When funds offer a “one-size-fits-all” approach to participant communications, messages are often overlooked or lost.

But when funds try to apply traditional segmentation strategies based on demographics such as age, gender and income, they often fall short. With the rise of the internet and a variety of social media channels, participants are exposed to different ways of defining themselves in relation to their colleagues, such as being a member of a specific community, class or social group or participating in a particular hobby or sport. In addition, participants may identify themselves based on life stage segmentation (the idea that participants work for a variety of reasons and want different things at certain stages of their career), job function, length of service and extracurricular activities and interests.

Understanding the world inside your fund can go a long way toward reaching your audience on a personal level and reinforcing your fund as a trusted source for corporate information. Here are some ways to do so:

  • Meet with your marketing staff office to research your fund’s demographics. Some data may already have been researched.
  • Simplify by finding common patterns of need among multiple segments so you have a handful of groups you are addressing rather than hundreds.
  • Find out how your participants want to gather information. Check in with them every so often to see if that has changed.
  • When using social media, keep in mind that you are a facilitator of information, not a corporate voice.
  • Know your fund’s culture. If your fund works best with basic segmentation, stick to it.

What other ways have you found helpful in personalizing your communications?

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Jillian Medoff