LONDON: Financial brands are missing out on a potential £130bn opportunity by failing to tailor their communications to address the different needs that women have in this category.

The fact that women tend to have less product knowledge and to have lower levels of confidence in their decision-making abilities as regards financial services “serves to lower their engagement”, according to Amy Cashman, financial services lead at Kantar TNS.

That lack of confidence is one of several areas where Kantar’s research has highlighted differences between men and women in this category, but marketing is almost always aimed at men.

“Women have quite a different context from men,” Cashman told a session at the recent Marketing Week Live conference (For more read WARC’s report: Women: the £130bn opportunity for financial services brands.)

“They’re seeking validation and reassurance,” she noted. And their financial conversations are about their relations and their bank account; for men “it’s much more about products that can generate returns in the long term [interest] or things that have implications for their own financial position [tax, cash]”.

But “a lot of the cues used in this category – communications, language, imagery – serve to reinforce the perspective that it’s a man’s world,” said Cashman.

There are potentially serious societal consequences, she added, as women are more numerous and live for longer; they are much more likely to be worried about running out of money in retirement than men but they are less likely to be prepared for retirement.

Kantar’s segmentation of the market showed that people in the UK tend to have low confidence generally when looking at financial services, but, Cashman argued, any work done to increase women’s confidence would have a positive knock-on effect and engage more people in the category.

Specifically, a different marketing approach that made each woman just one level of confidence more confident – “not making them into Gordon Gekko characters” – could have significant results.

“When you gross that up you get to £130 billion that could be available to put into savings and investments in the UK if women became just a little bit more confident about the whole category,” she said.

“There’s a big financial opportunity there.”

Sourced from WARC