By Charles Smith, Global Head of Digital Solutions, Wealth, Refinitiv
As the Global Head of Digital Solutions, Charles Smith is responsible for driving the strategic direction, business plan and financial results for Digital Solutions globally for the Wealth Management business at Refinitiv.
The rapid and ongoing digitalisation of the wealth arena has left many firms scrambling to develop innovative strategies to personalise the client experience. The advent of Covid-19 served to intensify and accelerate our industry’s digital transformation, ensuring that the old-school approach of in-person advisors delivering personal attention to individual clients continued its demise.
Many firms found themselves switching to digital forms of engagement almost overnight, and further discovered that their efforts left investors underwhelmed – recent Refinitiv research shows that just 37% of investors gave their wealth providers top scores for their digital experiences.
It is therefore imperative that wealth managers find improved ways to deliver more personalised, differentiated and seamless online experiences. With this in mind, Refinitiv has identified three key strategies for wealth managers to consider:
Personas are driving segmented experiences
To deliver personalised experiences to clients, wealth managers first need to fully understand their clients’ behaviour and preferences.
Many wealth firms have already made significant strides in this regard by tracking, for example, data usage, log-in frequency, app downloads and trading activity, to name but a few. This information can be analysed and interpreted in order to develop user personas.
Once a persona has been clearly defined, firms can develop strategies to target them, for example, under-serviced segments, including:
- Female investors. Our report reveals that women are adding $5 trillion annually to the global wealth pool and are more likely to engage with providers that focus on understanding their goals.
- Millennials and Gen Z. Both segments are typically tech-savvy digital natives with high expectations relating to digital engagement. Moreover, Refinitiv research reveals that millennials are nearly twice as likely as other generations to invest in sustainable financial products.
Those wealth managers that are able to develop accurate personas and then deliver a personalised experience for each persona are likely to reap significant rewards.
Acquisition through new digital channels
In the face of digital transformation, traditional strategies for marketing products and services to both existing and potential wealth clients are becoming all but obsolete.
Wealth managers now find themselves looking to social media platforms in their efforts to attract the attention of the two fastest growing segments in wealth management – millennials and Gen Z.
Ongoing and significant inter-generational wealth transfer has favoured these segments enormously and, in order to attract these investors, firms need to embrace personalised digital marketing tools and target prospects with relevant, tailored content through social media channels.
Embracing digital engagement
Key to future success will be an ability to successfully engage via digital channels. This includes developing an understanding of how to offer a personal experience within the digital experience – for example, by providing the option of talking to an advisor online.
Research suggests that such an approach is desirable, with 24% of advisory clients saying that they consider the online scheduling of meetings with an advisor to be a key enhancement to their platform experience.
Moreover, 43% of investors say they use mobile applications to access their investments, which means that a seamless experience across digital channels is non-negotiable.
Meeting client expectations
The digital expectations of clients continue to be defined by their online experiences across all areas of life – from retail to entertainment – and these expectations are now evident within the wealth space. Forward-thinking firms have a clear opportunity to develop and enhance their digital offerings in order to cement client relationships and engender loyalty.
By leveraging the trusted data and advanced digital tools that are already available, and then taking steps to fully understand client needs, wants and values, wealth managers can deliver truly personalised and relevant experiences, meet client expectations and continue to evolve in line with the ongoing transformation of our industry.