What MOMIES want

The role of women within the financial purchase cycle has taken a seismic shift – is it time that the financial services market caught up, asks Stuart Tragheim, sales director, Engage Mutual Assurance

A recent Chartered Insurance Institute (CII) survey uncovered the fact that women do not understand financial products enough, and perhaps as a result, feel less confident about making financial decisions than men. The media often portray women as not being interested in the “boring financial world”, but is this really the case? Or are male-dominated market offerings at the root of the problem?

More than 40% of mothers in the UK are now the breadwinner for their household, contributing 50% or more to its total annual income, according to research from Engage Mutual. The research also shows that MOMIES (makes own money is economically savvy) are responsible for key financial decisions ranging from what bank they use to how and when bills are paid.

Engage also canvassed its own female customers to find out why they chose its products. Nearly 60% said they chose the Engage’s over 50s policy because as a mother it offered an easy way to get a lump sum for their dependents should anything happen to them. Others (43%) also cited how as busy mums, it was the ease and quickness of Engage’s application process.

“We’re delighted that our products appeal to women and will continue to respond to their feedback with cover we know they want and suits them. It’s good to hear that our low payments and guaranteed lump sum are attractive to them and that our processes fit in with mums’ busy lifestyles,” said Sales Director Stuart Tragheim.

Research by the Department for Work and Pensions revealed that women tend to have more of an influence across the financial decision-making process, and are often behind the instigation. Interestingly, men’s involvement is varied, yet most felt that they make the final decision.

With more and more women controlling the purse strings in households across Britain, is it time that the financial services industry addresses their marketing tactics to reflect the role that women play in this process?

Simply ‘painting it pink’ is not a strategy that works well. Organisations that water-down male offerings by decorating them with cliché feminine colours are unlikely to spark a good response. As women tend to develop an emotional attachment, a story or an emotive connection will help them to relate the product back to their own needs, as well as helping them to understand how to access it.

Beauty brand Dove has hit the nail on the head when it comes to targeting women. Take the “Dove Real Beauty Sketches” campaign. Knowing that only 4% of women around the world consider themselves beautiful, Dove created a film to show women that they’re more beautiful than they think they are – by comparing self-descriptions to those of strangers. As a result of tapping into an opinion that many women can connect with, the campaign elicited a strong emotional response.

Taking a leaf from the beauty market book might be the way forward. Using persuasive selling techniques that draw on emotions is a good way of cracking the female psyche and finding out what women really want.

The next step is to look at captivating women’s attention. Let’s be honest, it’s hard to create a desire for insurance or any other financial product, but you can help clients to identify that they can satisfy their need to take care or look after either themselves, their loved ones or their families. By addressing these needs, the tide might turn in this growing market where women are taking a bigger lead on household income.

For more information about Engage Mutual and to download the MOMIES report, visit www.engageadviser.com

Stuart Tragheim
Sales Director

0808 100 5075