Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Preparing for Generation D

They are 75 million strong.  They hold nearly $27 trillion in assets.  When it comes to investing, they are active, with higher levels of income.  And they’re usually well-educated.  Accenture calls them “Generation D,” because what sets this group apart is their “deeply digital lifestyle.”

Theirs is a demographic based on behavior, not by age.  Accenture stumbled upon Generation D last summer while conducting a survey of current and future investors.  The group is a hybrid, made up of “Skeptical Millennials,” “Jaded Gen-Xers,” and “Trusting Boomers.”  The common thread is that “Gen D members typically use multiple devices in a given week to manage financial accounts, look up investment information, and pay bills.”  They use social media, and they do their own investment due diligence on the Internet.  Accenture says Generation D is a “vitally important group of investors.”

That’s the good news.  The bad news is the conclusion of another Accenture survey conducted at the same time – financial advisers aren’t reaching these investors.  They need to remedy this neglect by using online educational tools and resources to connect with Gen D, and integrate social media into their overall communications strategy.

But how important really is social media to building a financial advisory practice?  Just ask Chris Hughes, one of the co-founders of Facebook.  Hughes was the one who designed Barack Obama’s digital strategy for his first election campaign.  Obama’s use of social networking, podcasting, and mobile messaging helped win him the White House.

One of the worst casualties of the financial crisis was the erosion of trust between investors and their financial advisors.  Engaging Generation D on digital platforms is a golden opportunity for advisors to repair the rift, and reap the rewards.

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