How to Use Segmentation and Buyer Personas to Deliver Targeted Offers

by Sarah Morris

As the demand for more personalized experiences and targeted offers continues to rise in the financial industry, banks and credit unions must learn to rely heavily on their data to build nuanced insights to better serve their customers or members. Since financial relationships aren’t one-size fits all, building audience personas and using segmentation is critical to any financial institution marketing strategy.

Blasting all of your relationships with the same offers at the same time is not the way to optimize profitability and loan and deposit growth. With buyer personas and segmentation, marketers are able to utilize their data to define groups of relationships that look similar and create a targeted offer that is more likely to convert with this particular audience. Audiences can be segmented in many different ways, let’s look at a few of the most successful ways to build an audience persona.

Age and Life Stage

This may be one of the most common and obvious ways to segment and target different audiences. For example, if you want to expand and retain relationships, you’ll want to figure out the best way to communicate with your customers or members across all generations. You wouldn’t market to a “millennial” the same way you would a “baby boomer”. Not only do they care about different financial products during the current stage of their life, but the way you speak to them should be unique, too. Is one age group more likely to be shopping for a car or a house or saving for retirement?

Millennials are known for being “on-the-go” and looking for that instant gratification. This is why things like your online banking products are important to tout to this audience. Highlight the “cutting edge” abilities that your mobile banking offers and speak about it in a way that seems exclusive. Don’t just sell your products, sell a life goal that your millennial audience will find appealing. According to the National Realtors Association Report from 2018, millennials made up the majority of home buyers, most of which were first time home buyers. Using this information you could craft a message for a high-interest savings account to save for a down payment or an offer for a mortgage loan that clearly lays out the benefits and ease of taking out a loan with you.

Gen X-ers are often times looked at as the forgotten middle child, but there’s a great opportunity here to uniquely target this audience segment. They are likely to be in the peak of their careers, have owned a home for a while, and are in the middle of raising their families. Consider things like savings accounts for retirement or their kids’ college or HELOC offers for summer home improvement projects.

When marketing to baby boomers, promote retirement messages as opportunities for growth and new experiences. Baby boomers are more likely to participate in things like luxury travel and offering a cash back or rewards credit card could be ideal. This is also a good audience segment to consider including a phone call as part of your overall communication plan since this generation still values traditional methods of communication.

Interests

Surveying your customers and members is one of the key ways financial institutions can monitor how they’re doing and what their relationships care about. We highly recommend including a financial needs assessment as part of your survey practices. Once or twice a year, consider sending a one question survey to all of your relationships as a way to gauge their financial needs over the next 6 to 12 months. Ask if over the next year they plan on buying a house, buying a car, doing home renovations, saving for college, etc. Then you can aggregate the responses and be able to segment your relationships by specific financial interests, creating an easy way for you to intelligently target your customers and members.

Behavior

Another option for segmenting audiences is to analyze behavior. This includes things like buying patterns, product usage, and product combinations. For example, if you find that most of your relationships that have a high interest checking account with you also have a savings account, identify all of your relationships that have a checking account without a savings account and send them a savings account offer. You can apply this same logic to cross-selling between loan and deposit products.

You can also create a targeted audience based on things like credit score or current balance. For example, if you’re promoting high-interest checking accounts that have a minimum opening balance of $1,000, segment the audience you wish to promote high-interest checking to that you know already meet the minimum requirements. If you’re wanting to promote a specific credit card, segment your audience based on credit score for a credit card or offers like pre-approval. This will help you be sure that you’re sending relevant offers to the right people.

Loyalty

Lastly, consider creating an audience segment based on loyalty. If you have a group of members or customers that are engaged across most products, consider sending special, or VIP, offers to these relationships. You may also opt to add unique verbiage to your messages to this segment that continues to boost loyalty by letting them know that they are your valued, VIP relationships.

Creating unique, targeted audience segments and buyer personas is an important part of knowing what to offer, when to offer, and how you should offer your different products. Core iQ is uniquely designed to house all of your core data in one place, making it easy for you to quickly define and build an audience segment to target with your specific product offers. If you want to see how Core iQ is helping bank and credit union marketers across the U.S., sign up for a quick demo to take a look inside.