Technology is radically altering the way your clients behave. To keep up with the increasingly complex digital generation (and we're not just talking about millennials) financial firms must rip up the rule book.
Unless we actually stop to think about it, we rarely notice the pace of change. The richness and quantity of data at our fingertips allows us to investigate products and services, make comparisons as we go and gather all the information we need to make our own value assessment. We can pay for goods and services with a mobile app 24/7. The immediacy that technology delivers really is staggering.
Engaging the next generation of investors
At the same time, technology has given consumers a tremendous amount of control and power. And that control will only grow over time. True brand loyalty will become harder to achieve as customers become less 'sticky'. The brands that will be around in ten, twenty, thirty years' time recognise that the way our parents buy stuff is markedly different from the way we do and will definitely be different to the way our kids will do it. Brands these days have to provide channel choice and build in touch points that suit the different needs of a generationally complex consumer audience. Those touch points will be digital, human and a mix of both.
Brands these days have to provide channel choice and build in touch points that suit the different needs of a generationally complex consumer audience. Those touch points will be digital, human and a mix of both.
The financial services industry must evolve and adapt to this reality if it's going to keep the next generation of investors engaged.
Are you even on your future clients' radar?
If you're in the business of providing financial advice, you need to be thinking about your digital strategy now. You need to start thinking about your current client base and how they want to interact with and receive communications from you.
Do your services currently meet their needs? If not, how can you adapt to retain your customers? If the average age of your client base is in their 60's, you'll also need to start thinking about how the current 'pocket money generation', due to build or inherit wealth at some point in the not too distant future, will engage with your brand. Will you even be on their radar?
The hard truth about client loyalty
Don't assume that just because their parents are your customers now that they will stick with you out of some sort of family loyalty. The hard truth is the majority won't. Ask yourself; are you with the same insurer as your parents? Is your current account with the same bank that your mum and dad have been with all their lives? Are your shopping habits the same? We'd wager the answers are no, no, and no.
How often do you review and refine your business proposition? Is it something you take off the shelf and dust every now and again or is it a living, breathing thing that you constantly tend and nurture? Don't fall into the trap of thinking your current proposition will be fit for purpose forever. It won't. Consumer behaviours are changing all the time and technology is driving the pace of that change faster and faster. Is your business fit enough to keep up?
Serving the digital natives
Don't make the mistake of thinking that those people who want to interact in a predominantly digital way are all avocado-eating twenty something's wearing skinny jeans. That's simply not the case. You don't have to be a millennial to be a digital native. There are people in their 40s and 50s that would class themselves as digitally native.
How many financial advice businesses are really geared up for them we wonder?