Ever seen the TV commercial with a bunch of stodgy old bankers being herded behind the velvet rope, refusing to accept new ways? One technology expert says many rural Iowa bankers are really that way and they need to adapt — or they’re history. Trevor Hendrickson, CEO of "T-8 Design" in Cedar Falls, is addressing a bankers’ conference in central Iowa today about the importance of addressing younger customers, especially Generation Y.
Hendrickson says: "They spend an average of 16-point-seven hours per week online, excluding e-mail. They are pragmatic, they’re worldly, they are materialistic and they’re driven by technology. Technology probably plays a more influential role with Generation-Y than any other generation previously."
He says Gen-Y was born between 1977 and ’92, they’re better educated and goal-oriented than previous generations. For community banks in Iowa to survive, Hendrickson says they have to start catering to potential customers beyond the Baby Boomers, their loyal clients the past 30 years.
Hendrickson says: "Each generation that comes up, they’re looking for convenience. They’re looking to be targeted through personalization. They’re looking to be communicated with through media that is of interest to them, and that is something that community banks have traditionally had a hard time grasping." He says the recent WaMu advertising campaign has been an incredible success, which demonstrates his point.
Hendrickson says, "In 2005, 42-percent of all new on-line banking sign-ups were through Washington Mutual. In a very short period of time, they’re the sixth largest bank in the United States, and they’re that way because they’re focusing on these younger generations, they’re building their base, they’re focusing on brand development." Hendrickson is one of the lecturers at today’s Iowa Bankers’ Association Marketing Conference in West Des Moines.