McClatchy Jan 9, 2024 10:29:00 AM

How Banks Can Reach Customers at Every (Life) Stage with Audience Segmentation

Audience segmentation for bank customer marketing

Bank customers have diverse needs – and marketing helps match services to those needs and provide better customer experiences. But first, it is vital to learn what they want and need. In other words, you need to know what matters to them to offer services that resonate with your customers.  

The solution to matching services to your audience is segmenting audiences by life stage.

Life stage segmentation is a marketing tactic that organizes different customer groups based on where they are in their lives, such as their age, income, lifestyle, or whether they have kids. Gaining deeper insight into your customers allows you to customize your content and offerings based on what is relevant to them in their particular stage of life, providing more personalized marketing experiences.

In this post, we’ll go over how banks can learn about their customers to properly create audience segments and how they can shape their marketing message to resonate with each group.

Understand Banking Customers to Improve Experiences 

There was a time when having friendly employees to greet your banking guests was the barometer of a great customer experience. As online services increase in scope and popularity, you may have little to no face-to-face interaction with your customers. However, banks must be cognizant that blending human and digital services creates a superior customer experience. That means knowing what is important to each segment and making it easy for them to find the type of help they need and prefer.

Developing this understanding helps you determine which services will be most relevant to specific customers, so you can market them only to those who can benefit from them. It will help you personalize marketing, which provides better customer experiences, and make your marketing spending more efficient because you’re only presenting ads to those who will likely be interested.

How Banks Can Segment Audience Groups  

Banks can segment their audiences in the following ways: 

  • Demographic segmentation - Demographic factors such as age, gender, education level, income, marital status, and occupation can significantly impact customer expectations. That is particularly true in areas of costs, shareholder returns, and growth. 
  • Geographic segmentation - Where your customers are located may also impact what services are most important. Their geographical location can range from continent to country, region, city, or neighborhood, all with varying needs or expectations. 
  • Psychographic segmentation - Dividing your audience based on values, attitudes, interests, and lifestyle is particularly useful for creating more personal, targeted marketing messages
  • Behavioral segmentation - Understanding user behavior, such as purchasing habits, product usage rate, brand interactions, and more, helps you form more impactful campaigns directed at these behaviors. 
  • Benefit segmentation - Basing your offerings on the particular needs and wants of a particular customer segment helps you with your campaign strategies by identifying what benefits customers look for in a product or service. 

Bank Customers' Needs Change as They Age 

In today's online banking world, where it is easy to change accounts or shop for mortgages, banks want to create strong customer relationships and garner customer loyalty. They want to attract and retain their customers for the long term. Segmenting customers based on life stages can inform ongoing customer strategy to establish life-long and even multi-generational customers.

As you segment your customers, list which services are most popular for each group. You can use that to inform your marketing messaging across your segments so that you can better match ads to specific groups. That will also enable you to adjust your marketing to present relevant service offerings as customers progress through the different stages of life. By adapting your messaging through customers’ lives, banks can position themselves as a helpful resource as people undergo any changing life circumstances.

Match Marketing to Life's Changes 

How do banks match their offerings to different lifestyles or life stages? Customer segmentation is a start. Then, they must show that they recognize the different needs of young or first-time banking customers compared to those focused on growing their investment portfolios or preparing for retirement. Banks can entice new bank customers by offering checking accounts, savings accounts, or credit cards, which they can then upsell to mortgages, business accounts, or accounts for their children.

Banks can cultivate long-term customers by creating trusting relationships and responding with offerings that match their progression. For instance, a young teen may start with a savings account established with the help of a parent. They then open a checking account as they get their first job, learn about investments to help them create financial security into adulthood, and take advantage of competitive mortgage rates as they find homes.

By ushering them through their formative years with services that help build financial security, banks become the first stop for advice and cultivate lasting loyalty. Customers grow with and grow into banking services, so monitoring life stages and creating marketing to customers as they go through life helps them feel recognized and supported. As your customers start families and have kids, they’ll feel confident opening further accounts, giving you a multi-generational customer base.

Providing an Excellent Customer Experience Through Segmentation

Understanding and grouping your audience gives you a clear indication of the services your target customers need most. What affects their interests, values, and decisions impact what they find compelling in banking products and services. For example, customers who are starting their first checking and savings accounts have different needs and interests than young families or retired couples. By learning what motivates each of your banking customers, you can cater your offerings to each segment. 

McClatchy is the nation's second-largest local media company. We've built our business on knowing what is vital to our local communities while cultivating a national reach. Our deep audience understanding and expertise can help banks achieve growth through increased customer experience and enhanced customer loyalty.

Contact us today to learn how we can help you transform your banking customer relationships.

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