The wealth management sector in the UK is undergoing a significant shift, driven by increasing competition, consolidation, societal changes in wealth distribution and advances in technology. Leading brands are capitalising on the opportunities this changing landscape offers. Many, however, lag behind – stuck in the traditions and mindsets of previous generations.
In this final article in our wealth management marketing series, we’ll summarise some of the key marketing trends and analyse the best ways to stay relevant in this highly competitive, evolving market.
If you missed the previous articles in the series, we’d recommend checking them out. You can read them all here:
Key trends in wealth management marketing
In the previous articles in this series, we’ve discussed how some brands are targeting women and millennials for growth. And for good reason:
- Both segments have a high propensity to sack the advisors of their husbands (70%) or parents (87%) on succession, which is an issue for most wealth management companies who have an ageing client base.
- 45% of the addressable wealth market comprises women.
- Inherited wealth is skipping a generation.
We have seen this trend extend across the market, from firms catering to high-net-worth individuals through to the mass-affluent.
‘...in widening the conversation to include new demographics, brands feel contemporary and fresh, chiming with shifting societal attitudes...’
UBS are overtly targeting women at the premium end of the market, and Schroders are addressing millennials in the mid-market, both offering propositions and brand stories tailored to them. But it’s notable that neither feels forced or exclusive of other audiences. In widening the conversation to include new demographics, brands feel contemporary and fresh, chiming with shifting societal attitudes.
The mass-affluent end of the market is also burgeoning, with brands like ABRDN broadcasting a broad, inclusive and sustainable story to attract volumes of investors.
Other brands are following suit. St James's Place has just rebranded, with the objective of showing they are “an inclusive, responsible and contemporary business”.
Sanlam have announced a name-change (Atomos) and imminent rebrand, which they say will reflect “a strong internal culture of collaboration, inclusivity and diverse perspectives.” The firm aims to become a leading, digitally enabled, hybrid wealth business.
Digital transformation and data demands
Digital transformation is at the heart of many wealth management businesses’ strategies. Digitally enabled service is no longer the sole preserve of millennial demands. It is expected by a large proportion of society under 60 and has been accelerated by the challenges we all faced during lockdown.
‘... digitally enabled service is no longer the sole preserve of millennial demands...’
But it’s not only the service end of business that’s undergoing a digital transformation. The marketing function is becoming digitally enabled to create, disseminate and track marketing communications at scale, through a proliferating number of channels, across all stages of the prospect and customer journey.
Typically, these marketing machines have, at their heart, a CRM and marketing automation system linked to the firm’s website. These systems form the engine that drives the creation, delivery and tracking of results.
A digital asset management system will store all of the comms components – imagery and copy, blogs etc. – to enable consistency and efficiency.
A print-on-demand system may enable the online creation and ordering of personalised print communications. This is particularly relevant for firms who have a national network of offices, allowing for local marketing activity that’s governed centrally for brand consistency and budgetary control.
Data forms the fuel that allows us to profile, target and optimise communications across all channels.
The ecosystem is constantly changing. For example, cookies – for a long time the industry staple for tracking and targeting data – are being phased out. The new version of Google Analytics (GA4) offers the way forward, using first-party data to connect all components of the marketing machine’s engine.
“...the new version of Google Analytics (GA4) offers the way forward, using first-party data to connect all components of the marketing machine’s engine...”
Getting the best results from the right channels
In the first article in this series, we analysed both the message and channel strategy of a number of wealth management brands. We saw that the winners projected a consistent brand message over an extended period of time, committing a significant investment into the activity.
“...the channel mix differs depending on the segment of the market being targeted...”
That’s not to say that direct response marketing doesn’t have its place – St James’s Place have built an enviable position using predominantly direct marketing tactics. However, for affluent audiences in this competitive market, brand associations hold more weight.
The channel mix differs depending on the segment of the market being targeted. For example, ABRDN have invested heavily in TV to cut through into the mass-affluent market. UBS have used a mix of premium print and audio advertising. Online channels provide opportunities for niche targeting of millennials and women’s interest groups. Postcode targeting on the Sky Ad smart platform enables TV advertising based on mosaic profiles.
Ambient advertising can build awareness around local offices. Whatever the mix relevance to the audience, the benefits are only seen if the message is co-ordinated and consistent across all channels, and executed over an extended period of time. In fact, it takes at least six months for any brand building to take effect.
Undoubtedly, these are turbulent times for wealth management firms. Technology is disrupting, society is changing and market competition is getting fierce. Through the course of these articles, we’ve seen how a number of brands are evolving and gaining advantage through a broader, more inclusive brand story, concerted and consistent investment in brand advertising and the smart use of technology. It will be interesting to see who else follows suit. The winners will undoubtedly capture larger chunks of the market. Those stuck in the past may well be consigned to history.
Want to get ahead of the curve? Keen to make your messaging matter to millennials? Have questions about inclusive marketing? We’re here to help.
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