For the first time in history, there are three generations to market to in the consumer lending landscape - and they all use different media for shopping and buying.In the Ancient World, when buyers needed goods or services, they’d go to the Agora - the marketplace - where merchants and craftsmen made and sold their wares.
By the mid-1800s, the original “search engine” came to be - when the first business directories were published. Then, on February 21, 1878, the first telephone directory was printed - on a single piece of cardboard. It listed 50 businesses in New Haven, CT that had telephones.
If you owned a business in 1878, you had over 50 years to decide whether you needed one of these new-fangled telephone devices in your shop. That’s because mainstream adoption happened at a very slow pace.
By comparison, smartphone adoption took only 50 months. Every invention - from the telephone to the iPad - has been embraced by consumers at an exponential rate. This has caused a unique problem. Users of the previous technology haven’t died.
Think about it. My grandma saw the telephone, radio, and television become mainstream. She passed away in 2001, when the Internet was barely hitting its stride. Marketing to her was simple.
The generation that followed, Baby Boomers, grew up with all three, then watched the rise of Internet, smartphones, and social media. Marketing to them wasn't so simple.
Baby Boomers grew up using the phone book. And while many have become Internet and smartphone users, many still rely on the Yellow Pages.
If you provide financial services to consumers (mortgages, refinancing, home equity loans, first-time mortgages, or other real estate services) then you must market across three generations.
There are close to 80 million Baby Boomer consumers in the US, and 80% of this generation's household decisions are made or influenced by women.
The Boomer Generation also has the largest number of home owners. According to a 2017 study, conducted by the National Association of Realtors, nearly 80% of Boomers own their own homes, and almost 90% have owned at some point in their lives.
Gen X (36 – 50) has highest education levels but make less money individually than their parents did. However, overall household income is higher because more women are in the workforce.
Gen X is “The Connected Generation,” having embraced smartphones, e-mail, and text messaging.
Contrary to popular opinion, many members of this blended generation have graduated college, entered the work force, married, and are interested in purchasing homes.
They account for $1.3 trillion in consumer spending - over 20 percent of the nation's total. Also, according to a study by The National Association of Realtors, they were the largest group of home buyers (34%) for the fourth consecutive year.
Most of these first-time home buyers have just graduated from college, or are in the first few years of their professional careers. But they still crave social connectivity with their peers. So when you engage with them, you'll need to give them an experience they’ll want to share.
While each generation has a different mindset, they all use Yellow Pages, the Internet, and smartphones to find the goods and services they need. Which is why studies show that:
Consumers use a combination of both print, search engines, and online information to find local businesses
To convert multi-generation consumers into customers, you must be found in print, Internet, and mobile search. Here’s why:
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 2012 LOCAL MEDIA TRACKING STUDY, BURKE INC.
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