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Segmenting the adviser client base

We all know the theory of segmented marketing; tailoring communications to specific client groups to provide for a more personalized message and client experience. Unfortunately for the adviser, it’s not so easy in practice. Despite best efforts, it is often a case of the same messaging for ALL clients.

One size fits all client communication tends to give a bland sense of mass production and indifference, which often fails to stimulate clients into action nor provides any positive brand association.

Client segmentation is about grouping clients with similar characteristics so that the message can be personalized, relevant and something that stimulates interest and action. In theory, once the segmentation process has been carried out, it is just a matter of deciding on the medium for communication to each client grouping.

Adviser’s communication challenge

For many advisers, this is where the issues arise. It would be highly inefficient and time consuming to group say all SSAP clients by their risk profile and then write out to each sub group with a tailored message relevant to their particular risk tolerance. Then, needing to repeat the process every three or six months in line with your communications plan. That’s just for SSAP clients, what about Execs, and PRSAs, and even group scheme members?

For many advisers it's just not an option and therefore most communications need to be more on the mass-produced side, with more of a " there is something in it for everyone" strategy.

The further challenge for the marketing focused adviser is what medium to communicate the message. Do we have all e mails, do we have GDPR consent, will it come across as impersonal junk mail, do we incur the cost of print and post?

Is it time to go digital?

Statistics tell us that over 93% of Irish adults have smartphone and we know they engage with a diverse range of services on their phone; their bank, GAA club, supermarket, even the parking meter…but not their adviser. Is it time to go digital?

Mobile technology provides a low-cost instant communications portal which opens up a world of opportunities for the progressive adviser. A branded smartphone application creates a strong differentiator and unique value proposition compared to the traditional snail mail communication strategy.

Imagine every SSAP client getting a notification on their phone of say the top three investments currently open on the market for SSAP funds, minimum premiums, closing dates etc. With the press of a button the client can ping back their adviser a message such as "book me in for €50k in that property fund".

Or a communication to all scheme members of every pension scheme on your books about investing a single contribution before the year-end.

It no longer needs to be the annual review date to communicate with clients.

Karl O Meara



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