Financial Marketing to Each Generation

When it comes to marketing at banks and credit unions, millennials get a lot of attention. They’re the largest generation with the biggest workforce, so it makes sense. But, it’s important that you not forget about reaching other generations. Baby boomers, Gen X, and Gen Z are all part of your customer base, and each generation has different financial preferences and priorities.

Let’s take a look at how you can successfully target each one.

Baby Boomers

Born between 1946 and 1964, the baby boomer generation hit its peak in 1999 with 78.8 million people, and for the first time in history, the U.S. Census Bureau projects seniors to outnumber children by 2035.

What They Need

For the most part, baby boomers are of or nearing, retirement age. Their financial interests primarily focus on maximizing the value of the assets they have accumulated and  setting up their children and grandchildren for success. A few banking products that appeal to them include: maturing CDs, investments and annuities, secondary accounts, and legacy planning. This generation no longer needs new retail lending options; they need wealth management  services.

How to Reach Them

As with any generation, it’s important to remember baby boomers have varying responsibilities and life situations. Some may be caring for elderly parents, while others may have teenage or young adult children to support. That’s why bank marketing tools and messages should be tailored to each phase of life. Additionally, prioritize customer service at your branch locations, as 28% of baby boomers define “convenience” when banking as having a “branch near me.”

Gen X

Smaller than its adjacent generations, Generation X includes people born between 1965 and 1980. A 2014 Pew Report found Gen Xers will outnumber baby boomers by 2028, but only 36% have more wealth than their parents, due to debt.

What They Need

With 24% of Gen X household incomes topping $150,000, this is the highest-earning generation today. As a result, Gen Xers have the most accounts and use the most bank products compared with other demographics. They’re at the peak of their careers  and seeking ways to grow their wealth. However, 41% say they receive no financial advice; they prefer to manage everything themselves.

How to Reach Them

Given their DIY attitude, Gen Xers value convenience and frictionless banking above all else. In fact 75% say frictionless is a top-three financial institution trait. Because of this, they choose to interact with banks mostly online and via mobile channels: 65% used online and 67% used mobile in the past month. Focus your Gen X efforts on streamlined services that support their financial investments and can be easily accessed on digital platforms.


Test CTAMillennials, born between 1981 and 1996, are on the cusp of becoming the largest living generation. This shift has impacted all industries, including banking, which now must meet digital expectations of millennials with growing financial needs.

What They Need

According to the 2019 PwC Employee Financial Wellness Survey, 76% of millennials are experiencing financial stress, primarily related to cash flow, debt issues and insufficient savings. This generation will also transition from “discretionary spending” to “necessity spending” over the next decade as they purchase cars and homes. Millennials need lending and banking options that help them overcome debt, so they can responsibly take on this next phase of spending.

How to Reach Them

As digital pioneers, millennials have shaped the way much of the digital world operates. They expect fast, user-friendly options from their bank, just as they have in every other area of their lives. When asked how they define “convenience” when banking, 26% of millennials said “useful online/mobile banking,” compared to 16% who said “branch near me.” It’s no secret that millennials spend a ton of time on their phones and on social media; you need a strong online presence and marketing campaigns integrated across all digital platforms to get in front of them.

Gen Z

Representing the youngest generation, Gen Z includes people born from 1997 to present day. Raised during the Great Recession, this generation has shaped their financial perspective based on the crisis's impact on their childhood and adolescent years. They are prone to avoid debt and prioritize savings, even now.

What They Need

Older Gen Zers have just started to enter the workforce, and their primary financial focus will be on setting themselves up for long-term financial success and staying out of debt. In fact, 29% believe debt should be reserved for a few things, and 23% believe debt should be avoided at all costs. Like Gen Xers, they also want to handle finances on their own, with 87% taking a “do it yourself” approach.

How to Reach Them

Gen Zers are digital natives — they’ve never had to adapt to technology because it’s always been part of their lives. Amazon, Facebook, Apple and Google have dominated their worlds for as long as they can remember, and they have a 65% likelihood to bank with one of these big tech companies. This generation is looking for a truly digital customer experience with the same level of personalization that’s built into all of the other platforms they use.

Multi-Generational Bank Marketing with 360 View

360 View wants to help you reach each generation of customers with content and offerings tailored for their specific phases of life. Our growth platform includes marketing tools for banks to move from a broad approach to strategic, targeted campaigns. Learn more by downloading our white paper “Growing Local Banks in the Millennial Market.”


Growing local banks in the millennial marketing resource