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What Are Clients Looking for Post–COVID-19?

Five questions (and answers) that may better inform your client communications in the new normal.

Understanding consumers' behavior toward media, and their buying habits as they relate to financial decisions has never been more important. Eliminating the guesswork regarding people's preferences for content and media choices since the COVID-19 pandemic will be a big difference-maker—both from a mass-marketing and one-on-one standpoint.

Lone Beacon, a Boston-based full-service marketing firm dedicated to financial advisories, recently conducted a nationwide survey utilizing the databases of our clients. The recipients were people between the ages of 50 and 70 who have, on average, approximately $500,000 of net investable assets and have demonstrated an interest in retirement investing. There were 1,263 respondents evenly distributed from each region of the U.S.

They were asked questions pertaining to:

1. Comfort toward attending a public event; 

2. Preferences for consuming information; 

3. Preferred type and tenor of messaging; 

4. Most appealing trait in a brand; and

5. Preferred medium to stay informed. 

We found that geography had minimal bearing on how people answered the questions. It didn't make much difference whether a respondent was from a small rural town or a large city; their answers were fairly consistent. A more significant barometer was how some database subjects had been "trained" and exposed to messaging over time by the campaigns they were served.

During times of exponential change, it's important to take a step back to gather data. We have a tremendous ability today to dynamically ask questions and learn from the people who matter most, more than ever. While our experience has allowed us to use context from similar situations in the past, it is in no way empirical. That said, those of us who have worked in the field for a period of time have a tremendous advantage when it comes to context, or "gut instincts," but the data at our fingertips can help us challenge our instincts, or confirm them. Either way, there is no substitute for good data.

John Capuano is co-founder of Lone Beacon.

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