As executive coaches who focus on guiding financial advisors to grow successful advisory practices, we work with many advisors on the development of their marketing strategies and plans. We have observed that a critical success factor in the very best marketing plans are having clearly defined “ideal client profiles”.
When we ask financial advisors to define one of their ideal client profiles, a significant amount identify one of their target groups as “women”. On the surface, this is not a surprising answer. Women play a massively important role in the financial decisions of U.S. households. According to a study by Allianz Life, women control 60 percent of household wealth today, i.e. $14 trillion, an amount that is projected to grow to $22 trillion by 2020.
In fact, because the female demographic is so large and diverse, “women” is not a target market. By definition, it can’t be.
[As of yet, we have not yet come across any financial advisor who has ever identified one of their target markets as “men”. That would be kinda funny, actually.]
The essential point is that gender by itself is not a sufficiently precise identifier that provides clues on the needs and concerns of women as potential clients of wealth management and financial services
To more accurately identify “ideal client profiles” who are also female, financial advisors might consider some of the following sub-sets:
- Female business owners: Women comprise about 30 percent of all business owners. They may identify themselves as business owners, as much as anything else.
- Female senior executives: Although the percentage of corporate executive officers who are women is still much too low (just 14 percent), female executives can be an important demographic for financial advisors. One common characteristic of female executives seems to be that they are incredibly busy, e.g. many juggle multiple roles, responsibilities and tasks.
- Single mothers: Single mothers are single for a number of reasons. Some are widowed (Women still outlive their male spouses by about 14 years). Others are divorced. Still others are mothers who have chosen to raise children on their own. Like female executives, single mothers usually never have enough time.
- The Sandwich Generation: caretakers of generations on either side (i.e. children and parents), the sandwich generation experiences their own specific concerns and stressors.
- Female retirees: Close to 60 percent of elderly, retired women face retirement without their spouse. Beyond retirement needs, they face the prospect of living their “golden years” without the partner whom they shared their life with.
- NextGen women: The next generation of women leaders. Tech and social media savvy, NextGen women present a real opportunity (and challenge) for financial advisors who wish to serve this group.
Our take-away with all this is that financial advisors who care to specialize in the needs and concerns of any demographic group should become as specific and targeted as possible in their understanding of what drives the group. This applies to women; as well as to pretty much any other demographic niche that one can think of.
A Special Note: ClientWise would like to offer a hearty congratulations to the Barron’s Top 100 Women Financial Advisors, who were recently honored at the Top Women Advisors Summit. The awardees and agenda can be found here.
For a complimentary ClientWise Learning Tool that identifies 19 marketing strategies that financial advisors might employ with their practice, please download below: