A significant percentage of Defined Contribution plan participants, even older participants are using social media and mobile technology. Usage is so pervasive that it is for granted, but it is important for retirement plan providers and advisors to incorporate usage of these tools into their marketing and customer service strategies. It is instructive, then, to determine what activities and services DC plan participants would most like to see offered on their advisor/provider’s website.
By far most interest is in practical services that allow for user-friendly personal money management, according to Spectrem Group’s DC Participants Insight Series report, Using Social Media and Mobile Technology in Financial Decisions. Two-thirds of DC plan participants indicated they would be interested in having access to their personal account information.
Spectrem research finds that DC plan participants rank smart investing behind hard work, education and frugality as the primary factor in their wealth creation, and they are looking to their financial advisor/provider to help them get smart. Spectrem’s new report finds that one-third of DC plan participants would be interested in accessing advice from financial experts on their advisor/provider’s website, while roughly three-in-ten would be interested in articles and research on financial topics and products. Of less interest would be videos featuring experts on financial topics, comprehensive service/product offering information, and case studies.
Almost 90 percent of surveyed DC plan participants use a PC/Mac and smartphone, while almost 70 percent use a tablet or e-Reader. Not surprisingly for DC plan participants, interest is highest in being able to access a retirement planning tool and asset allocation for maximum return, followed by an overall financial planning tool and one that would assist in allocating retirement assets and Social Security to provide the highest possible retirement income.
If you don’t offer these and other services on your website, participants will find other outlets. For example, the research finds that the likelihood of reading financial blogs is currently highest on the websites of major financial major outlets, closely followed by the website of their financial advisor/provider.
“Retirement plan providers and advisors must take advantage of mobile technology and social media,” the Spectrem report states. “For young participants (and even many older participants) the retirement plan is their biggest asset. By providing them with relevant, easy-to-use information, retirement plan providers have the perfect opportunity to build life-long relationships.”
Top Takeaways for Advisor and Providers
· Smartphone and PC/Mac usage is universal. Be sure to tailor your content to these devices for maximum impact.
· Original content via articles and blogs are an opportunity to establish your expertise.
· Create content that will engage the widest age-range of DC plan participants. One-quarter of participants overall watch videos on financial websites. Tellingly, Baby Boomers and the WWII generation are more likely to watch videos than younger participants.