The middle class continues to be full of untapped potential. Financial providers need to step up now or else risk losing out to competitors, especially digital-first start-ups. Over the next 5 years, the middle class will have approximately $1 trillion in assets under management (AUM) that represent a significant opportunity for financial institutions to establish lifelong customer relationships.
The global changes brought about by COVID-19 are also putting a spotlight on this untapped market. Too often, financial advice for the growing middle is broad and overly general—and that’s no longer good enough. Middle-class Americans are demanding integrated personal financial advice to simultaneously protect and grow their assets. Up to now, financial providers have been slow to respond to these customer needs, which is why we’ve published a new report to explore these untapped and upcoming opportunities—and what you should do now to capitalize on this unique moment.
Tap into the next trillion with integrated financial advice
To gain a large share of the next trillion, providers will need to focus on deepening customer relationships through trustworthy integrated financial advice.
Integrated financial advice is a personalized solution, powered by data-driven business intelligence and a clear, holistic view of the customer’s profile. There are at least five opportunities for providers to expand their financial advice opportunities.
- Tap into participants of group benefits to create deep individual relationships
- Tap into the gig economy where retirement planning is often lacking
- Tap into the percentage of Americans, not in a defined contribution plan, estimated to be 85 million people
- Tap into the upcoming $68 trillion wealth transfer expected to happen in the next 25 years.
- Tap into experience-driven business models to move away from commoditized fee structures and focus on individual relationships
A core theme of these opportunities is using retirement plans as a foot in the door to closer, lifelong customer relationships. Only 10% of group participants have conducted thorough retirement planning, despite 4 out of 5 desiring individual financial planning with their plan provider. Providers should leverage advisors and use personalized digital communication to expand customer relationships from vacuous retirement mutual funds to lifelong partnerships.
Act now: How to activate customer relationships
There are 7 key imperatives that financial providers can take to tap into the potential of their customer relationships.
- Simple engagement at key customer moments
- A human touch to digital interactions
- Solutions that meet consumer needs, in industries that you need
- Portable solutions
- Accessible advice
- Ecosystems with complementary products and services that go beyond core benefits
- Tailored engagement strategies
The undercurrent of these imperatives is the need for non-traditional, innovative new products and better communication and advice. To accomplish this, there are three things financial providers can do now.
- Leverage technology like artificial intelligence to rethink the advisory model. Scalable, personalized communication should be built around key customer life events.
- Focus new group benefit structures and routes to market on filling customer gaps: inheritance affluents, gig economy workers and post-pandemic digital nomads
- Take advantage of our digital world (non-fungible tokens, blockchain) to innovate away from commoditization and open the door for the middle class to access the high-return strategies of the wealthy.
The next five years will have clear winners and losers. The winners will be defined by how well they expand and reinforce their customer relationships into lifelong partnerships. Middle-class Americans have never been more enthusiastic to plan for their financial future—all they are waiting on is you. Now is the time to use technology to scale personal, timely financial advice to all your customers.
Register to view our full report for more detailed information.
And if you’re ready to engage your customers to like never before, please contact me. We can help.