3 tips for investment advisors marketing to retirees
Retirees — and particularly the baby boomer generation — are actively seeking investment advice to help them plan for a long and rewarding retirement. When marketing to seniors, it’s worth checking automatic expectations at the door and turning to the research. In many cases, the data challenges popular assumptions about the preferences and tendencies of older clients.
Baby boomers control roughly 70% of all disposable income in the United States, which matters for such an active and adventurous generation. Seniors today live longer and fuller lives than their predecessors, with 70% of all “boomers” planning on taking an overnight vacation (and spending $1,000 to $5,000 in the process) each year. More affluent individuals will have even more ambitious plans. Smart financial and investment decisions are what help them to achieve these goals.
Here are a few tips to ensure that financial advisors don’t miss the mark when marketing to seniors:
1. Don’t just sell… Educate.
Think about offering retirement income planning or estate planning education as a form of marketing to seniors. Acting as an educator puts you in a position to establish your expertise and credibility while building valuable relationships with course attendees. It’s all about earning the trust of the retirees in your audience in an authentic way.
Older Americans aren’t interested in pushy sales tactics, but they do appreciate opportunities to demonstrate their continued independence and maintain control over their own lives. An educational offering empowers your audience to better define their own financial goals and make smart investment decisions. That kind of value can be very compelling — and make you the person to turn to when they are interested in further guidance. Every course attendee is essentially a self-selected and pre-qualified lead. Impress your attendees with your in-person or virtual educational resources and the follow-up meetings will practically book themselves.
Don Chamberlin, CFEd, holds an educational financial podcast for a minimal fee. As he explained to Thinkadvisor, “we find that we get five times more responses to the podcast than we get to a regular weekly or monthly emailed newsletter.”
2. Embrace user-friendly video technology.
We all know that face-to-face meetings are not always a possibility. Fortunately, the rapid expansion of digital and video meeting technologies has penetrated the senior demographic as much as it has for younger generations. Online videos, webinars, and virtual classes are ideal marketing tools as you try to reach seniors from the comfort of their own homes.
Data shows that retirees are becoming much more adept with the internet and video technology. According to an iProspect study, “silver surfers” don’t see age as a barrier to the growing reliance of day-to-day life on the internet — most actually see their internet use increasing as they age. The study showed that 63% of over-70s spend 11-30 hours a week online, which is actually higher than every other age group from 30-69.
You can stay connected with clients and build your senior client base by offering virtual seminars that maintain the personal touch that’s valued by the older population. Don Aven, a St. Louis area-based principal at Edward Jones, told U.S. News that “Edward Jones financial advisors are doing more virtual seminars and using tools to understand what is most important to prospective clients, helping them feel understood by their financial advisor and in control of the planning process.”
3. Blend virtual and local, in-person prospect journeys.
Even though they’re more tech savvy than before, the older age group does place a high value on face-to-face, off-line conversations and in-person interactions with hands-on experiences. You can integrate online and offline experiences with nods to traditional channels. For example:
- Advertisements for online classes in the local paper
- Printed brochures mailed to the household
- Calls to action that ask seniors to call a telephone number
Also consider offerings that invite retirees to participate directly while learning and meeting others in a similar situation. An investment planning seminar or workshop at a local community college, for example, can supplement online resources and help to create a seamless marketing strategy across digital and local offerings.
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