Saturday, February 18, 2012

How not to treat a lady.

         In a study by the Boston Consulting Group, financial services is the category of business that is "least sympathetic to women."

         Here is a vast and growing pool of revenue  --- even during the recession, says the Group. The financial services business is expected to be $1.6-trillion this year, with women as the greatest opportunity for growth. That's because they control half the wealth in the U.S., and in most households, manage the finances.

          But it seems, as Rodney Dangerfield used to say, they "don't get no respect". Women are let down by the quality of service and advice they get.

          The study goes on to say that it's during times of transition or crises that most women want financial services --- at the very time they're stressed for time and everything else. And most vulnerable.

          Women need help with a financial plan, insurance, and banking possibilities, and they're not getting it. (If you're saying that men also need this kind of help, I agree. I'm one of them.) They get form letters instead of support.

           Men apparently see money differently than most women. Men want to accumulate money. Women see money as a way to take care of themselves and their families, improve their lives, and ensure security.

            It seems to me it wouldn't take much, from a marketing point of view, for a bank to position itself as "the bank for women". You could set up a separate department for them. You could help them keep track of family finances. You could provide financial education, perhaps in the evenings. You could help women with long-term planning, perhaps with a kit that includes a relevant questionnaire. You could help educate their kids about money. And, importantly, you could be someone they can turn to with answers to their questions.

            Instead, according to Boston Consulting, women say financial services companies talk down to them, stereotype them, and aren't looking for their business. Some get nervous having women make their own financial decisions.

           Most financial services places don't even understand marketing. It's costing them a lot of money.

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