Meeting the Needs of …

Sophie Grender

Business Development Director

Royal Mail

Meeting the needs of under 30s and over 70s In financial services
In the article below, Sophie Grender provides an exploration of each age groups interactions with financial services communications with a focus on mail. You can also download the complete PowerPoint presentation by using the download button.
Back in March I attended a Financial Services Forum panel discussion around meeting the needs of the under 30s and over 70s.
This inspired me to take a closer look at the very latest data available on how these age groups interact with different channels (and in particular mail – well I do work for Royal Mail!) and to see if we were missing anything in our understanding of how these age groups like to interact with their financial services providers.
Research that we’ve undertaken within MarketReach previously has always pointed to the fact that all age groups interact with their mail in a very similar way but young people just get a lot less mail as brands believe their lives are so intrinsically within the digital world that mail simply isn’t the right channel.
Latest JICMAIL and Kantar Choices data fusion
I was able to tap into the very latest data from JICMAIL, the newly established Joint Industry Committee for mail, providing reach and frequency for the very first time in this channel.  It was set up in January 2017 to provide data which is aligned to all other major channels like TV with BARB and Radio with Rajar and so on.  Since JICMAIL was set up the data has since been fused with Kantar Choices (TGI) so that the data can be analysed alongside the rich set of data within this planning tool around media consumption and attitudinal data by age groups.
The young are not confident managing their money
The young don’t feel very confident at managing their finances.  So, they have a higher propensity to disagree with the statement below.  Whereas the over 65s feel much more in control.
“I am very good at managing my money”.

The over 65s are more likely to trust their bank
“I trust banks/building societies to look after my money”

Banks and building societies have earned the trust of their older customers and this increases with age.  But the younger age groups largely under-index or show ambivalence when it comes to trusting their bank or building society with their money.  The young are more likely to neither agree nor disagree with the statement.
It begs the question whether that trust will naturally build over time or do financial services brands need to invest in Gen Z and the Millennials before it is too late.
And whilst the young consumer engages more online they get very little mail
18-29-year olds are consuming a lot of internet content.  Our younger cohorts are definitely spending a lot of time online – 18-24-year olds averaging 6.2 hours a day engaging with online content and 3.6 hours a day on their mobiles.  This is only slightly lower for the 25-29-year olds consuming 5.8 hours online.  With gaming being the next most significant channel at 19.7 for 18-24-year olds and 18.5 for 25-29-year olds.
The older cohorts are more likely to be engaging with legacy channels like watching TV or listening to the radio.  Apart from the 65-74-year olds whose second largest channel behind TV is also the internet.
How much mail to they get?
On the mail front young people simply don’t get a lot of mail.  You can see from the chart they are much more likely at 18-24 to get none or 1 or 2 packs a week.  Whereas the older age groups over-index on 15-19 mail packs a week.

But what is most interesting of all, that despite this both age groups interact with their mail in pretty much the same way.
Both age groups interact with their mail in very similar ways
JICMAIL data shows that frequency (number of times someone returns to a mailing pack) is almost exactly the same across age groups.  And we looked at this just for financial services pieces, comprising information about products/services, financial statements/bills, notifications and reminders and so on.  The frequency figures are consistently high, with the average for all financial services mail across the entire population averaging 4.7.

There is one interesting difference, that the younger groups are significantly more likely to hang on to their mail for longer and to take it out of the house at some point.  Our older groups deal with their mail more functionally than the young.
And they view it as being associated with the “important stuff”
Yet they both see mail as being similar in the way they view what it is good for doing.  The kinds of words that consumers spontaneously suggest for mail is that it is formal, official and believable, reliable, informative and personal.  All particularly good facets which foster trust and loyalty in the brands that use the channel.
Question:  ‘Please choose the words you most associate with the different ways that [industry sector] tend to communicate with you [by mail]’

And what’s their outlook on life?
On a final note we took a look at some attitudinal data that showed young people are much more focused on the here and now and looking for “life’s pleasures”, the older groups (whilst they haven’t stopped looking for fun) are more contented with what they’ve got and happy in their lives.  Nice to know!
What might you do with this information?
It seems to me there’s some interesting points here which you might want to read more about.  Young people have not built up trust in the financial services brands they are using but the older group has. Young people don’t get a lot of mail but they believe that it is good at delivering ‘official’, ‘informative’, ‘personal’ and ‘believable’ information.  And whilst they don’t get much mail right now when they do they certainly interact with it and tend to keep it longer than the older group.
If you want to find out more, download the complete PowerPoint presentation using the download button at the top of this article.  Or if you want to find out more do get in touch.

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