How to meet the changing wants, needs, and communication preferences of every generation with your wealth management communications
A wealth management client base includes many different generational segments, with different expectations, wants, needs, and communication preferences. To succeed, your firm needs to entice younger investors with cost-effective digital investment options, while still retaining the loyalty of older, more traditional clients. And you need to do that while also preparing for the upcoming Great Wealth Transfer, during which an astonishing 84 trillion dollars are projected to change hands.
The good news for wealth management firms trying to “do it all” is that every generation is a digital generation today, to some degree. In fact, a recent Ipsos poll indicates that a staggering 78% of consumers today prefer to manage money digitally. With this move to digital-first finance comes an opportunity for wealth management firms to meet the digital needs of every generation of clients through differentiated communication strategies. But first, wealth management firms must understand the state of digital adoption in each of these cohorts, and how that should influence a communication strategy.
Baby Boomers – Planning a Legacy and Exploring Digital Tools
The Boomer generation is understood by financial marketers to be the least technically savvy generation. But they still use online financial tools. In fact, Javelin research indicates that 2 in 3 Boomers primarily manage their checking account in digital channels — just like younger generations. Interestingly, though, Boomer clients prefer to do many financial tasks online, but are less likely to use mobile financial apps, while the inverse is true of younger generations.
Some obstacles still stand in the way of Boomer adoption of digital finance. Compared to younger generations, Boomers may have more complex financial obligations, which can lead them to seek in-person or call center support. As older adults, Boomers can also experience an increased rate of disability, making accessible technology and accessible communications of paramount importance. And finally, Boomers are the generation most often targeted by fraudsters, so wealth management firms have a responsibility to both maintain the highest levels of security for their financial data, and to help educate this group on avoiding fraud.
To engage this generation through wealth management communications:
- Ensure communications are accessible for clients with disabilities, including those whose vision makes reading a screen difficult.
- Provide links to digital financial planning tools, so Boomers can handle more finance-related tasks without stepping foot in a branch.
- Make sure your online experience keeps pace with your mobile app experience.
- Make security and fraud prevention a central focus of your educational communications.
- Be sure that information from your communications is shared with other channels, like your call center, so clients do not have to tell their story more than once.
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Gen X – Pulled in Many Directions, Pressed for Time
Known as the first generation to have grown up online, Generation X is very comfortable managing money online, and is much more likely to bank via mobile app (57%) compared to in-person (18%) or online (24%). At the height of their careers and earning potential, and often juggling older parents and teens, this is a generation that is pressed for time.
Recent Aspire research indicates that Gen X and younger generations really care about the relevancy and consistency of the communications they receive. Gen Xers are known to be loyal to the financial institutions that they work with, but this loyalty can be eroded by untargeted messages and disjointed service experiences that leave them feeling like an account number, not a valued client.
Building a relationship with Gen X and Millennials is of paramount importance to firms that want to retain and grow assets during the Great Wealth Transfer. Currently, studies suggest that up to 80% of heirs will look for a new advisor after inheriting. By assisting families in family wealth planning and engaging this generation well in advance of wealth transfer, you can help keep these assets in-house, and build a lasting relationship with the next generation of clients.
To engage this generation through wealth management communications:
- Provide relevant and personalized information and 1:1 targeted offers that will genuinely add value to their busy lives
- Ensure that data is shared across the enterprise, so communications at all touchpoints are synchronized.
- Allow clients to choose when and where to receive communications.
Is your wealth management firm ready to deliver a consistently positive personalized client experience across all channels? Chat with our CCM experts to uncover proven cost-effective strategies
Tech-Savvy and Fintech-Friendly Millennials
The Millennial generation is very comfortable with digital and mobile channels for financial activities. But their financial state is less comfortable, with 47% of Millennials indicating to Deloitte that they live paycheck to paycheck. Of course, this reality is likely to shift as Millennials inherit money from the Boomer generation, a circumstance that wealth management firms must prepare for now.
Competing for Millennial business during wealth transfer means going head-to-head with fast-moving fintech and Big Tech competitors. 60% of Millennials indicate that they would be willing to change financial institutions to have access to better digital tools, a situation which represents a real threat to more traditional wealth firms. Investments in mobile tools and partnerships with FinTechs can help wealth management firms respond to this threat, as can communications about ESG (Environmental, Societal and Governance) policies and sustainable investing options, which are likely to resonate with socially conscious Millennial clients and prospects.
To engage Millennials through wealth management communications:
- Make sure your mobile app is top-notch, and do not be shy about highlighting its features and benefits to both prospects and existing clients.
- Provide innovative programs and services to help Millennials make the most of their money. Consider providing value-added content, like personalized videos on budgeting. management, right through their wealth portal.
- Provide an array of self-serve options so the 1/3 of Millennials who are working a second job to make ends meet can manage their finances whenever and wherever they need to.
- Showcase your wealth management firm’s commitments to its community and the environment. A recent BAI study suggests that over 50% of Millennials would switch financial services organizations for a higher commitment to ESG and Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) initiatives.
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Gen Z – Early-Stage Investors with Many Questions
Highly digital and social media savvy, Gen Z’s financial needs are still emerging, but the picture is quite different from what their parents and grandparents’ lives were like at the same age. Coming of age in a time of financial uncertainty and global upheaval, Gen Z feels both a desire for digital convenience, and deep suspicions about how their money is being kept secure.
Another thing is becoming clear about Gen Z – this generation have a real interest in financial health, and they are seeking tools and advice to improve their financial situations. 46% of respondents from Gen Z, when interviewed by Goldman Sachs, indicated that they wanted to develop and keep a budget, and a similar percentage (44%) told Chase that they were using credit monitoring services to learn how to improve their credit score. If your wealth management firm can provide them with the tools and training they need to make the most of their money, you can entice them to become clients for life.
To engage Gen Z through wealth management communications:
- Consider adding interactive personalized video content to their transactional communications, to meet the Gen Z need for financial education.
- Ensure staff across your enterprise can access documents and data easily, so they can provide Gen Z with fast answers online, especially via text.
- Build trust with these security-conscious students and young professionals by proactively sharing how you keep their sensitive data safe.
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