Moments
    1. Allow you clients to see the beautiful moments that your brand creates. A couple of ideas can be clients/employees’ birthday, monumental sale, community outreach event, and client success stories. These moment really humanize your brand and company almost instantly. Highlighting these events not only help retain your current clients, but is allows you to cast a wider net of prospecting clients.
  5. Make it worth sharing
    1. We all know the best marketing is word of mouth. If a picture says 1,000 words, then posting a picture allows us to speak without saying anything. If the moment that was photographed was shared…your brand could reach millions of people in seconds! Every picture, video or etc. that is posted on the behave of your brand should be a piece of the overall story you want the client to know.

Sited from:https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbesagencycouncil/2017/12/19/15-tips-to-increase-your-brands-visibility-with-experiential-marketing/#4ecacfb534ac

These Member Retention Strategies Can Increase Your Profit and Enhance Your Image

Happy Credit Union Members-Retention

It’s the buzzword of the decade, and it smacks us in the face wherever we go. Millennials, millennials, millennials. Who are they? What makes them tick? How do we get them to engage? As important as it is for you as financial institutions to focus your sights on capturing this young demographic, you are doing a disservice to your member base by neglecting one of the most financially influential and largest generations affecting business every day. You guessed it, 2 words; Baby Boomers.

According to the US News and World Report, this generation remains the most influential when it comes to “economic decision making”. Baby Boomers, defined by the U.S. Census as those born between 1946-1964, are 76 million strong nationwide, and their influence on health care, technology, travel and e-commerce is only growing.

One of the most important facets of retention is understanding the needs of your members, and continually engaging them to see the value and importance of the services they receive from you.

  • According to an article in Truvantage: “Member retention is just as important as member acquisition. So the same enthusiasm and data-mining strategies that go into gaining new members should go into improving relationships with existing members. Credit unions that use data analytics to build relationships with members can positively influence retention rates. High member satisfaction levels lead to greater loyalty and referral business. However, all members are not created equal and some relationships are worth more than others. That’s why it’s vital to identify the most loyal and profitable members who can drive revenue at your credit union.”

 

  • Another way to create loyalty and gain retention is by training your staff to be in a “partnership” with your members, not just an order taker. Asking the right questions, giving them the proper training and constant engagement with your member base are all ways that create a feeling of need and comfort. As noted by Celeste Cook of CUInsights, “SHOW (don’t just tell) employees specifically what they can do, say, and/or ask to engage members in the right conversation. As a result, they can offer the right solutions and not just simply respond to a member’s request.

 

  • A defined and credible marketing strategy is another key factor to reaching the demographic you are targeting to maintain retention. Making sure that your data base is accurate and up to date so you can send the proper campaigns to the proper targets is extremely important in these cases. This Credit Union Times article states just that, in it’s simplest form; “Member services, product offerings and interest rates all come into play, but it is important to remember that marketing efforts can strongly influence retention. The best method of executing member marketing initiatives is certainly up for debate, but one thing is certain: in order to up-sell and properly market to members, credit unions must be able to communicate with them. Without the ability to communicate, credit unions are simply unable to educate their members about new offers or special rates.

 

  • Utilizing these strategies not only increases retention rates, but also helps eliminate wasted costs of sending information to people because of inaccurate data. Although it doesn’t seem like much at the time, it all goes to your bottom line, and at the end of the day without retaining your current members with value added solutions, your members are likely to get their solutions from somewhere else. As noted by Joel Curry, managing director of Experian QAS UK, “Improved marketing campaigns and member analytics enable credit unions to streamline operations and reduce costs, but more importantly, enhance the member experience and simultaneously increase up-sell opportunities. “

 

Do you know your member bases demographic? Are you forgetting to appreciate and edify the members that you have that currently use your suite of services? What else can you offer them to make their life easier? It is important to remember not to “bite the hand that feeds you” as it goes. Your current member base is already a captive audience, and by using these strategies, your members will only become more loyal and your best referral source. Perhaps even to their millennial grandchildren.

4 Ways to Become an Invaluable Resource to Your Clientele

Every driven business person knows that the key to unlocking a lifelong client can be found when you become an unwavering resource. When you have the ability to add the perfect amount of value to your client’s life, aside from your products and services, they will be hard-pressed to leave for your competitors. Adding real value to your clients’ lives outside of just the product or service you offer is what it means to be a resource.

What are the benefits of becoming a resource or hub of information for your clients?

You become their go-to. Well, in any consultative role, an obvious reason is because you become a hub for your clients when they have a decision to make. Take a financial planner, for example. Hundreds of clients share with their financial advisor their entire financial portfolios. With that level of trust, it isn’t crazy to assume that your clients would welcome your recommendation and seek your guidance for other life decisions. Recommendations on things like home, auto, and health insurance, mortgage lenders, and even attorneys or legal counsel. If you position yourself as your clients’ go-to for other things, you are further embedded into their lives as a person they trust.

Retention rates are better. When you become a “hub” that helps your clients with the other stressors in their lives, they are far less likely to leave you. Not only will they value you for whatever primary product or service you are giving them, they will also value you as a resource for other areas. When your clients view you as a resource, they feel secure and comfortable as your client.

Referrals, referrals, referrals. You better believe that the more clients that trust you and look to you for advice in your field, the more people they will refer to you. Retention is essential to referrals. If a client is overly-satisfied with their service or product, they will tell their family, friends, and sometimes anyone they know. Delighting is essential to retaining clients, and retention is essential to referrals. Feed the cycle!

Okay, so we know the benefits of becoming a hub of information for your clientele, but how can you do it? We’ve come up these four ways to dazzle and retain by becoming a resource in their worlds:

  1. You have to be an excellent listener and learn to read between the lines. No, I’m not asking you to develop a super power, but learning not to just hear, but to truly listen is an art. When you genuinely focus on what your client says, it will be obvious what they value, what concerns them, and what stresses them out. When you gather these tidbits of information from your clientele and can read between the lines to find the underlying meaning, you have a secret weapon. Say, for example, you are the director of member services at your local credit union. A couple of your long-time clients, Ed and Luna Murphy, come in complaining that they are confused and overwhelmed by their healthcare options during open enrollment. Of course, as they are venting, they don’t expect you to be able to help them as it isn’t a primary service of a credit union- but what if you did? Listening to their problems can help you to see the needs and concerns of your clients, so you learn how to better serve them.
  2. You must be able to anticipate client needs (this is why it’s so important to listen). Taking our example of Ed and Luna Murphy, if you were actively listening the day they expressed their healthcare woes, you could help. Share with them a trusted local contact, and if you don’t have one, ask around and do a little research. In a way, this adds insulation to your relationship with the customer and positions you as a true resource.  You’d be surprised how far this goes for clients. Don’t feel like going the extra mile? That’s fine, just keep in mind your clients may leave you for someone who will.
  3. Be detail-oriented. Ever heard the expression “it’s the details that matter” or “it’s in the details”? Of course, we all have, and that’s because it’s true. Being detail-oriented means you will pay attention to small things that others overlook. Paying attention to when your client’s birthday or anniversary is, or if they have a big life change like a new baby or marriage, can take your standard conversation about banking to a meaningful, personal conversation. That sort of emotional connection helps us resonate and empathize with others.
  4. Be available when they need you. It doesn’t matter if you clearly post your office hours on the website, if someone tries to get a hold of you and can’t, it resonates with them. Now, obviously there are times when everyone needs to disconnect from their work, and that’s okay, but there are ways to make sure your client never feels isolated by you. That being said, when you’re working a regular week, try to be accommodating. That call at dinner might bother you at the time, but in the long run, your client will never forget the above and beyond service. If you aren’t available, make it easy for your clients to leave a message, and call them back as soon as you can.

Becoming a value added resource for your clients doesn’t come for free- it takes hard work. But the reward you get for doing so can be exponential.