Communication evolution in asset and wealth management

How a generational shift could bring about a communications evolution in asset and wealth management 

How a generational shift could necessitate a communications evolution in asset and wealth management
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The term ‘millennials’ entered the public consciousness years ago to describe a young cohort – born between 1981 and 1996 – just entering education and taking their first steps into the world of work. However, today, many millennials have reached their mid-thirties, and have more financial stability than ever.

Even Gen Zs, born after millennials, are now entering their early and mid-twenties. Both of these groups have their own expectations and are reshaping what we think of as the traditional asset and wealth management customer base.

However, a 2015 BNY Mellon survey – conducted in association with the University of Cambridge – revealed that life insurers, banks and asset managers were “losing the battle to engage with this generation of potential new customers.”

The Deloitte Global Millennial Survey 2020, indicated that this lack of engagement with traditional financial institutions isn’t caused by lack of interest or knowledge. Instead, millennials embrace the use of technology when managing their financial affairs, and are looking for digital tools that make it easier and cheaper to invest, while delivering a frictionless customer experience that doesn’t require the use of an advisor, for example.

This generational coming of age should continue to prompt a change in strategy and approach. Driving engagement with younger consumers relies on digitising the customer journey and providing digital tools that empower financial decision-making. Communication methods and messaging have a big role to play.

Adjusting technology to meet shifting expectations

Millennials are digital natives and expect intuitive, convenient digital tools as standard. However, this interest in adopting innovative technology isn’t confined to millennials. All generations, even if they are less tech-savvy, are becoming used to a world in which most of their affairs can be managed from a mobile device.

However, adapting to this new world can be difficult for companies with sprawling and often unconnected legacy systems. Paragon's OnePlatform is quick to implement and can deliver rapid change to meet shifting customer expectations, without the need for a full organisational transformation.

Speak in a language they understand

Many firms have also been slow to adapt to what millennials want to see and hear from them. In the BNY Mellon survey, the message was clear: “Speak to them in language they understand.”

Being able to quickly test and adapt messaging beyond broad demographics is dependent on having the technology to collect and standardise existing data streams, and to yield usable insights that can be applied to messaging.

OnePlatform was developed for the real world – built to provide a standardised view of all data no matter what systems are feeding it. It removes layers of complexity, consolidates multiple data sources and enables teams to work from a single system. APIs mean OnePlatform can be seamlessly integrated into any environment, no matter how many existing legacy systems are in play.

Adapt methods of delivery

Millennials also want firms to think about the method of delivery. For many millennials, the importance of protecting the planet is a top concern. In McKinsey’s recent sustainability survey, 57% of consumers said they have made significant changes to their lifestyles to lessen their environmental impact, and more than 60% reported going out of their way to recycle and purchase products in environmentally friendly packaging.

So, a thick brochure or annual summary hitting the doormat will not always work for millennial consumers thinking about the impact on the planet. This doesn’t mean that print never works – indeed, recent research reveals that during lockdown last year, the number of times a piece of direct mail was interacted with grew to 4.58 times, an 11% increase year-on-year. However, it is clear that sustainability concerns mean that this needs to be balanced carefully with digital delivery, and taking into account individual customer preferences.

It is also true that while a shift to digital methods of delivery will work for some, this can’t come at the expense of existing, or less tech-savvy customers, who prefer more traditional forms of communication. OnePlatform enables organisations to personalise methods of delivery, ensuring that communications can be managed in line with client expectations at all times, in real time.

Paragon provides integrated services across 70+ countries via a blend of 180 Paragon facilities and our global best-in-class supply partners. So, wherever you are and whatever language you communicate with your clients in, OnePlatform can help you manage the generational shift.

Paragon’s OnePlatform is a complete, fully integrated suite of communication solutions supported by an expert team. Take your first step towards more effective communications by making contact with Paragon today.

 

Andrew  Frost

Author:

Andrew Frost 
Head of Relationship Management