In a recent iMedia post, Greg Kihlstrom identified “Three Forgotten Demographics You Should Be Watching.” It’s an excellent piece and one every marketer—especially financial marketers—should read.

He eloquently says, “We have more discourse about Millennials….but what about everyone else?” He is absolutely right. Every time you turn around it seems like there is an article in The Financial Brand, American Banker, CB Insight, CU Insight, CU Times or some other trade publication about how your bank or credit union needs to reach younger consumers.

While that is certainly true, Kihlstrom reminds us about three demographic groups we should not overlook—especially when it comes to reaching them with technology. Let’s review each and see how they are still relevant for your financial institution.

60+ grandparents

Kihlstrom cites Mashable as noting “43% of Americans over age 65 were using at least one social network site.” They are still the fastest growing group of new social media users. And those in this group with higher household income have an even higher rate of technology adoption.

  • Financial institution implication: While they may not be a strong loan target market, banks and credit unions should not completely ignore this demographic—even when it comes to technology. They aren’t on Instagram, Twitter and Vine. However, they are not complete technophobes. Look for ways to do some type of cross-generational promotion at your bank or credit union where you encourage consumers to post pictures of grandparents with their grandchildren.

Gen. X single without kids

Of Gen. X, Kihlstrom writes, “They get a lot of attention as parents these days, but it’s also good to remember that there are many Gen Xers out there with the disposable income (and time) that comes with not having kids and/or spouses.” More and more Gen. X is online and they are online in traditional channels such as Facebook.

  • Financial institution implication: This should absolutely become one of the key target audiences financial institutions are trying to reach. They are in their prime borrowing years and they have tons of debt. Look for ways to reduce that heavy debt load with debt consolidation loans. From a tactical perspective, use Facebook as a marketing tool with any promotion you are doing. Any loan promotion NOT using Facebook will NOT reach Generation X.

Generation Z

Kihlstrom identifies this group as those born in the mid-2000s or later. For marketers, that means those kids between 11 and 16. He notes that “the have lived almost their entire lives with touchscreens and connected devices. Generation Z is also the most diverse generation and 81% are on social media.”

  • Financial institution implication: If you want to get younger don’t wait until they are 16 to start marketing financial products and services to them. Start early. Look for ways to use Instagram and video in your marketing efforts. Since most of them are using “The Bank of Mom & Dad” look for ways to creatively conduct a social media campaign where the kids teach the parents how to use a new social media tool (like Vine or Instagram), the parents open an account for the kid and the financial institution makes the initial deposit.


The Millenials are getting tons of press and discussion these days. One of your strategic initiatives at your credit union or bank is probably reaching Generation Y.

But ignore these other key groups at your own risk.