Financial Marketers: Get In Touch With Your Feminine Side

As Boomers continue their march toward retirement, the frequency with which they think about their various investments should be increasing steadily -- especially if they're women.

It's not that women are any less fiscally responsible than men (in fact, many may argue that it's quite the opposite), or that women lack an "investment gene" necessary to achieving financial success; it's a little bit less complicated than that. The simple reality is that the investment community has traditionally marketed to men, despite the fact that women comprise half (or more) of the U.S. workforce and tend to live longer than their male counterparts.

If you're a savvy marketer, you can probably see where I'm going with this line of logic: it's time for the financial world to start marketing to women -- Boomer women, in particular. And at the same time, it's time for women to take a more active and aggressive role in their retirement planning. With the economy and stock market showing signs of life, there should be a sense of urgency for all involved.



According to recent research by Wells Fargo, nearly 80% of the women said they wished their employer helped them more with retirement and investment advice. In other words, women are susceptible to this information; they're just not getting it.

So what type of information do you need to keep in mind as a financial institution that wants to target and begin speaking to and with Boomer women?

Well, according to the Wells Fargo research ...

1. Women tend to be more conservative when it comes to investments and often underestimate how much they will need to live on for what could be a 20-30 year retirement.

2. Women tend to be open to receiving information in the form of advice.

3. Not only are they open to advice; they actively seek it out.

And according to recent research by iVillage ...

4. Women much prefer online women's communities for information over broad social networking sites such as Facebook.

5. They seek out and trust content on online communities while using social media sites for keeping in touch with friends and family.

How might marketers put this information to use? Through advice-laden content, of course.

Wells Fargo set forward to fill this messaging and information gap with "Beyond Today," a program that targets women through an online collection of content blogs, videos, tools, checklists, and digital magazine. In other words, Wells Fargo essentially created its own media channel to speak directly to the needs of women, to change the nature and approach of the conversation, and to provide answers and advice about investment options.

The women's retirement market is ripe for this type of approach as it is incumbent upon investment houses to build trust and affinity with women while educating them.

Two keys to success for content marketing are relevance and authenticity:

  • If you're planning to use content to speak to women about retirement and investment planning, then you better use credible subject matter experts who speak with authority.
  • Additionally, be mindful that one size doesn't fit all when it comes to content. Women are not a homogenous group and shouldn't be spoken to all in the same manner. The needs of a single thirty-year-old are quite different from a women nearing retirement who is also dealing with aging parents. And, just don't search and replace text that was used to market to men, they'll know the difference.

Over the next several years, the market for women's retirement planning should be booming and the companies that seek to truly educate and advise women will be the winners in the long term. Marketers have an opportunity to build lasting relationships with valuable female customers with information that make a difference in their lives.

This Just In: Top Insurance
1 New York Life
2 MetLife
3 The Hartford
5 Travelers
7 Prudential
8 Aetna
Source: Brand Keys Customer
Loyalty Engagement Index 2011

1 comment about "Financial Marketers: Get In Touch With Your Feminine Side ".
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  1. Cassandra Pare from Women & Co, February 14, 2011 at 4:32 p.m.

    At Citibank’s Women & Co., we second that. Women have distinct financial realities, as you mentioned, and seek out information from trusted, credible sources that are both personal and relevant. We also find women are talking more openly about money now. Women & Co. research shows nearly two-thirds of women are talking about money socially in light of the recession:

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