I can remember a high school teacher introducing our class to the internet, describing it as a “spider web of information,” while my friends and I exchanged looks of confusion. A couple years later I was online daily. Other members of Generation X (roughly ages 35 to 50) probably have similar stories. We made the journey from floppy disks to cloud storage, and here’s what your financial institution needs to know about marketing to us:
- We’re online. Be wary of marketing your online services to only Millennials. Wide usage of the internet started while many of us Gen Xers were still in school. And 81% of us are on Facebook, but less for selfies and more for keeping up on the world (forbes.com).
- We use electronic devices. Who needs a Scrabble board when we have Words with Friends on our smartphones? Research by Yahoo indicates that 84% of Gen Xers use at least two devices during primetime hours (advertising.yahoo.com).
- We do our homework, completing thorough research online and looking up reviews before making a decision. Research indicates that we “shop for services much like…for retail goods, showing a natural tendency to go online and check reviews” (smithandjones.com).
- We’re caring for our parents and children. Based on a Yahoo study titled “Generation X: America’s Most Influential Generation,” almost half of adults in their 40s and 50s have a parent over the age of 65 and are raising or financially supporting at least one child of their own. Since we’re often caring for older and younger generations simultaneously, we value family time, and we’re interested in information pertaining to all ages.
- We’ve got that entrepreneurial spirit. More than 25% of Gen Xers have started their own business or have taken steps toward starting one (advertising.yahoo.com).
- We have spending power. Gen X makes up only “25 percent of all U.S. adults” but claims “31 percent of total income dollars” (americanexpress.com). Despite this wealth, saving money is a huge concern, with four main priorities: children’s college tuition, homeownership, starting a business and financial independence (marketingzen.com).
- We’re thinking of the future. And we’re “pessimistic” (bloomberg.com). Gen Xers were hit hard by the Great Recession, losing nearly half our wealth (linkedin.com). In an Insured Retirement Institute survey, 42% of Gen Xers indicated they don’t think they’ll have enough funds for a comfortable retirement (myirionline.org).
We Gen Xers have a lot on our plate, so we appreciate convenience, value, efficiency and education. To appeal to this generation, consider offering easy-to-use online and mobile services, encouraging favorable reviews and providing products, services and financial education related to small businesses, college savings and long-term investments. For help connecting Gen Xers to all your financial institution offers, talk to an image.works representative. We can introduce you to a variety of creative marketing solutions that will connect with your target audience and provide real results.