On March 23, 2003, the whole world turned upside-down.
Before that fateful day, I was indestructible … I had a Superman-style invincibility. I lived in the moment, like there was no tomorrow. I selfishly looked out for only my wife and I.
Then, Ben came into this world. At 3:10 PM on March 23, 2003, everything looked different, tasted different, sounded different.
Ben must have been made of Kryptonite, because I was no longer indestructible … within a week, I called for life insurance. He must have controlled time, because suddenly the past meant little and the future meant everything … I started saving money for his college. He must have been able to bend reality, because within a month, I did the unthinkable … something that I swore for three decades I would NEVER do … I bought a minivan (that sliding door is just so darn handy!). Each action, while perception-shattering and life-altering, also had major financial implications.
Here’s your “aha moment” … This was in 2003. Imagine a new dad in 1973. He would have the same needs: He’d be thinking about life insurance for the first time ever, he’d start saving for the future and, while not a minivan in ’73, he would be wanting a more family-friendly vehicle, probably a station wagon with wood panels. Now, fast forward to 2033. There may be some minor differences, his minivan may fly now, but do you really see this dad’s needs changing?
For decades, the ol’ standby in segmentation for Marketers has been: The Greatest Generation, Baby Boomers, Gen X and Millennials. Some may break this down a little tighter, but these are the key segments.
Do you remember when Gen X was first defined? He was a long haired, flannel wearing, Nirvana listening, barista who lived in mom’s basement with little ambition and a bleak future. Remember him?
Today, that Gen X cat is writing a blog about Life Stage Marketing … and you’re reading it!
The point is that we all evolve and generational segmentation becomes, by default, a moving target.
The Paradigm Shift
We all experience milestones in life: We graduate, start careers, get married, have children, buy a home, the kids move out, we become grandparents, we retire. Along the way, we may even lose a loved one or get divorced. All of these milestones are defined by momentous life change. And most of that change has financial implications. As financial marketers, what could be more important?
By the way, for those of you shooting for a Millennial target, aren’t they the one’s tackling the most life milestones right now?
It’s when someone’s world is turning upside-down that they need financial institutions the most. Be there for them.
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