This final blog brings together key aspects of the service proposition which will appeal to female clients. In addition this blog looks at ways in which financial advisers can build rapport with their female clients through their marketing. You might be asking yourself “is this really necessary?” Well, research has identified differences in the way that women respond to brands. For example, Wendy Gordon (2004) describes marketing to women as a shift from male vales to female values:
- From competition to collaboration
- From rational thought towards emotional and intuitive
- From focused activity to understanding the wider context
Taking these differences on board can help make communications more effective and ultimately build a stronger rapport with female clients. So, how do you include this in your marketing I hear you ask? Well, research suggests that factors such as, communicating empathy, building relationships, taking a holistic approach, being nurturing, improving communication and building self-esteem as important. We will now look at each of these factors in turn to see how they can be used to build rapport.
Because women have higher emotional empathy than men, brands that tap into a higher level of intimacy gain strong loyalty from women. This may include alliances with charities and commitments to ethical and environmental standards or demonstrating a caring organisation. For women, it’s not necessarily just about money, their also needs to be a human connection with their advice.
Positive social emotional behaviour is an important characteristic of women, as they engage with friends, agree with others and offer support. Women tend to be attracted to brands that focus on inclusivity, relationships and sociability rather than simply achievement. Social networking sites have more appeal to women than men so online communications are very important.
In terms of their behaviour toward managing their finances, women are more in-depth and thoughtful about what they do. Most women have a lower tolerance to risk than men. Women are more intense with a better attitude to planning but also tend to be more loyal and attentive.
Taking a holistic approach
Women’s brains are better connected across all areas so they can grasp the big picture better than men. This means that focusing on the wider emotional benefit of a product or service is more effective than emphasising only a few product features. Women perceive great benefits and synergies from brands that can be used in parallel with each other.
Therefore, rather than simply answering a single question, financial advice needs to be seen to fit into the overall landscape of their life and take an integrated approach to accommodate women and their work/life balance with their services.
Women have a strong social and psychological need to develop friendships. They spend time with those they like and enjoy doing things with. Women are more willing to invest in brand relationships and those brands that enable socially supportive activities. This therefore is important for great availability and communication in their financial services.
Women tend to take more notice of personal recommendations or a friend’s opinion than adverts or sales pitches, so accreditations are very useful for reassurance. Reassurance and trust can be gained by promoting brands that others in a similar situation use, especially if it’s built on sound knowledge and expertise. This is especially true of significant purchases such as a car, house or pension, and women prefer tried and tested brands with a long history.
To build rapport, it is useful to talk about how many years’ experience you have in this field. Other techniques could include using tailored case studies or visual financial life journeys.
Building self esteem
Women are very keen on a sense of belonging and this is where tribal branding comes into its own. It’s a key opportunity for brands, linked to identifying with success. There’s a strong need for women to feel self-confidence and brands can enable this. Women want to work with a knowledgeable individual or expert, who can find the information and present it back to them.
If these factors are considered and implemented the rapport will help financial advisers increase satisfaction among female clients. Overall, this research suggests that these techniques may help financial advisers know what women prefer as well as how to improve their services.