Targeting is a key to marketing success. Rather than designing marketing promotions for everyone the best campaigns are those that aim for a specific group (or as one of my colleagues once said, “don’t do a ‘spray and pray’ promotion”).
Most financial marketers know this. Most boards don’t. For example, it’s actually a good thing if your 75-year old board member says they never hear or see your commercials or ads (unless of course, you are trying to reach the 75 year old crowd).
There are several common demographic targets many financial institutions are seeking: Hispanics, wealthy professionals, blue-collar workers, the Millennial Generation, Baby Boomer borrowers, etc. While those are all well and good, they are fairly broad and generic. The more tightly you can target a particular niche the more likely you are to reach them. It’s better to “own” a smaller niche than be unknown to a large mass of people.
Seth Godin once famously said, “The best way to reach the masses is to target a niche.”
So rather than having some of those generic groups mentioned above, financial marketers should focus on a few tighter groups that are extremely influential in their circles. Here are three emerging niche markets credit unions and banks should consider when developing their brand or individual marketing campaigns:
- Mompreneurs—Defined as a female business owner who is actively balancing the role of mom and entrepreneur, these individuals are extremely influential both in their communities and their homes. In fact, they are often starting their business from home while juggling an incredibly busy family schedule. Think of all the moms you know who are working part-time from their homes. Their financial needs include more time than money (show them how your products save them time); banking on the go; and branches that cater to busy moms (think kids play area and free WiFi so they can work on their business while waiting to conduct their transaction). For an example of a financial institution reaching this group check out Fort Worth Community Credit Union’s Gabby. You can also read more about Mompreneurs here.
- HENRYs—Defined as “high earners, not rich yet” this group of consumers have incomes between $100K and $250K. They are ahead of the middle class but not considered wealthy (earn more than $250K per year) yet. They are often a few years removed from college and working in well-paid professions. Many are even DINKs (Dual Income, No Kids). Some demographers define HENRYs as “highly educated, not rich yet.” Their financial needs include student loan debt consolidation, first-time homes, auto loans and rewards based credit cards. A few financial institutions are reaching this group with a bundling strategy. You can read more about HENRYs here.
- SOHOs—Defined as someone who is working in a “small office home office” these are the growing group of consumers who are working from home. Think of all the people you already know who are in this emerging group (more and more people are working from home than ever before). They probably travel for work, may or may now own their own business and rarely if ever commute. Many have a DIY (Do it Yourself) attitude and want that when it comes to their banking. Their financial needs include a top-notch mobile app, mobile deposit banking (they never want to come to your branch), home improvement loans (to remodel and maximize their home office) and business loans (especially if they own their own business). You can read more about SOHOs here.
While the list above may give you a few good ideas be sure to avoid the “buzzword bingo” trap. Don’t target these groups because they are cool, trendy and buzz worthy. Rather target them for strategic reasons.
You can’t be all things to all people. So stop trying. Instead, target a few of these emerging niches.