Gen Xers Get No Respect!

By Mary Ellen Georgas, April 18, 2018
Read the full article in ABA Bank Marketing

Are you missing an opportunity with the Rodney Dangerfield of generations? It’s tough being a Gen Xer. They’ve lived through some of the worst economic conditions in recent history – many of them had a tough time findings jobs in the early 1990’s after college or graduate school, and many saw a huge decline in their net worth when the Dot Com boom imploded, the housing market tanked and the economy went into the great recession. Some estimates say they lost on average 45% of their net worth – a bigger hit than any other generation has taken in a long time.

Despite these terrible economic conditions, Gen Xers are resilient, successful, and deserving of more focus. Marketers have never been beating down their doors because this generation isn’t as large as the Boomers or Millennials, and they aren’t known to have the same assets as the Boomers, nor are they known to be as technically savvy as the Millennials. Yet Gen X now represents the largest component of the Mass Affluents (households with at least $100,000 in annual income; approximately 68.5 million consumers)
– a segment marketers DO care about.

In fact, Gen X accounts for 37% of all mass affluent households, and represents approximately 25-31% of current consumption in the U.S. even though this generation makes up only about 20% of the population.

The mass affluent segment – and its Gen X sub-segment – provides a lucrative opportunity for retail banks, community banks and credit unions. Gen Xers are interesting because they are the first generation to have adopted all sorts of new technologies throughout their lives. They are the perfect focus segment for bankers who deliver value through the combination of personal advice/assistance and financial technology capabilities.

How do you begin a segmentation strategy and ensure a focus on Gen X will be profitable? You start at the beginning:

1. Conduct Market Research and Assess Your Competitive Positioning. Take a look at the hard data to define how your organization can differentiate its mass affluent product offering and create value for the segment.

2. Determine Your Value Proposition and Product Strategies. Create the optimal mix of product offerings to meet the needs of these customers. It’s time to identify value propositions to create effective differentiation, grow revenue and maximize segment profitability.

3. Create a Sales Strategy and Ensure Sales Team Effectiveness. Gen-Xers are using multiple channels throughout the sales process to research, begin, and complete the sales and onboarding processes. Ensure your organization is capable of supporting sales from the customer’s point of view – meaning they can begin, pause and complete the process via any channel at any time.

4. Guarantee Service Effectiveness. Seamless delivery of an excellent and consistent customer experience across all channels is critical. Gen Xers like talking to humans as well as using online resources. When they want to talk with a live person, you have to be prepared and make it count!

5. Understand Pricing and Profitability Management. Your organization should have pro formas and a plan to maximize profitability, rationalize product packaging and implement value-based pricing – and a plan for ongoing pricing strategies, reporting and management.

6. Address Organizational Structure and Effectiveness. Identify the most effective organizational design for executing your segment strategy. Evaluate and implement alternative roles and/or responsibilities that will ensure delivery of effective solutions and the desired experience to your clients.

And as for the Rodney Dangerfield of generations, it’s time to give Gen Xers some respect and attention. They are in their prime earning years – and prime years for financial services help and assistance. Why not take a closer look to see if your institution can capitalize on a large, profitable and relatively underserved market? You’ll earn their respect and their wallets!

To find out how CPG can help you with your Gen X segmentation strategy, contact Mary Ellen Georgas (email, 917-328-7872,
@megeorgas).



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