In a constantly changing pensions landscape, audience segmentation is more important than ever says Nigel Ferrier, executive chairman, Ferrier Pearce

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Ferrier Pearce

Ferrier Pearce


Regardless of the sector, audience engagement is one of the biggest challenges marketers face today.

Consumers are bombarded with hundreds of adverts a day, sometimes more. With so many messages being transmitted and a variety of platforms being used to transmit them, it’s clearly much harder for marketers to try and cut through the barrage and get their message heard.

This is no different for the rewards and pensions sector. If anything, it can be even more challenging as the vast majority of consumers find the information uninteresting, complicated and difficult to understand.

So, what can organisations do to overcome this and create engaging, impactful campaigns? Audience segmentation can certainly help. Segmenting data and creating personas is a tried and tested way of personalising a message and making it clear and relevant to the end user. Even The Pensions Regulator drew up personas to help promote information about auto-enrolment.

A persona goes beyond specifying the age, gender and earnings of individuals. It’s about getting under the skin of specific groups of people, identifying with them and understanding their needs, beliefs and motivations. By doing this, organisations will be in a much better position to personalise their messaging and get the right information across to the right people at the right time.

At present, only 25% of companies use personalisation for their internal communications. But with a constantly evolving industry, rapid changes in technology and growing diversity in consumer needs, it is more important than ever for organisations to really know their audience and engage with them.

A report by McKinsey Global Institute found that productivity improves by 20-25% in organisations that use social software and have ‘connected’ employees.

The way consumers engage with content has also changed dramatically during the last decade. Digital is now at the forefront of our communications and mobile phones and tablets dominate the way consumers receive messages.

Mobile phones are so much more than they once were. They are personal mini-computers sitting in the palm of our hand and they open up a world of possibilities when it comes to buying from and engaging with brands online.

Waiting for a bus can be the perfect opportunity to browse for some new clothes whilst a lunch break can be the ideal chance to complete your online grocery shopping. Mobile is everywhere and if companies aren’t prioritising it, they are missing out on big opportunities.

Research by Ofcom revealed that two-thirds of adults in the UK own a smartphone. On average, consumers spend two hours a day browsing their phones and a whopping 48% of people check their smartphone within 15 minutes of waking up.

With such staggering figures, it’s obvious that mobile browsing has overtaken PCs and laptops to become the most popular way of accessing the Internet in the UK. It is crucial, therefore, for brands within any industry to optimise their communications for mobile devices, to capture customers and achieve maximum visibility.

For many consumers, having important information at their fingertips is vital, so mobile is the perfect platform for companies that are trying to engage members in their pension scheme.

Whether you’re telling your members about changes to their pension or you’re updating the way your website functions, taking mobile into consideration is crucial to boosting engagement. Many consumers don’t think about their pension unless they experience a big life event, like marriage or having children. Most people have their mobile phone on them all of the time, so mobile marketing can help organisations reach out to people much more regularly.

But to truly engage customers, companies must do more than create a responsive website that looks good on a mobile device. They need to create meaningful online content that users can navigate through easily, digest and make use of on the go. The Pensions Regulator used video to break down information on auto-enrolment - a very effective way of simplifying the information and making it more accessible.

Ofcom’s research revealed that the number of people using their smartphone to access video content has significantly increased since the launch of 4G. We are now able to watch videos on our mobiles with a much faster connection and so, if you are creating video content, you should be optimising it for mobile use.

With pensions reforms regularly making the news and a constantly changing retirement landscape, it’s more important than ever to keep your employees up to date with their retirement savings.

Businesses that segment their data and make their communications entertaining can be sure they are making information more accessible and reaching as many people as possible, which is surely the goal of every communications campaign?

Nigel Ferrier is executive chairman of Ferrier Pearce

Ferrier Pearce