An Inside Look At How Banks Court Customers

Photo: Flickr/shouldbecleaning

It’s always interesting to see the intense detail businesses put into wooing the public, and this age-by-age guide to courting new bank customers by Financial Brand’s Margie Church is no exception.Church suggests banks target customers before they’re even old enough to get a licence. The key to attracting tweens (ages 9-14), she says, is basically double-pronged: Birthday cards and their parents. 

The latter is a given—mum and Dad will probably intercept the mail anyway—but it was the card idea that stood out. 

A birthday shout-out makes sense, given the fact that there really isn’t a reason for a bank to be corresponding with a fifth grader. It’d also give parents an easy way to strike up a conversation about finances – and hopefully keep their kids off their couch after college.

“Sending an annual birthday greeting is a simple, friendly way to start your campaign,” Church says. “Incentives and rewards are good motivators for children.” 

The B-Day method works for teens, too, along with revved-up invitations to start their own checking and savings account, especially with college just a few years away. 

After college, banks have their customer base all figured out: “Email is a powerful tool for these nomadic young adults, who may change their physical address three to four times during this period.” 

All in all, these methods are a lot less desperate-sounding than others we’ve seen recently. Financial Brand was quick to champion Florida’s C1 Bank’s Mercedes Benz sign-up bonus last month, even going so far as to encourage more rewards for the Gen Y crowd: 

This could be a particularly deadly approach to take with the next generation of CD investors — Gen-Y, also known as Gen Now.”

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