Content strategist Jennie Kim lays out the three components of a winning content strategy and...
Understanding new demographic realities will be a chief strategic concern. Calling it “the biggest consumer market-research project of the decade,” Ad Age predicts that the 2010 U.S. Census, now underway and due out in early 2011, will reveal dramatic shifts.6
“The concept of an ’average American’ is gone, probably forever,“ demographics expert Peter Francese writes in 2010 America, a new Ad Age white paper related to the Census. “The average American has been replaced by a complex, multidimensional society that defies simplistic labeling.“7
“For CMOs and other business leaders, that translates into a moment of truth for existing marketing and business strategies,“ writes Tariq Khan, president of New York-based Global Diversity Marketing. “Your target customer is not the typical John D., age 25 to 65 making $75K,” he explains. “Companies without a well-defined strategy for baby boomers, multicultural, women, Gen X/Y and social marketing are not targeting 80 percent of America.”8
Loyalty to financial institutions can be perishable within this context. Findings from J.D. Power and Associates’ 2009 Retail Banking Satisfaction Study show customer commitment to their retail banks at a two-year low, down six points from 2007. That spells bad news, since on average, highly committed customers use more products, give more referrals and are much less likely to switch to another bank. Troubling too, is where commitment is slipping; J.D. Power and Associates found that customers reporting the lowest commitment levels in 2009 are those deemed most valuable, typically with deposit balances 15 percent higher than average.9
The industry’s historic lack of differentiation is yet another issue. In its 2007 Customer Loyalty Engagement Index, New York-based customer engagement and loyalty consultancy Brand Keys found that banks lack brand differentiation; consumers know about their products and services, but not anything else in particular.10 According to the authors of the Branding Strategy Insider blog, firms will now have to invest those products and services with real values—they will actually have to stand for something in customers’ eyes.11