New Communication Strategies Needed to Address Converging Trends

By ASPPA Net Staff • June 13, 2017 • 0 Comments
Retirement plan providers should focus on education, retirement readiness tools, situational guidance and “next-best-step” trigger events to help workers become better prepared for retirement, a new report by Broadridge recommends.

In “Transforming the Participant Experience,” Broadridge explains that converging trends — such as changing workplace demographics, technological innovations, evolving participant demands, increasing margin pressure, low savings rates and added regulatory scrutiny — are creating challenges and opportunities for new solutions to address participant engagement.

Providers need campaign management capabilities beyond the simple databases they have used in the past, including the ability to leverage better analytics and metrics to drive strategy and program evolution, the report advises. To that end, the authors explain how plan providers are refining their approach to better reach and engage participants who want consistent touchpoints. This includes implementing segmentation programs with cleaner data, improved analytics and ongoing persona development.

Among these capabilities should be the ability to predict when and through what channel to send the next-best communication as part of an effective multi-touch campaign. For example, touchpoint cadence is the pattern of communications for reaching participants, including the optimal number of touchpoints, the time between touchpoints, the unique participant personas and variations in content included in each touchpoint, the report notes.

Another converging trend is the increasing frequency of plan and regulatory changes, and being able to respond quickly to new requirements and plan updates. The report notes that agility has become a “much-valued proficiency” for those responsible for managing communications and participant experiences. The authors suggest that automated content solutions can help eliminate the need to constantly create and manage one-off changes, allowing for faster and more precise communications.

The report further suggests that greater focus should be place on reducing the retirement savings gap. Developing programs that outline options and drawdown phases of retirement is vital to addressing the unique challenges with near-retirees and non-participants who may be thinking of putting off retirement. Providers with education programs designed to “motivate near-retirees to prepare for the drawdown phase of their investment strategy will come out ahead,” the authors emphasize.