In the dynamic marketing realm, where technology and consumer behaviour constantly evolve, Philip Kotler, often hailed as the father of modern marketing, has stressed the importance of tailoring strategies to cater to each generation's unique needs. His insights, shared in his book "Marketing 5.0: Technology for Humanity," offer practical guidance on harnessing technology to address non-material consumer needs while navigating challenges such as shifting behaviour, economic disparities and political unrest.
Kotler emphasises that companies must comprehend and align with different generations' distinct values, preferences and communication channels. For banks in Bangladesh, this awareness is crucial as they endeavour to develop marketing strategies that resonate with their diverse customer base.
The story of generations is a captivating narrative of human history that unfolds through the lenses of distinct age groups, each with its own unique set of experiences, values and behaviours. This narrative traces the journey of different generations through time, uncovering how their collective life events and circumstances have influenced their perspectives, priorities and contributions to society.
The Silent Generation (Born 1928-1945): This generation's story is forged through the crucible of the Great Depression and the harrowing experiences of World War II. The Silent Generation was marked by a commitment to conformity, duty and unwavering hard work as they navigated a world plagued by economic hardships and global conflict.
Baby Boomers (Born 1946-1964): The narrative of the Baby Boomers commences in the post-World War II era. They bore witness to profound cultural transformations, including the Civil Rights Movement and the countercultural revolution of the 1960s.
Many Baby Boomers are now penning the chapter of retirement. Baby Boomers, for instance, tend to favour conventional marketing strategies like television and print media. They are attracted to retirement planning services and senior citizen fixed-rate deposit programmes because they appreciate stability, security and financial planning.
Generation X (Born 1965-1980): Described as the "latchkey kids," Generation X matured amidst the vibrant hues of the 1980s and the grunge era of the 1990s. Early adopters of emerging technologies were the trailblazers of the personal computer age.
Independence and scepticism characterise their story. Generation X is often called the "sandwich generation" in Bangladesh. They manage their finances through online platforms, making it imperative for banks to adopt a blend of traditional and digital marketing channels that emphasise convenience, flexibility and ease of use.
Generation Y/Millennials (Born 1981-1996): This generation's narrative unfolds in an age of digital proliferation. Millennials are hailed as the first digital natives, reared amid the internet's expansion and the advent of smartphones and social media.
Their values encompass work-life balance, social responsibility and an ardent commitment to diversity. Millennials are tech-savvy and prioritise experiences over material possessions. They are socially responsible and rely on social media and digital channels.
Banks can capture their attention by highlighting innovation, social responsibility and transparency, offering mobile payments, personal finance management tools and other fintech solutions. Engaging with them through platforms like Instagram and Snapchat can help establish a brand presence.
Generation Z (Born Mid-1990s to Early 2010s): The members of Generation Zoomers (Gen Z) are transitioning into adulthood as digital natives. They have never experienced a world without the internet and smartphones. Tech-savvy and driven by progressive ideals, their narrative reflects a changing world.
Generation Z is just entering the workforce. They seek companies that align with their values and emphasise transparency, authenticity and social responsibility. Banks can cater to this group by offering low-fee or no-fee banking options and fintech solutions. Short-form content on platforms like TikTok and Instagram reels can effectively reach and engage with this generation.
Generation Alpha (Born Early 2010s to Mid-2020s): This is the latest addition to the generational narrative. Comprising the children of Millennials, Generation Alpha is growing up in an era of advanced technology, artificial intelligence and evolving family structures. Their defining characteristics are still unfolding, and their story remains a work in progress.
The boundaries that distinguish these generations are approximate, open to interpretation and may vary depending on the sources and perspectives considered. Within each generation lies a tapestry of diverse attitudes and behaviours.
However, understanding the broad trends and shared experiences within each generation is invaluable for businesses, marketers and policymakers seeking to adapt to society's evolving needs and values. This ever-evolving narrative paints a vivid picture of human progression through time.
For banks to accomplish their goals and satisfy their consumers' financial demands and preferences, marketing is essential. Its main goal is to build strong consumer relationships by offering services designed to meet their financial needs.
Maintaining customer satisfaction is essential for banks since it generates devoted customers, repeat business and positive word-of-mouth recommendations. Banks can gain a competitive advantage by prioritising outstanding customer service in a crowded market.
The above generations who live in Bangladesh are each distinguished by unique views, interests and habits. It is crucial to understand that there are substantial differences within each Bangladeshi generational segment and that these marketing tactics are generalisations.
Banks should spend money on market research and focus groups to learn more about each group's unique requirements and preferences. Marketing strategies must be flexible and updated frequently to be current and responsive to changing consumer trends.
In conclusion, banks in Bangladesh must adapt their marketing strategies to cater to the unique needs of each generation. As Philip Kotler stated, "The best way to reach consumers is to understand their mindset and journey." This calls for personalised communication, active social media engagement, innovative fintech solutions and a commitment to social responsibility.
Banks in Bangladesh may maintain their growth and continue to provide value to their clients through genuine customer value and cultivating long-lasting relationships. The secret to remaining competitive in a market environment that is constantly shifting is to have a flexible and developing marketing plan.
By creating genuine customer value and fostering enduring relationships with their clients, banks in Bangladesh can sustain their growth and provide lasting value to their customers. The linchpin of this strategy lies in maintaining a sustainable marketing approach that evolves in sync with the ever-changing currents of consumer trends and preferences. Adaptation is the key to remaining competitive and relevant in this dynamic landscape.
Md Touhidul Alam Khan is the additional managing director and chief credit officer of The Premier Bank PLC and a fellow member of the Institute of Cost & Management Accountants of Bangladesh (ICMAB).
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions and views of The Business Standard.