20 Million Multigenerational Households Uncovered in Research

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Data analysis led by VP of Data Operations, Shane Helfenberger shows the extent of U.S. households that have multiple generational segments within them. Changes in socioeconomic patterns have increased the number of households with multiple decision makers.

Our analysis found 20 million consumers sharing households with other generations of their family. This represents an opportunity to reach a potentially ignored segment.

Altair Customer Intelligence, a leader in delivering data driven customer insight, in response to demand for market expansion, has developed a process to identify and has researched marketable multigenerational households. A recent study directed by Shane Helfenberger, VP of Data Operations, found that 16.1 million households have 2 adult generations* and 4.3million households have 3 generations** living in 20 million households representing 14.22% of all U.S. households. This dynamic presents a marketing challenge. “We see the growth of multigenerational households as an opportunity for our clients to focus deeper into each household,” states Troy Blackman, VP of Sales and Marketing. “In many cases the head of the household is the only person being marketed, leaving other occupants unsolicited. This represents a missed opportunity to reach younger generations returning home and older generations moving in with children, as well as indirect marketing to the head of the house.”

In response to the poor housing market, job losses, and an aging baby boomer population there has been a steady rise in multigenerational households. In helping lenders, insurers, and retailers reach the full market Altair has developed a process to identify generations within a household, further segmenting it for appropriate marketing touch points. The practice of identifying generations is equally applicable within prospect and customer populations. Within these populations three distinct opportunities to market differently emerge within multigenerational households.

The head of household inevitably takes on additional decision making, creating an opportunity to market to them on behalf of other generations, “indirectly marketing to the other generation”. For example marketers normally wouldn’t solicit 40 year-old consumers for Medicare, but in the instance of a multigenerational household that was recently formed by the addition of their 65 year old parent, it is worth considering. This also represents opportunity for marketing of banking, investments, and senior focused products. Also, with the potential for pooling resources, financial services marketing to the multigenerational household will change.

Reaching out to the generations above and below the head of household will open up additional possibilities for marketers. The younger generation will be establishing financial relationships, preparing to become independent, and searching for permanent residence. The older generation may be helping pay down debt, adding on to the house or finishing the basement, and revisiting healthcare and financial needs.

The reasons for multigenerational households are many and the marketing opportunities are equally varied. To learn more or see the statistics from the project read, “Multigenerational Households – Untapped Marketing Potential”.

*2 adult generations – within a household unit there are adults greater than 20 years apart in age. This household could be college graduates returning home or parents moving in with empty nest adults. A household is defined as the same address and same last name.

**3 generations – within a household unit there are adults greater than 20 years apart in age as well as school age children.

Altair Customer Intelligence http://www.altairci.com
Headquartered in Franklin, Tennessee, Altair Customer Intelligence is an industry leader specializing in helping companies target the most profitable prospects and customers for their direct marketing campaigns. We are a knowledge-based company that combines a strong analytical aptitude with superior marketing expertise to provide cutting-edge data solutions. We specialize in providing marketing analytics and reporting for the mortgage, automotive, financial, insurance, wireless and home services industries.


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Chris Conlee
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