Getting to Know You: The Mass Affluent Digitals


See what makes this unique group tick — and how to win them over.

You know about the mass affluent. You know about Baby Boomers, Generation X and Millennials. But what happens when you layer digital preferences on top of these segments? You might get some surprises. We provide a peek behind the curtain to help you win them over and keep them faithful.

Who are we talking about?
We’re defining the mass affluent as households with $250,000 to $1 million in investable assets. By Nielsen figures, the group makes up 11 percent of U.S. households and controls 26 percent of the country’s wealth.¹

We’re overlaying the mass affluent segment with what Accenture recently dubbed Generation D (for digital, of course): 75 million consumers “who are deeply digital, integrating online and social technologies into the fabric of their lives.”2

Table 11,2

       Mass Affluent
       41% are Boomers        39% of Boomers are in Generation D
        14% are Gen X         51% of Gen X are in Generation D
       9% are Millennials         45% of Millennials are in Generation D

What makes them different — and what does it mean to you?
As you might guess, mass affluent Generation D consumers have a higher net worth, higher income and higher expectations for service — just like other mass affluents. And, as their name states, they’re keyed-in to digital technology. But what does that mean in terms of banking?

They have device preferences. Boomers are more likely to head for a computer or tablet than to grab a smartphone when they want to manage online banking tasks. Millennials are just the opposite. However, both generations generally prefer electronic over traditional interactions with their financial institution.

  • What it means for you: When you’re deploying marketing campaigns for products, services and channels, make sure you’re targeting these generations individually, so the most relevant message gets to the right group. Even within this mass affluent Generation D sub-segment, marketing can’t be one size fits all.

They go online to gather information. From this consumer base, 75 percent use at least one online channel to learn about products or services.²

  • What it means for you: If you don’t already have a content library on your website, it’s time to build one. Eighty-four percent of mass affluent Boomers and 79 percent of mass affluent Millennials “value a knowledgeable financial broker or advisor who they trust” when making financial decisions.¹ Having value-added (versus promotional) content on your website helps position you as that knowledgeable, trustworthy advisor. And it can help your search engine placement, too.

They’re open to the idea of branchless, fully digital banks and other alternative financial institutions. Fifty percent would consider banking with Square if it offered such services, and 41 percent say the same about PayPal.²

  • What it means for you: You need to make sure that your bank offers all the convenience, simplicity and accessibility via digital means that you offer through an in-branch experience. That includes allowing customers to sign and submit paperwork digitally. It also means considering some new partnerships — like with innovative technology providers who would make better allies than competitors, as well as local merchants you can work with to deliver special offers to select consumers.

They’re just fine with automation — as long as it’s personal. These customers are content using calculators, dashboards and other tools rather than a personal discussion every time they want advice. Roughly half want you to be proactive in suggesting solutions to their financial needs.² But they also want the information to be based on their own behaviors, lifestyles and financial goals — and preferably in real time.

  • What it means for you: In the past, providing portfolio management services to any group except high-net-worth customers was cost-prohibitive. By leveraging automation, you could expand this valued service to a new audience.

They want to be recognized. As befits the Me Generation (Millennials), the group that raised them (Boomers), and higher-wealth clients, these people want to be recognized in-branch and online as important customers.

  • What it means for you: To help retain the mass affluent Generation D, shower them with some VIP treatment. Maybe priority service or special discounts from partners. But a lot of that recognition also goes back to making sure you truly understand their needs — and letting them know you do through targeted messages, offers, products and services.

Don’t Forget the Basics
Even with this tech-savvy, digitally focused audience, core values still matter. A lot. More than 80 percent of mass affluent Boomers and Millennials find a bank’s reputation very important, whether they’re choosing a financial institution or making product decisions.¹

So while you’re prioritizing and optimizing your digital experience, don’t neglect the values that made you a success in the first place. After all, traits like integrity, transparency and personable service can give you a win with every generation.

No matter which demographics make up your customer and prospect base, we can help you identify them, understand them and effectively communicate with them. Put CCG’s three decades of expertise to work for you. Email us or call 800.525.0313.

Customer Communications Group, Inc., is not responsible for products or services offered by third parties or websites mentioned and provides such information and sites solely for your convenience.

1. “Digital Enablement for Retail Banking,” The Nielsen Company, 2014

2. “Targeting and Serving the Mass Affluent Client,” BAI Retail Delivery 2014 presentation, Accenture, November 13, 2014