A generational shift is taking place in the investment sector.
Older investors are rapidly giving way to a younger generation of millennials who have a very different outlook on what they expect from fund companies and how they expect to interact with them.
These are people who have grown up immersed in technology and connectivity – digital natives who expect personal, convenient communication through the channels that they use and favour.
So, the ability to offer a strong and seamless digital client experience is now more vital than ever.
And this is prompting big changes in the fund marketing sector – branding, for example, is moving with the times to appeal to younger people. But perhaps the biggest change is in the field of investor engagement. The new breed of investors have radically different ideas about how they want to communicate and the level of personalisation they expect from service providers.
This means that the days of just having a telephone number and email address as contact points are fading fast and in recent years many firms adopt webchat and social media as extra communication methods.
There is also a cost issue at work here – as this new generation of investors is more likely to ‘dip a toe’ in the investment world with limited funds. So, using webchat and other automated communication methods enables firms to cost-effectively serve investors who do not have significant funds to invest and otherwise would be cut adrift by raised asset thresholds.
The change that is taking place is not just about communication. It must also be remembered that digitalisation means that people increasingly want fast access to relevant information. So, up to date and accurate investment data needs to be available on demand, enabling investors to look at real-time status reports in regards to their money.
Coupled with this is the need to offer an easy way to access this real-time data, through a digital engagement platform that makes it quick and simple for investors to view information about their money.
Social responsibility comes to the fore
Another important aspect of this generational shift amongst investors is that younger clients often have radically higher expectations around corporate social responsibility (CSR).
This reflects changing attitudes in wider society – with people increasingly favouring brands and firms that appear to have a conscience and that are seen to encourage and fund positive action regarding environmental causes and social change.
This has reached a stage where – for an increasing number of investors – a firm’s attitude to CSR is a fundamental issue. If it’s perceived not to be good enough, then they will look for somewhere else to invest their money.
So funds are doing ever more in this area. And it is one of the jobs of the fund marketing department to ensure that the CSR message gets through via positive PR campaigns and investor communication.
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