The often ignored credit union member

What group of Americans holds over 70% of our collective disposable income?  Is it lawyers, doctors, bankers?  Actually the answer is not so much career based as it is age based.  The Answer:  People over the age of 50.

Don’t believe me?  Just ask AARP.  They have created a new marketing company called Influent50, which is part of AARP’s for-profit subsidiary.  Why?  This is a great opportunity to reach a wealthy and largely IGNORED demographic, just 10% of marketing money targets people over the age of 50.

Historically this age group has been difficult to target, which is most likely the reason they have often gone ignored.  As we age, our buying psychology changes.  These people no longer need BMW to tell them what the ‘Ultimate Driving Machine’ is, instead they want Apple to suggest that they ‘Think Differently’.  Over-50 consumers want the liberty to think for themselves, instead of being told what the product is all about.  Accompanying the historical attitudes marketers have had toward the over-50 crowd are myths – such as, they don’t spend any money and that they are overly brand loyal. Probably the biggest myth surrounding over-50 consumers is that they want to be treated… ‘old’.  Let’s not forget we are talking about 50-somethings in this demographic!

Influent50 hopes to reach over-50 consumers initially in the areas of travel and insurance.  Credit unions would be smart to take a page out of AARP’s book and not forget their over-50 members.  Much attention is being directed by credit unions at millennial and younger consumers with the intent to continue to grow their brand and to ensure their future.  No doubt this is wise (we’ve put together an eBook on how to help your credit union market to millennials).  But ignoring a group of your members that owns the majority of our collective disposable income seems counterproductive.  The Federal Reserve, in their 2015 Consumers and Mobile Financial Services Report, noted 32% of people aged 40 – 59 are using mobile banking, clearly a number that shows ‘older’ credit union members and potential members are comfortable with technology.  They are willing to meet you where you market to your ‘younger’ members.

continue reading »

More News