Reposted from my 3fold Communications blog

Communications can make or break your business goals. So, how do you target your messages when everyone communicates differently or when you have multiple demographics in your target audience?

First step, and we know it’s not a popular word, but you have to generalize. At least a little bit.

Build the foundation of your marketing and sales strategy by understanding your target audience’s communications habits. How do they spend their free time? How do they find your company? What communication messages will they trust?

Unfortunately, the actual strategies aren’t one-size-fits-all for every business. How you, and we mean you specifically, create these multi-generational strategies relies on your specific type of business and industry.

This is an interesting, and challenging, endeavor – in other words, our favorite kind of challenge. So, we’re going to approach this topic talking about specific industries.

First up, credit unions.

Credit Union Image

Why credit unions? Because they are rolling in opportunity right now. Particularly in the areas we specialize in knowing about: hyper-local strategy and economic development programs.

The overview.

Today, more generations than ever before are sharing a very small marketplace. Their massively differing values and world views are constantly butting against each other creating more noise, distrust and demand on the marketplace than any time in history.

The five generations on today’s economic game board are: the Civics, those born between 1923 and the early 1940s; Baby Boomers, those born in the early 1940s to the early 1960s; Gen X, those born between the early 1960s and the early 1980s; Millennials, those born between the early 1980s and the later 1990s; and Gen Z, those born in the early 1990s to the present. (We know, depending on where you’re looking, the dates can differ…this is our rule of thumb for them.)

The opportunity.

Look at the up-and-comers.

While the Civics and Baby Boomers have driven the economic engine for decades, the three youngest generations are finally getting their moments to shine. Gen X is stepping into the leadership roles held by retiring Boomers, Millennials are shaping the future of the next-generation workforce, and Gen Z is preparing to enter the market in a big way during the next few years.

And all three generations have very different values, preferences and opinions than their seniors about how they want to the world to work and communicate. Knowing what shaped their beliefs and values, how they think and, what, why and from where they buy plays a big part in earning their business.

For credit unions, there is an opportunity to capture and build a young, vibrant and loyal customer base for years to come.

How do they do this?

In order to do this, credit unions must customize how they communicate.

While communication is something most of us do naturally in our day-to-day personal interactions, for some reason, in the business world, we seem to be on a constant look out for a one-size-fits-all approach to marketing and communications. Why is that?

Small tweaks to your communications strategies can make a big difference in connecting with Gen X, Millennials, and Gen Z. And while each of these generations has unique characteristics, demands, values and preferences that are often at odds with their surrounding generations, today’s technologies and social platforms allow for greater customization for relationship building without losing scale.

Understanding and adapting your credit union’s business tactics to address your customer base by generation can generate more sales, better client relationships, and exponential growth for your organization.

If you’d like to get more information on connecting with different generations as part of your marketing and sales strategies for credit unions, you can download a FREE eBook here.

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