Recent work and analysis from Kantar Australia identified that financial services providers are not fulfilling their full potential with women.
Un-targeted products, services and marketing results in female under subscription, particularly in longer term borrowing, investments and superannuation.
There are many factors which are at the foundation of this, starting with the ways in which women’s lives have changed. More than ever before, women are faced with increased individual accountability. Changes in business, retirement and health systems mean that they are now expected more to manage their own careers, future, health, their families and retirement.
Male skewed services
With this, we found that a large proportion of females are either jointly responsible or mainly responsible for financial decisions in the household. However, at the same time there is both evidence and a strong sentiment that financial products and services lean more towards men.
Some 26 per cent of women and 18 per cent of men feel that males get more attention than women from financial services providers. A further 31 per cent of both genders believes that financial services as a category caters more for men.
Within financial services the male gender leaning is less pronounced for ‘everyday’ banking but becomes very apparent for savings, insurance, life insurance and longer-term investment and wealth services.
Let’s not confuse confidence with competence!
A key learning was that females are generally less confident with finances versus men and that there is a greater level of nervousness and anxiety when it comes to making important decisions. Many women do state that they would like to be more confident with their finances.
Again, when it comes to savings, investments, longer term borrowing and super there is a much lower level of engagement and lower appetite for risk in these types of products.
However, this does not mean that women are any less competent and in fact the level of perceived complexity of financial products is seen to be the same across both genders. Marketers need to be mindful of this when they communicate in terms of message and tonality so that the engagement is right.
Current communications are divisive
An advertising creative component of our study also showed divergence in how men and women perceive financial services TVC’s and digital content, demonstrating a real need for ads to speak inclusively to women.
More work needs to be done. Our work highlights that women are generally more poorly financially prepared to achieve future goals and a comfortable retirement not only because of lower than average personal earnings but also because financial products and services are not created and marketed well enough to meet their needs.
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