Today's younger Boomer generation (45-55 year olds) is settling into leadership positions across industries, from politics to business, popular culture to entertainment. Members of this cohort include President and Mrs. Obama, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos and entertainers like George Clooney and Bono. While those particular young boomers may not need to worry about their financial heath, the rest of us are concerned. Very concerned.
A cursory survey of these younger Boomers quickly reveals their primary financial fears and concerns: retirement, the stagnant stock market and falling housing prices. These are compounded by common life challenges, such as potentially aging/sick parents and kids' college bills. It's a tough squeeze, and if there are radical changes to Medicare, younger Boomers will be the first to feel the inevitable cut backs. Additionally, it appears that working past 65 may be the reality for those with lower incomes and people who did not start saving early. They know this, and they are looking for answers, but financial and investment firms aren't offering them, at least not in their marketing messages.
These mounting financial concerns offer financial and investment firms' insight into the type of messaging that will resonate with Boomers, and therefore a wealth of marketing opportunities. But instead of addressing these clear-cut needs, financial marketers consistently rely on tired tactics. You know the ads: handsome older couples, straight out of central casting, riding their bikes across Europe or setting up that photo studio, or bed and breakfast, they always dreamed of. Is that the reality facing today's typical 50 year old? Not so much.
The good news is that because financial marketing has been so slow to adapt to media changes, the simple act of addressing and speaking to their audiences' fears and concerns can actually become a great market differentiator. Want even more good news? According to Maxymiser's recent white paper, "Taming the Fickle Financial Services Customer," banking and finance customers are up for grabs, as their loyalty is directly tied to the good deals and value these institutions offer them. All of this is to say, it's a blue ocean out there for the marketers and companies that can effectively target, speak to, and entice hungry customers who are facing a stagnant and stubborn economy as they head into a critical 10-20-year time period before retirement.
Here are some marketing strategies that may engage younger Boomers to build relationships with financial services firms:
The idea is not to put your services at the forefront of your messaging; it's to convey that you have the fact that you have the answers to their problems ... which implies that you know what their problems are. So, instead of waxing poetic about your online transaction solutions and research capabilities, produce meaningful and useful content that helps customers navigate through life's trickiest dilemmas. Instead of touting all of your features, provide tools, calculators and how-to-type advice. There are numerous content topics that can be covered to help establish the firm as a trusted partner. For instance:
How to budget and manage your debt while saving the proper amount for retirement
How to save for college with 529 plans and other instruments
Estate planning for aging parents, and tips for the lucky few who will be inheriting sizeable sums from their parents
Health and wellness best practices. After all, the best way to minimize healthcare cost is to maintain your health
Since many will need to keep working past 65, how about some ideas on second careers or even advice on how to start your own business?
This type of content on a website that's personalized and customized for a targeted consumer is a recipe for success. Personalization can be achieved by modeling past behavior or creating a predictive model based on how a visitor comes to your site. The act of serving up custom, relevant content will increase engagement and time spent on the site. When this is coupled with a strong call-to-action, the odds of capturing a lead or new customer is increased significantly.
Additionally, financial firms must acknowledge that Boomers are far down the road of making social and mobile media part of their everyday lives. Instead of relying heavily on TV and print ads, financial marketers must embrace new media as a place to distribute content, engage customers and spur conversations. And of course, this segment needs its own messaging and outreach and should not be lumped in with efforts targeting Millennials or Gen X.
In summary, younger Boomers are facing unique and difficult challenges as they look at their financial well being over the next phase of their life. This is due to both market forces and the very nature of being in their early 50s and late 40s. There is a real opportunity for financial marketers to capture new customers by speaking to these unique needs with personalized and useful content and advice.
We are pleased to announce that our Kings of Content iPhone/iPad App is now avaliable for download from the Apple App store.
King Fish Media as joined the ranks of Apple iOS developers and we offer full mobile marketing capabilities
. An Android version of the App will be avaliable shortly. Click here to read the press release
Our App is built around our weekly podcast - The Kings of Content
. In each episode Cam Brown
and I spend 5-7 minutes discussing issues around content marketing, integrated media, social media, marketing analytics and overall marketing trends. In upcoming weeks we’ll feature guest speakers including Joe Pulizzi of Junta42 and the Content Marketing Institute. The App also gives you a feed of this blog, our Twitter feed and access to our original research and ebooks.
It is clear that mobile is becoming a critical channel for integrated marketing and content distribution. As our recent research
shows, marketers are looking to mobile for customer engagement and relationship building.
We hope you find the App and our content engaging and we encourage your feedback.
Marketers have never had more tools to build direct relationships with customers and prospects than they do today. Social media and mobile marketing, in particular, are enabling companies to distribute content, build relationships and sell products up close and [very] personal. Marketers, who recently integrated social media into their overall marketing plans, are now charged with embarking into mobile. In other words, the agenda of your typical CMO or marketing director is getting even busier. Just ask the 563 respondents of the recent study: “Mobile Marketing: Plans, Trends and Measurability”
To gauge the current mindset of marketers, King Fish Media partnered with Maxymiser, HubSpot and Junta42 to survey them on mobile-everything—from ROI and budget to preferred platforms, content and future plans. The survey was conducted online, between April 12-27, 2011.
According to the study’s findings, the mobile marketing market is very much in its infancy, meaning that future plans for usage are still in flux. Companies are faced with a growing installed based of mobile devices among their customers and several competing platforms. The biggest upside is to use mobile marketing as a relationship building tool and eventually as a sales generator. While actual monetization is taking off slowly, the opportunity exists to deliver tools, content and branding opportunities. Getting a customer to download an app and claiming a piece of real estate on their phone is one-to-one marketing at its finest.
Among the key findings: A third of companies currently have a mobile strategy in place, and among those who don’t two thirds plan to have one within the next 12 months. Not a lot of investment is currently taking place - only about 12% of brands’ marketing spend is on mobile. However, the vast majority of respondents (82%) plan to increase their spending on mobile over the next year, with 30% taking the budget from mainstream marketing and advertising.
There seems to be a movement towards having more native apps developed in the future. Currently two-thirds of companies use a mobile website, while 28% are using a native app; 27% are using both. Next year, they foresee an increase in native app development as 43% plan to have an app and 49% report they will be using an app and mobile site.
The overall ROI/payback for mobile is slow to develop as evidenced by the fact that 24% report that ROI for mobile programs has exceeded or performed as expected and a full one third have not measured it al all. 41% say on the future mobile marketing programs will need to show a positive return to continue the program and 34% say they will be tracking, but a positive return will not be required at this time.
Most commonly, brands are using mobile initiatives to build/grow relationships, which explain why the most popular content types are currently: social media, branded, email capabilities, geo-location/maps and general reference.
• Almost three-quarters of all companies are currently planning apps using the iPhone platform vs. Android (45%), iPad (41%) and Blackberry (41%). Looking out 12 months, interest in iPad (76%) and Android (75%) rises significantly. iPhone and Blackberry stay flat. Interestingly, 68% of companies have no plans to develop apps using the Windows operating system.
• Social media, branded content, email, geo-location/maps and general reference are most often mentioned as applications being executed as part of a mobile initiative. Original branded content, ads, expert content and videos are the types of content used most often in mobile format.
• Commerce over mobile channels is slow to take hold among respondents. Less than 20% are currently conducting mobile commerce, mostly over a mobile web site. Interest does rise for 2012.
• Nearly 60% are tracking visitors to their website from mobile devices, usually with Google Analytics. Among those tracking, companies are finding that a relatively small percentage of traffic is coming from a mobile device—on average 8%. And only about 10% of customer/prospects are using a mobile app developed by the company.
• While few companies (7%) are currently personalizing the mobile experience, there is strong interest (42%) in doing so in the future. The main reasons to offer mobile personalization are to increase customer loyalty, cross sell/upsell and set up a recommendations campaign.
To download the complete study - click here