Like a Gold Mine: The New Generation of Customers: Marketing to Generation X, the Population Wave Coming Behind the Baby Boomers, Will Be Different. for One Thing, Gen Xers Think That Services like Internet Banking Are a Necessity-Not a Luxury

By DeBaugh, Mark | ABA Bank Marketing, December 2003 | Go to article overview

Like a Gold Mine: The New Generation of Customers: Marketing to Generation X, the Population Wave Coming Behind the Baby Boomers, Will Be Different. for One Thing, Gen Xers Think That Services like Internet Banking Are a Necessity-Not a Luxury


DeBaugh, Mark, ABA Bank Marketing


Michael Jackson. Madonna. The Cosby Show. The Dukes of Hazard. Member-Only jackets. Parachute pants. Leg warmers.

Does any of this sound familiar? If you're a Gen Xer, chances are you've been a fan of these artists or TV shows or worn some of these "cool" clothes.

That was yesterday. Where are these kids today? The "kids" of this generation have now started families, obtained a mortgage and a car loan, and most likely participate in a company 401(k), and maybe have some investments of their own.

What does all this have to do with banking? A lot more than you think. In her award-winning white paper, "Generation X Marks the Spot: Profitability Beyond the Boomer," Melonie McCarley Counce formerly with Peoples Bank and Trust Company of Tupelo, Miss., points out the increasing potential of the Generation X market and what it will mean in the years ahead to the bottom line of financial institutions.

According to Counce's paper, most banks still don't get it. "... Banks are failing to see Generation X, the upcoming generation of potential future prospects as the gold mine it represents."

And according to Counce most bankers still view this generation as the young people with tattoos and nose rings. Au contraire: This group is ambitious and will work hard and save money.

Counce quotes industry insiders as saying that banks are making a big mistake in ignoring this group. Gen X business could help build core deposits to fired additional loan growth, giving a healthy boost to the bank's noninterest fee income.

What's important to Gen Xers? According to Counce's sources, the Gen X top three signs of the good life:

* Home.

* A happy marriage.

* Children.

This contrasts starkly with the reality of their upbringing by their baby boomer parents. This generation had to deal with their parents' 40 percent divorce rate. Many ended up by age 16 living in a non-traditional family (headed either by a single parent or composed of children from multiple marriages). …

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