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  • Finance Marketing: 6 Data-Backed Strategies

Banks, investment firms, and retirement planning services have rapidly evolved over the last 10 years to keep up with the way consumer behavior is changing. People are no longer tied to local branches, and consumers are skipping lines at the bank in favor of mobile deposits and ATM kiosks.

finance marketing data showing in-person vs online banking for different generations

So what do people prioritize when it comes to finding a financial institution and how are they managing their money today?

In order to better understand your target audience and how they invest, save, and plan for their financial futures, we conducted a study of 2,005 adults across the US to get data on:

  • How consumers invest and plan (by age group and gender)
  • What factors customers consider when choosing a bank
  • The importance of online banking
  • What sources consumers seek out when making banking and investing decisions

We’re diving into the data and sharing how each point impacts your finance marketing strategy.


6 essential finance marketing strategies

Here, we’ll dig into each data point we uncovered from our study and provide finance marketing tips that can elevate your strategy for 2022 and beyond.

1. Tailor your marketing messaging by age group

It’s no surprise that there are marked differences and sentiments in retirement planning and investment across generations. But some of the ways they differ may surprise you.

For instance, we found that Gen Z and Millennials are quite confident in their finance and investing knowledge—utilizing a wide range of investment resources and diversifying what they invest in. And while Millennials may have a bad rap when it comes to finances, they’re actually saving and investing a larger portion of their income compared to older consumers.

Gen X, on the other hand, invests less than Millennials and Gen Zers as more of their income is dedicated to basic living expenses. They have a lower level of confidence in their financial knowledge, making them less likely to invest and plan for the future.

Working Baby Boomers also invest less than Gen Z or Millennials, but they do contribute to retirement plans and/or low-risk investments to save for the future.

finance marketing data - how different generations save and invest

What this means for your finance marketing:

  • How you market your bank or investment firm largely depends on who you’re targeting, and marketing messages should be tailored as such.
  • There’s an opportunity to educate Gen X consumers about how and why to invest and plan for the future that can help you target and draw them in.
  • Two-thirds of working Baby Boomers believe their financial situation will worsen in the next year, so you can incorporate this sentiment into your marketing messages and communicate how your bank or investment firm can help them.

2. Adjust your messaging by gender

Beyond looking at how consumers approach banking, investing, and retirement planning by age, we also wanted to see if there was a difference between how men and women are managing their finances in order to influence your finance marketing.

Our study found that men tend to save and invest a larger portion of their income than women. Men also were found to have higher confidence in their financial knowledge and see the stock market as less risky than women.

Alternatively, women stated that they have lower confidence in their financial knowledge and tend to spend a larger portion of their income on daily living expenses, leaving less for investing and planning.

finance marketing data - difference in planning and investing by gender

What this means for your finance marketing:

  • There’s an opportunity to target women with education and tools to help them feel more confident in their financial knowledge and their options for investments and savings.
  • You can target marketing messages to men that focus on diversifying their investment portfolios or expanding into the stock market.
  • Tailoring your messaging to your audience can help improve your advertising results. We found that the finance industry has a high and healthy click-through rate for display ads at 3.07% (the average across all industries is less than 1%!). This data is based on the results we’ve delivered for over 100 finance clients running display advertising in the last 24 months.

3. Focus on your service and reputation

We wanted to understand how and why consumers choose their banks. Not surprisingly, the top three features consumers look for in a bank are price, customer service, and reputation.

finance marketing data that shows what consumers look for in a bank

Although so much of banking and investing has gone digital, consumers are still interested in an institution that prioritizes customer service and takes care of their customers, which includes low (and no hidden!) fees.

What this means for your bank marketing:

  • Reputation is of the utmost importance, and online sentiment and reviews can sway consumers either to your bank—or away from it. Put a focus on building a positive online reputation and managing reviews across all branches and locations.
  • Make it easy for customers to get in contact with your institution. Adding live chat to your website and making your phone number accessible to users are key.

4. Lead with your online banking options

Online banking was arguably the most important feature consumers considered when choosing their bank, with 90% of customers having banked online, either through an app or an online portal. This was across all age groups.

However, in the last year two-thirds of Baby Boomers did still bank in person—which was more than any other age group.

Digging further into online banking, we found that over 90% of consumers who banked online in the last year were satisfied with their experience.

finance marketing stats that show how people are banking online and in person

What this means for your bank marketing:

  • Offering online banking—and making it a good experience—is crucial to winning new customers for your bank.
  • When marketing to Baby Boomers, you can and should still emphasize the in-person banking experience, whether that’s multiple locations, quick service, and personalized assistance.
  • Promoting online banking information in your search ads can help you increase clicks and engagement. We found that finance has a relatively low cost per click of $4.57 with a high click-through rate of 70% (the average across all industries is 3.17%). This data is based on results we’ve delivered for over 300 finance businesses running search advertising in the last 24 months.

5. Educate your audience on the importance of investing

In order to better understand your target customers, it’s important to know their top challenges or reasons for not taking the next step in securing their financial future. We asked respondents why they don’t currently have stocks, bonds, or securities, and the answers varied across age groups.

For example, 35% of Gen Zers said they don’t currently invest because they’re not sure where to start, while 42% of Gen Xers said their reason is they feel they don’t have enough money. Millennials shared sentiments with both Gen Z and Gen X, with 33% feeling that they don’t have enough money to invest and 30% saying they don’t know where to start.

finance marketing data that shows why different generations aren't investing

What this means for your finance marketing:

  • Education is key when it comes to marketing your bank or investment firm. As so many consumers are unsure where to start, you can provide this insight and guide them throughout the process.
  • You can also create marketing messaging that speaks to the importance of planning and investing while making it more accessible.

6. Provide expert financial advice and resources tailored for your audience

Speaking of educating your customers, our study found that consumers, especially those in the younger generations, seek out financial advice and resources.

While Gen X and Baby Boomers tend to rely on traditional advice from those around them, Gen Z and Millennials are more likely to search for information from multiple media and advertising sources to make investing decisions.

In fact, over a fifth of Gen Z and Millennials use social media as an investing resource. Facebook is the top source for Millennials, while 75% of Gen Z use YouTube and 53% use TikTok and/or Snapchat.

percent of generations that use social media as an investment resource

What this means for your bank marketing:

  • Understanding your target audience and where they search for information about your business is crucial.
  • Social media marketing is a key strategy that should be an integral part of your finance marketing.
  • You can (and should!) test educational content on social media to attract new, younger consumers to your institution.


Make your finance marketing count in 2022

By better understanding your audience, their behavior, and how they’re engaging with banks, investment firms, and retirement planning services, you can create a winning marketing strategy. For more detailed information about our finance marketing study, reach out to me, and I’d love to walk you through even more of our data.

Jennifer Sexton

Vice President, Strategy and Insights


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