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19 Sep 2018

Five ways that personalisation can improve your financial wellbeing strategy

Warren tends to wake up at 6:45 in the morning and without fail will eat breakfast at McDonalds every day. If he’s feeling particularly cheerful he will also indulge in a Strawberry Milkshake. When asked about his terrible diet, he said: “I checked the actuarial tables, and the lowest death rate is among six-year-olds, so I decided to eat like a six-year-old. It’s the safest course I can take.”


When in the office, Warren loves to stay on top of what is going on in the world and will read The Financial Times, The New York Times, The Omaha World-Herald, and American Banker before kicking off his day. He will also read around 500 pages of books a day. Overall, he estimates that he spends 80 per cent of his time reading. He will often take friends out to lunch, usually McDonalds, and was seen buying his pal Bill Gates lunch using coupons. After catching up with various executives who work for the company that he chairs in the afternoon, he will spend his evening playing bridge and go to bed around 10:45.

If you hadn’t guessed it, this morning routine belongs to 88-year-old billionaire investor Warren Buffett. Now if you looked at Buffett on paper as an employee and didn’t know anything about his background, how would you communicate with him? If you were launching a financial wellbeing programme would you be offering him services focused on retirement based purely on his age? Or would you be trying to engage him with services typically enjoyed by other 88-year-olds?

How then can personalisation be used to improve your financial wellbeing strategy?

1. Improved engagement

Cohort analysis or mass generalisation is rampant within the communications that we send out to employees. Keeping communications high level and generalised is cheap and quick. It will also mean engagement is low.

Facebook is worth £380 billion based purely on its ability to understand individual user’s preferences and sell these engagement stats to marketers, which then leads to engagement. Spending the time learning what each individual employee is looking for and adapting your strategy accordingly is essential.

2. Reduce unsubscribe requests

Research by emarketeer.com found that 25 per cent of people opt out of emails because the content is irrelevant. By increasing personalisation of the service that is provided we can ensure that we tick this reason off the list. If you were interested in the top reason for unsubscribes, it was frequency of emails, so be selective with what you send.

3. Virality

Think of the last bit of content that you shared with someone else. Why did you do it? According to a study conducted by psychologists at UCLA, the primary reason people share is to entertain, inspire, and be useful to others.

If you really want your financial wellbeing programme to be a success personalising the content to individuals will increase the chances of it being shared. If each employee tells just one person to use the service, you have doubled your engagement, but this will only happen if what you are sending out to staff is perceived as good enough.

4. Trust

By sending personalised content to employees you build trust. By showing a deep understanding of the issues and concerns felt by the individual, you are more likely to get them to trust that the suggestions you make to improve their circumstances will be adopted. This not only improves engagement but the effectiveness of the service.

5. Improve insight

A useful biproduct of doing the work to personalise your wellbeing programme is that you will collect data. You should know how many employees are struggling with debt and day-to-day spending versus those who are looking at lifetime allowance pension issues and tax planning. This will give you a baseline as to how well your workforce is doing financially and will allow you to see whether your financial wellbeing programme has the desired effect.

Warren Buffett is an extreme example of what an 88-year-old member of your workforce could look like. However, if you are finding your programmes are not working effectively you should dig into the data.

A 50-year-old in your workforce could either be ready to retire or nearing bankruptcy and looking to work for another 30 years. The point is, we don’t know unless we ask them and then provide an appropriate service.

This article was provided by Wealth Wizards.

In partnership with Wealth Wizards

We are a technology company making expert financial advice accessible and affordable to everyone.

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