African Americans and banks: It's complicated.

African Americans and banks: It's complicated.

Unbanked.

It’s how financial institutions refer to consumers who have no checking or savings account. Those who have an account and interact with payday lenders and other alternative financial services are called “underbanked.”

There’s lots of research connecting unbanked and underbanked to poverty. In other words, consumers with stronger financial institution relationships are generally more financially secure. This because they have access to affordable credit, savings products and resources.

At least a quarter of American households are unbanked or underbanked, according to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. And nearly half of African American households are unbanked or underbanked.

Why the disparity? According to CEB Iconoculture research, the primary factors are access, assets and attitudes.

Access, assets and attitudes.

Bank branches are generally less convenient to African American consumers (MagnifyMoney Research on Bank Branch Presentation, February 2016). There are 40.6 bank branches for every 100,000 people who live in majority white counties in the U.S., compared to 32 branches located in majority African American counties.

Then there’s the issue of wealth. African American families on average have less household income with which to work. A study released this year by Demos found that African American two-parent families have half the wealth of white single parents. Specifically,

  • The median two-parent black family had $16,000 in wealth.
  • The median single-parent white family had $35,800 in wealth (two-parent white families had $161,300).

These factors and more prompt African American consumers to be more likely to manage their personal finances with little or no outside help, according to CEB Iconoculture research. When asked why they prefer a DIY approach, African American respondents were more likely to point to the following reasons than the total survey audience:

  • My finances are simple (41 percent of African American respondents agreed versus 34 percent of all respondents.)
  • I don’t have much money to manage (35 percent of African American respondents versus 25 percent of all respondents.)
  • I can’t afford personal financial services (24 percent of African American respondents versus 19 percent of all respondents

Three ways banks and credit unions can help the unbanked and underbanked.

How can banks and credit unions connect to the underserved market? Flip the challenges and follow consumer values.

  1. Promote mobile banking. Mobile banking can help underserved consumers gain more access to financial services, according to an FDIC study. In addition to added convenience, mobile banking can give consumers greater control over finances. Alerts and tracking tools make it easier to avoid fees and track finances. First banks and credit unions must convince consumers that it’s safe to open an account online, which has thus far proven challenging.
     
  2. Become a trusted advisor. Trust is the foundation of every healthy relationship and imperative when money is involved. When it comes to financial services, African Americans consumers have practical expectations, according to CEB Iconoculture research. They are: do a good job managing my money, provide transparency, security and stick to the products and services that I need. Finally, demonstrate success.
     
  3. Accentuate the positive. The values most positively differentiated for African Americans compared to all U.S. consumers can provide important insights. They are belief, individuality, ambition and growth—ostensibly individual achievement and growth. African American Millennials tend to be more optimistic than their peers, according to a study by Richards/Lema and the University of Texas, Stan Richards School of Advertising and Public Relations.

Sign up for the free Brogan Marketing Statement for quarterly news and insights about financial services marketing.

Weekly Recap - March 24, 2017

Let’s talk social. Advertisers are investing more on social platforms. Millennials want socially responsible brands. And consumers are becoming more conscious of their social presence. Meanwhile, Instagram is making its platform better suited for shoppers. Let’s dive in.

DETAILS, please

Advertisers investing more in Facebook. Over the next 12 months, close to two-thirds of brands’ plan to increase their investment to the social platform.

Millennials driving brands to practice socially responsible marketing. How are Millennials going to collectively spend that $30 trillion?

A better shopping experience on Instagram. Discovery has been part of the Instagram experience from the beginning.

Meanwhile back at the RANCH

Social media users are scaling back: What this means for your brand. Today, consumers are becoming increasingly more aware, careful and sensitive to their own and other’s social presence.

Grocers are poised for Facebook greatness. Some brands struggle to find purpose on social media. Grocers aren’t among them.

THE Topic of conversation

Visual communication. Did you know that 93 percent of communication is visual? Amplify your marketing and discover how your brand can communicate visually. Download our latest free guide "Communicating with Visuals."

SHARING is CARING

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Social media users are scaling back: What this means for your brand.

Have you logged in to your social media accounts to see a post or photo you shared from five years ago and wonder, “What was I thinking?”

Don’t worry, you’re not alone.

Today, consumers are becoming increasingly more aware, careful and sensitive to their own and other’s social presence. And it’s causing users to scale back.

According to a recent CEB Iconoculture survey, 72 percent of consumers limit the amount of information they share on social media. 59 percent seriously consider the consequences of all information before they share. And 56 percent clear their search history, cookies and bookmarks regularly.

What’s happening.

Insecure, overwhelmed and careful, users are:

1.    Sharing less frequently.

2.    Sharing less personally.

3.    Sharing more mindfully.

Unfortunately, 62 percent of consumers believe that once they share content, they can no longer control it. Therefore, they’re limiting their time in platforms, sharing less personally and really considering the social consequences before they post.

Who’s to blame.

While some note the post-election period initiated users to scale back, others are putting blame elsewhere:

  • Other users: Some are saying they blame their friends and other profiles for tagging them in things they don’t want to be associated with.
  • Self: Users are noticing they blame themselves for accidently saying or doing the wrong thing on the platform.
  • Everyone: Consumers are noticing some posts generate a lot of comments from most their friends and noticing that information can be easily skewed and distorted the more people are involved. Telephone game anyone?
  • Platform: We’ve all had our fair share of technical difficulties when it comes to social media. Going back a few weeks to look at a friend’s post and accidently liking it? We’ve all been there. Consumers are also finding that instead of posting on their own profile, they have also accidently posted on a brand’s profile that they’re administrators of. YIKES!

The prevention tactics.

Consumers are now taking steps to secure their profiles and limit their time on platforms. While two-thirds of social media users have unfriended other users, they are also unfollowing brands due to negative associations (71 percent). Consumers are preferring to share content on “dark web,” instead of on social platforms (82 percent).

What brands need to be prepared for.

Social media users are looking for safe and comfortable environments to share, and brands (and platforms) need to accommodate. Platforms like Snapchat and Instagram Stories that put the user in control of who sees their content are considered more favorably.

Are you a brand looking to communicate more comfortably with consumers? See how you can communicate more visually. Download our free guide "Communicating with Visuals."

Grocers are poised for Facebook greatness.

Grocers are poised for Facebook greatness

Some brands struggle to find purpose on social media. For lack of relatable brand content, they resort to posting random memes, celebrating obscure holidays and sharing inspirational quotes. It can be painful to watch.

They must envy grocers. Most community managers would gladly surrender five years of brand content for the content potential on just one shelf of the cereal aisle. “What’s in your bowl?” “Bran. It’s not just for breakfast.” “Are you more Captain Crunch or Tony the Tiger?”

More than content, grocers have the benefit of a highly motivated audience. Consumers don’t have to be baited into liking grocer pages. They naturally seek them out, according to an FMI study.

About half (53 percent) of all shoppers—especially younger Millennials—connect with food retailers through social media. Seventy-three percent of Millennials (age 18-27 in 2017) and 59 percent of Gen Xers (age 38-51 in 2017) are influenced by social media.

Not just any social media. Facebook is the preferred channel for grocery shoppers of all generations. Millennials use it most, followed by Gen Xers, Boomers and Matures. They use social to scout sales and promotions (73 percent) and new products (72 percent), and to find recipes (59 percent). This according to a separate study by UPS called Pulse of the Online Shopper.

What are grocers doing with all that potential? Not nearly enough, per yet another study by Retail Feedback Group (RFG).

RFG found that while most (87 percent) supermarket shoppers follow one or more social media channels, just 25 percent have friended or connected to their primary grocery store. This is most likely because grocers are not claiming their Pages or spending scant resources to manage them.

Enough already.

Attention Grocers: Your consumers want to be (Facebook) friends

It’s time to get serious about social media, else customers may fall in “like” with a competitor. Data suggest Facebook is the most popular platform for grocery shopping, so start there. If you’ve already claimed your business page and just need a little inspiration, skip to number 2 below. If this is all still very new to you, begin at the top.

  1. Claim your page. Facebook created a step-by-step tutorial for just this occasion. You’ll need a profile picture, which will serve as the main icon of your page. The icon is square. Obvious choices are brand logo or store name. You’ll also want to have a cover photo handy. This is the dominant image that stretches across the top of your Facebook page. The official dimensions are 851x315 pixels. This is prime real estate and should be reserved for marketing campaigns and longer-term promotions.
     
  2. Evaluate your resources. Identify a champion who will be responsible for managing the page. It will be their job to regularly update and post to the page and follow user activity. This position is known as the community manager. Identify a backup community manager in the event of illness, vacation or job change. The community manager will likely come from your marketing team as social media is part of the marketing function.
     
  3. Follow the competition. Peruse a few months or more of the competition’s Facebook feed. Look for posts that generate significant engagement, as well as campaign themes and regular promotions.
     
  4. Develop a plan. Facebook business pages come with lots of features--analytics, reporting, security and access, and more. Take the time to understand how to manage the platform and how you’ll measure success before diving into content. Pay close attention to analytics, reporting and access. Once you understand the tools, create a plan that includes cadence (how often you’ll post weekly), communication (your ideal response time), and monitoring (how you’ll keep abreast of activity and respond to both positive and negative comments).  
     
  5. Create a content calendar. Everything on Facebook is content—copy, images, video. It’s all considered content. This is what your consumers are craving. Start with a quarter, just three months of content. Original content is ideal because it will be most relevant to your followers. But it’s okay to share complementary content once or twice a week from brands that you carry. Your content calendar should support your marketing strategy. Think in terms of sales goals and traffic.
     
  6. Promote your page. Boosting posts can be an effective and inexpensive way to advertise outside of your fan base. This video explains how to boost a post in under two minutes.

For more on content development check out “Content marketing: 4 rules to follow.”

Weekly Recap - March 17, 2017

Do you trust brands? An eMarketer study found that most women are skeptical. In fact, 48 percent have a hard time trusting financial service brands, 37 percent distrust healthcare brands and 24 percent distrust nonprofits. Even with social activism on the rise, Millennials are dubious about cause marketing to be skeptical. Still they yearn to be philanthropic. Where’s the give? Seeing isn’t necessarily believing. Digiday suggests brands’ viewability isn’t the be-all end-all. Let’s break it down.

DETAILS, please

What brands can do to win the trust of women. Brand trust seems to matter more than ever, though it may be harder than ever to build that trust.

Infographic: What consumers really think about cause marketing. With social activism on the rise, more brands are aligning themselves with philanthropic causes in hopes of burnishing their reputations—and their bottom lines.

Focus on viewability, but don’t make it the goal. It seems like a total no-brainer: No one wants to pay for ads that can’t be seen. But viewability is just one factor in an effective campaign.

Meanwhile back at the RANCH

Millennials find clever ways to finance life. Millennials aren’t the first generation to tap the Bank of ‘Rents. But they’re particularly sensitive about the handouts.

THE Topic of conversation

Visual communication. Did you know that 93 percent of communication is visual? Amplify your marketing and discover how your brand can communicate visually. Download our latest free guide "Communicating with Visuals."

SHARING is CARING

Like what you see? Share the Brogan Recap.

Millennials find clever ways to finance life.

Millennials find clever ways to finance life.

Young, cash-strapped Millennials are leaning on their parents for help today. Still they’re not letting old-fashioned barriers like credit scores stand in the way of big purchases. Meanwhile, their affluent counterparts are using robo-advisers to build their next eggs.

Millennials aren’t the first generation to tap the Bank of ‘Rents. But they’re particularly sensitive about the handouts, according to CEB Iconoculture research.

Forty percent of young 20-somethings living away from home after school receive an average $3,000 annually from their parents, per a study reported in the New York Times. Those who live in the city get almost $1,000 more a year in support than those who live in rural areas.

Parental support varies by career pursuits. For example, right-side brainers tend to be more needy than left siders, according to the research. Of those who regularly receive financial assistance:

  • 53 percent work in the arts and design world
  • 37 percent work in healthcare
  • 30 percent work in blue-collar jobs
  • 29 percent work in personal services

No credit? No problem.

When Millennials do need credit, they’re not letting a little thing like credit score get in the way.

A pilot program launched by Fair Isaac, the company behind FICO, lets consumers with no credit history use utility bill payment history instead. SoFi and Float are also rewriting lending rules, enabling young adults to apply for emergency loans and mortgages without the benefit of credit history.

Float bases its lending decisions on bank transactions for the two past years. This lets credit newbies get into the game and saves Float the expense of pulling FICO data.

Millennials build nest eggs with algorithms.

Millennials are investing differently too, thanks to plucky internet startups and trusty algorithms.

For as little as a few bucks a month, online companies like Stash and WiseBanyan enable investors to start building their nest eggs.

Stash invites users to learn how to invest in themselves by selecting companies that complement their lifestyle and aspirations. They even have examples of investors who might look like you—the activist, the techie, the globetrotter and the trendsetter. Each persona includes a tidy sample portfolio.

$1 buys investors a seat at the table at WiseBanyan, where basic accounts are free and clients upgrade to fee-for-service only when necessary. Like Stash, the content is very accessible and easily digestible. It’s investing for the every man.

Millennials will find a way.

Whether scraping together enough money to pay the rent or planning retirement, Millennials will find a way. For brands to connect, they have to first understand the financial challenges Millennials are wrestling with. Younger Millennials (22-29 in 2017) are in the midst of quarter-life, reflecting on student loan debt, career choices, relationships and zip codes. Older Millennials (30-39 in 2017) are confronting marriage, parenthood and homeownership. Some have even flipped the script with their parents, providing them financial assistance.

Now, get plucky—Millennial style. Don’t expect them to be shoe-horned into traditional products and services. They’ll look elsewhere. Think convenience, flexibility and practicality. And if it can be accessed via smartphone, all the better. Stymied? Go to the source for inspiration. Host a brainstorming session with Millennial staffers or customers. Start by asking them what financial issues keep them up at night and advance to solutions.

Interested in more on the financial marketing front? Subscribe to our free quarterly newsletter, Marketing Statement.

Weekly Recap - March 10, 2017

Move over Facebook, Vimeo is now adding 360 degree video. But what constitutes a view? A share? A like? Adweek is breaking down what it means to truly measure ads. Us? We’re looking at HubSpot’s list of impressive influencer marketing campaigns. Take a look.

DETAILS, please

Vimeo is adding 360-degree video capabilities. Vimeo announced today it will let creators upload, share and sell 360 video on the platform. They’re hoping this will accelerate adoption of the experiential format. 

How to get the true measure of a mobile ad. And how should advertisers incorporate likes and shares in social media?

10 impressive examples of influencer marketing campaigns. You can't go anywhere these days without hearing about the elusive, purportedly mystical powers of influencer marketing.

Meanwhile back at the RANCH

Facebook and Google are losing the war against ad-blockers. All told, internet users worldwide had installed ad-blocking software on 616 million mobile devices and desktops by the end of 2016, a 25 percent increase from 2015 (491). 

Self-care and what it means for healthcare marketers. You know it is 2017 when you can officially count a glass of wine or reading a good book as part of your self-care routine

THE Topic of conversation

Visual communication. Did you know that 93 percent of communication is visual? Amplify your marketing and discover how your brand can communicate visually. Download our latest, greatest and free whitepaper "Communicating with Visuals."

SHARING is CARING

Like what you see? Share the Brogan Recap.

Healthcare Checkup - March 2017

Let's face it, we've all Googled our symptoms before. That rash, pain or cough. According to Google, 1 percent of queries are symptom related. That's millions of searches surrounding symptoms and signs of illness. So, what does this mean for your practice or hospital? Let's break it down.

VITAMIN B&P.

How to get more patients to try telemedicine. Patients consult Google pretty regularly for healthcare advice.

MARKETING SUPPLEMENTS.

Snapchat vs. Instagram: Everything your brand needs to know. Debating which visual social platform is better for your brand? Let's break it down filter-by-filter, post-by-post, percentage-by-percentage.

INDUSTRY PULSE.

Is there something we should be learning from children's hospitals? And do you know how to empower patients, while also keeping their information private and secure? See here.

Children's hospitals form partnerships to boost revenue, serve more patients. With all the changes happening in the current healthcare climate, hospitals looking to thrive must take unique approaches to their operations.

How to make patient empowerment a reality. Patient empowerment promises to help improve medical outcomes while lowering treatment costs.

MONTHLY DOSE.

Visual communication. Did you know that 93 percent of communication is visual? Amplify your marketing and discover how your brand can communicate visually. Download our latest, greatest and free whitepaper "Communicating with Visuals."

Self-care and what it means for healthcare marketers.

Self-care and what it means for healthcare marketers.

You know it is 2017 when you can officially count a glass of wine or reading a good book as part of your self-care routine.

But, what does self-care really mean? According to CEB Iconoculture research, self-care encompasses the mental, physical, emotional and spiritual activities consumers engage in to enhance their overall health.

Self-care is a want.

Today, 90 percent of consumers are already partaking in self-care activities. In fact, consumers across generations are deeming self-care as a necessity:

  • 59 percent of Matures
  • 47 percent of Boomers
  • 54 percent of Gen X
  • 49 percent of Millennials

In looking at values on the rise for these consumer groups, CEB Iconoculture research suggests that "health," "relaxation" and "comfort" have all seen increases within the past five years. Conversation surrounding self-care has also seen a dramatic shift. In 2008, people associated words such as: health, home, nurse, treatment, medicine, doctor, etc. with self-care. In 2015, consumers accounted for a much broader association, with words like: life, people, work, writing, family, friends, love, book, talk, etc.

Self-care: blending of healthy and non-healthy behaviors.

When it comes to self-care, consumers are considering practices that involve both healthy and non-healthy activities. In addition to going to the gym, to yoga or getting their annual checkup, consumers are also indulging in non-healthy behaviors. Perhaps it's indulging with a cupcake or paczki. Binge watching the latest series added to Netflix, or even going to the movies. Did we mention having a glass of wine? All of these activities fall under the umbrella of self-care and touch on the mental, physical, emotion and spiritual practices consumers are involved with.

Per CEB Iconoculture research, 71 percent of U.S consumers view mental and physical health as closely linked and don't separate them when engaging in self-care activities. Across the generations, 60 percent of Millennials, 76 percent of Xers and 71 percent of Boomers agree with the previous statement.

What this means for your brand.

The self-care notion isn't new. For years there has been a blurring of "health" and "wellness" and what it means to consumers. Brands getting it right are acknowledging consumers' struggles, acknowledging genders and generations.

For more on healthcare marketing trends and insights, sign up for our monthly edition of the Brogan Healthcare Checkup.

Interested in marketing healthcare to the generations? Download our free guide.

Facebook and Google are losing the war against ad-blockers.

Facebook and Google are losing the war against ad-blockers

Ad-blocking software popularity is growing across desktop and mobile devices, despite the best efforts of Facebook and Google to stem advances, according to PageFair’s 2017 Adblock Report.

All told, internet users worldwide had installed ad-blocking software on 616 million mobile devices and desktops by the end of 2016, a 25 percent increase from 2015 (491). Mobile use grew by 108 million and desktop grew by 34 million.

Ad blocking has gone mainstream.

Today, 11 percent of users have ad-blocking software. Male Millennial techies are partly responsible for the surge, but not totally. The average proportion of ad blockers in each of these age groups — 18-24, 35-44, 45-54, and 55-64 year-olds — is about 20 percent, according to the report.

What’s responsible for the growth in use? Most survey respondents cited security concerns (30 percent) and interruption (29 percent), followed by speed (16 percent) and ad overload (14 percent).

That’s not to suggest that respondents were completely ad averse. Most found some ad formats to be acceptable (77 percent), with more than half saying static banner ads are permissible and 35 percent preferring skippable video ads.

The bottom line? Consumers don’t mind advertisements. They even appreciate ads at times, provided they’re targeted to the right audience, at the right time, across the right channel.

No pressure. 

Want to keep up on the latest in marketing and advertising trends? Sign up for the free Brogan Weekly Recap.

Weekly Recap - March 3, 2017

Pick up. Pick up. Pick up. Wondering why consumers aren't answering your calls? It's because all that ringing is freaking them out. Especially the young'uns. Or they're too busy clipping coupons and hunting for bargains. That goes double for the multicultural shopper. If you're targeting Gen X, you can probably bet they're not at the gym. Or the doctor's office. The sandwich generation would rather preserve youth with Botox than pump iron. Let's unpack.

DETAILS, please

Hold my calls. A 2011 Pew Research study found that the average person made or received about a dozen calls per day; in 2015, that number dropped by nearly half. Young adults say phone calls make them feel "nervous" and "panicked."

Multicultural consumers are savvy shoppers. Multicultural consumers spend more hours on average clipping coupons and searching for deals than general-market consumers, according to the 2016 Valassis RedPlum Purse String Survey. Latinos are the biggest coupon searchers. 

Gen Xers invest more in beauty than health.  Gen Xers are more likely to spend money on anti-aging products and services than exercise regularly, according to the MDVIP Health & Longevity Survey. Only 50 percent of Gen Xers have had a checkup in the past five years, compared with 72 percent of Boomers.

Meanwhile back at the RANCH

Snapchat vs. Instagram: Everything your brand needs to know. Debating which visual social platform is better for your brand? Let's break it down filter-by-filter, post-by-post, percentage-by-percentage.

How to get more patients to try telemedicine. Telemedicine is at a tipping point. The medical community is on board. Patients say they're in to it. So, why are they so reluctant to use it? Here are four ways to increase patient adoption.

THE Topic of conversation

Visual communication. Did you know that 93 percent of communication is visual? Amplify your marketing and discover how your brand can communicate visually. Download our latest, greatest and free whitepaper "Communicating with Visuals."

SHARING is CARING

Like what you see? Share the Brogan Recap.

How to get more patients to try telemedicine.

How to get more patient to try telemedicine.

Patients consult Google pretty regularly for healthcare advice. (Doctors love it.)

How regularly? About 1 percent of Google searches are symptom-related. That’s millions of queries about colds, fevers and mysterious rashes, among other ailments. And millions of patients self-diagnosing largely based on blogs, native advertising and user-generated content.

According to the latest national Pew Research study, 72 percent of adult internet users say they have searched online for information about a range of health issues, the most popular being specific diseases and treatments. And 26 percent say they have read or watched someone else’s health experience about health or medical issues in the past 12 months. Finally, 16 percent have gone online in the past 12 months to find others who share the same health concerns.

The medical community has responded with telemedicine, meeting patients in the comfort and convenience of their homes. Still, patients have been slow to adapt.

In the recent “2016 Connected Patient Report” Salesforce found that 91 percent of U.S. adults with health insurance and a primary care provider are only using traditional forms of communication when consulting their doctors. But 62 percent of respondents said they’re open to virtual care treatments instead of in-office appointments for non-urgent issues.

Consumers will eventually adapt to telemedicine, whether out of need or convenience. Medical providers can hasten the process by positioning telemedicine as an extension of patient care, building trust by exposure and experience. Here are four ways to get started.

Make it relevant

The convenience of telemedicine makes it especially appealing to young mothers, the elderly and those who live in rural areas. Mom doesn’t want to take her sick child outdoors. Grandpa has limited access to transportation. And nobody wants to drive 20 miles to have a cold diagnosed. This is your immediate target audience. Connect with them by using messages that most connect with their healthcare hurdles.

Make it tangible

Insurance cards are a symbol of coverage. They make the intangible tangible. The card itself has little worth, but it means a great deal to the card holder. Access. Treatment. Health. Livelihood. I recently switched health insurance and was disappointed when I received my new card in the mail. It’s flimsy, bendable even—not unlike the former hard plastic version that I had long trusted.

So, make a card for your telemedicine service. Not a mousepad or a refrigerator magnet, but a sturdy symbol that will feel at home next to a driver’s license and debit card. This tangible reminder will help patients gain confidence in virtual care.  

Make it part of the office environment

Telemedicine still seems very George Jetson, especially for those who remember the Jetsons. Demonstrate the technology with patients who come in for office visits. Show them how to access the service from their phone, desktop and tablet. Show them what’s behind the proverbial curtain. If the visit requires a follow-up appointment and the channel is appropriate, suggest the next appointment take place virtually. Then send them home with the aforementioned card.

Make it simple

Remember you’re inviting a wide range of patients with varying degrees of tech-savvy to use telemedicine. Make sure that the patient journey is easy to navigate. Build user confidence with supporting content, like blogs, short video tutorials, infographics and testimonials. Then chat it up on your social channels.

Telemedicine is at a tipping point, but patients aren’t likely to change their way of accessing their physician with a lot of guidance along the way. You conquered patient-centered health care. You got this.

Interested in more blogs about healthcare tech? Learn about an app for the flu.

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