Andrew Braun

Australia’s 1.6 million emerging affluent women are “underserviced” by financial advisers whose marketing strategies should adjust to earn their trust, says a new industry survey.

Wealth platform Netwealth’s third Advisable Australian Report ‘Women as the new face of wealth’ said wealth managers could transform their businesses and client service models to attract, acquire, retain and service women as long-term clients.

The survey conducted by the advice wealth platform of 1318 Australian adults, including 681 women, showed 1.6 million women were emerging as affluent with an average household wealth of $1.5 million, were likely to be tertiary educated, living with a partner and technology savvy.

Netwealth marketing general manager Andrew Braun tells Professional Planner women are reliant on their referral network with nine out of ten (88 per cent) looking to friends, family or colleagues for recommendations on financial advisers.

Women rated the client experience and service of an advice firm is as important as the quality of advice and 48 per cent of women turning to digital sources like Google search or online ratings websites to find an adviser, the report said.

Thus digital marketing should be tailored to women in the audience.

“The data doesn’t fully articulate this, but when someone searches for a financial adviser, they end up at someone’s website… that’s really where things like content marketing become quite powerful,’’ Braun says.

“How do you create trust? Content marketing, social proof, being third party endorsements, case studies, external ratings and reviews, [as well as] awards, you may have won, things like that.”

Braun says one third of women surveyed would consider advice if they had a better understanding of what advisers could do for them, including educating them about finance and long-term investment.

“Advisers either can do that, when they meet a client for the first time, or they can do that, through writing articles… to try and drive traffic, or in places where their clients and future clients might be. So that education piece is really important.”

Advisers can create content such as podcasts or YouTube videos to demonstrate their expertise and thought leadership, as well as educated clients, which helped to create trust, he says.

Meanwhile advice firms needed to weed out any “deep-seated gender biases” when dealing with households by not just addressing the male, who was often the dominant voice, according to the survey.

“There is evidence to suggest that the men are often taking a leadership in that financial advice relationship and, as we all know, it’s a relationship,’’ Braun says.

“The report does suggest that advice firms need to check that they’re dealing with a household, not an individual in the household.”