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09/18/2013

Targeting and Influencing the Mass Affluent

Trevor Rasmussen September 18th, 2013
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Last week, at Content Marketing World, Jonathon Lister, VP, North America Sales, Marketing Solutions for LinkedIn, shared a report conducted by LinkedIn and Cogent Research entitled “Influencing the Mass Affluent”. The report piggybacked on my last blog, “Don’t Fail to Use the Power of LinkedIn” so I wanted to continue the discussion around this vital group for financial institutions.

1. Who are the Mass Affluent?

The Mass Affluent, according to Forrester, are current investors with $100,000 to $1 million in assets (excluding the value of their home). Currently, there over 40 million people across the US that fit into that category and they hold about a third of all retail investment assets. They don’t always consider themselves to be wealthy but they are at a stage where investing is a priority, though they don’t always know how to do it. Bank of America released this interesting graphic that really helps to show who they are and how they think:

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Over the past year or so , there has been a lot of discussion about this group, BAI even has an Executive Roundtable scheduled for Sept 25-26, 2013 around this very topic. This blog is going to talk about how you can effectively use social media in your marketing campaign to target this audience.

2. The Mass Affluent do use social media.

There is a perception that people in this demographic are not into social media. But this new research reveals that nearly nine in ten have used social media in the last year (87%) and this percentage rises for those in their earlier stages who are still acquiring wealth. The research also revealed that 72 percent are using Facebook, 50 percent are using LinkedIn and 27 percent are using Twitter.

3. The Mass Affluent use social media differently.

You might be thinking, great another blog telling me that people are using social media but hear me out! This segment is not only connecting for personal purposes (keeping tabs on their children or checking up on a buddy from college), but the report from LinkedIn and Cogent reveal they use it for professional purposes as well:mass2

1 in 2 use social media to CONNECT with other professionals

1 in 3 use social media to CONSUME professional content

1 in 4 use social media to CREATE professional content

Addtionally, they aren’t just making connections with other professionals, they are highly engaged with companies as well:

Social media has become an educational resource. Nearly two in five have turned to social media for financial education or research (36%) which includes looking for financial trends and company products (discovery) or seeking advice or information to evaluate what they’ve learned (consideration). And the golden egg is in finding those that are actively doing both as 63% are driven to action based on their research.

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4. The Mass Affluent want to learn from you.

Many banks have begun to create strategies to target the Mass Affluent. JP Morgan Chase & Co, Bank of the West, Bank of America, and Citigroup have all recently made headlines for their efforts to target this audience. Whether it’s standalone buildings, separate lounges or even chocolate chip cookies, banks are more aggressively targeting these people. But most of them are overlooking social media as a component of their plans.

The Mass Affluent are looking to learn and they want to learn from their financial institutions and financial advisors. Social media is an ideal tool to share this kind of engaging and relevant content if you want to stay ahead of the game.

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To reach them you need a multi-faceted plan that includes a strong content marketing and social media strategy. A recent Merrill Edge Report revealed that one of the most valuable ways that Gen Y Mass Affluent consumers are getting plugged in is through the access to market news and information as well as educational content to help them better manage their investments. LinkedIn is THE social media channel to reach this audience and if you are ignoring it, you are already behind.

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Click here if you would like to read the LinkedIn report for yourself.

I would love to hear some of the ways you have seen financial institutions successfully engage with this audience. Who is leading the pack? What are they doing well? Anyone have a great content or social media strategy that they’ve seen or executed? Please share ideas in the comments area below or reach out to me at @trevorr77.