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Video is the answer to the finance industry’s demographics problem

Video is the answer to the finance industry’s demographics problem
03 Oct

Video is the answer to the finance industry’s demographics problem

The finance industry is facing a demographic time bomb...I'm not just talking about the pensions funding crisis. We all understand that bit.

But there is a wider issue that those in the investment management, wealth management, brokerage and banking industry are aware of, but is not talked about, except behind closed doors, with a slight sense of panic...

You see most of the pensions, brokerage and savings assets in the world are held by Baby Boomers in their 60's. In the US alone, these Baby Boomers control $42 trillion of wealth. The older Silent Generation control $23 trillion. Compare this to the Millennial Generation who only control $15 trillion in wealth.


As you can see from the chart above, the Silent Generation are divesting assets in retirement. The Baby Boomers will also need to begin to divest assets to retire soon, and the rate of change of asset growth into the finance industry will begin to slow. The chart doesn't show Baby Boomer divestments of assets but I think the trend will be more pronounced than the industry imagines, due to the lack of median savings per Baby Boomer and a need to realis/ze capital early.

So the battle for the future of the finance industry is in attracting the younger cohort of the population.

The problem is that the finance industry is wholly unprepared to talk to these people.

The Millennials are mistrusting of Wall Street and mistrusting of financial media due to the impacts on them and their families of the twin crises in 2000 and 2008. They tend to want to be entrepreneurs rather than investors, which is fantastic for the economy, but as they move into their 30's they will need to plan for retirement, and manage the money earned in their working endeavors.

So how to bridge the trust gap and encourage them into the financial industry? Well the answer is clearly not to continue to do the same as the industry has always done. The whole industry is based on messaging to those close to retiring, it is based around research in written form and it is based around grey haired people. And it is incredibly dull.

It just has zero appeal to younger people. When the industry tries to address the younger population it is often in a language that they don't understand and it feels exclusive and not inclusive.

Wall Street and The City has a communications problem.

The answer is to change entirely how the finance industry speaks to its customers, or its potential customers...

  • Financial jargon won't work.
  • Sending out long, dry research reports wont work.
  • Using traditional advertising to build trust and engage new savers won't work.
  • Boring, stuffy, Baby Boomer-aimed, corporate branding won't work.
  • Sponsoring the same old conferences with the same old audience won't work.
  • Advertising on linear TV won't work.

The finance world needs to pivot to video and I don't mean producing boring videos of analyst talking at you (swapping out the grey haired analyst for a 30 year old in the desperate hope it attracts other 30 year old’s), essentially reading their written research to a teleprompter...

The industry needs video that engages, that involves storytelling with narrative arc, video that doesn't dumb down but educates, but not in a condescending way, video that looks fresh, creates new brand engagement and brand loyalty for the next 30 years. We need brands and video, created around finance, that relate to the people they wish to reach.

Everyone is failing at this currently, with a few exceptions. This is why the valuation of Robin Hood is exploding higher. They get it. As does Coinbase. Most others don't.

You can create brand loyalty in the vein of Apple in the finance space, but to do that the industry needs to change. They need to be relevant again.

By chance, on our Real Vision journey we stumbled into the Holy Grail of audiences for the next 30 years - 76% Gen X and Millennial, 40% who earn over $200k per annum, 40% who have over $500k in their investment accounts, and 88% who have a Bachelors degree or higher.

This audience loves Real Vision so much that they give us a "World Class" Net Promoter Score (NPS) of 63.

They come from over 100 countries and they engage with our content at an unparalleled level.

The average show on Real Vision, in our 13 or more series, is watched by the average viewer to nearly 90% of its entirety. We have shattered all assumptions made by the media about time length too. Our shows have equally high engagement regardless of length - from the data you cant tell what is a 10 mins show or a 90 mins show. When subscribers watch Real Vision, they pretty much watch everything we show them, all the way to the end.

Our engagement is higher than even Prime Time Olympics (55%), and even higher than the Soccer World Cup Final (71%)! Frankly, it’s off the charts. It’s like creating 13 different Game of Thrones on one platform.

In fact, no other TV channel has as many hit shows as Real Vision, as a percentage of its total output. We only have one show that performs less well than the Soccer World Cup final, and only just!

So, how the hell did we do this?

Creating intelligent content, beautifully and creatively filmed, with deep storytelling and a narrative arc that makes it engaging. It is immersive in the way that Anthony Bourdain was immersive - he takes the viewer on a journey of discovery, showing them and not telling them. It has to matter too. Nothing is fluff and filler, and everything has a purpose. We have no editorial bias. We let our guests speak or the story unfold, regardless of how long it takes. We treat everyone as a peer, regardless of the knowledge base.

We also make finance cool again. Our branding and tone of voice resonate with everyone from Millennials to Baby Boomers. It is a bit edgier and definitely disruptive. People want to be part of a revolution. They want to show the way forward. They want to get behind a brand that represents them.

The result is trust. Our audience trusts us and we have bridged the gap in finance that everyone else is failing at.

We are now helping a number of banks, asset managers, wealth managers and brokerage houses in their pivot to video - to also attract the Holy Grail of finance audiences.

We have unrivaled expertise in finance, and in video creation. Our creative studios team are developing in-house TV channels for some of the biggest firms in the world, distributing the Real Vision subscription video channel to firms and their customers, distributing our new free channel (The Edge) to their customers, building bespoke programming, re-tooling famous research houses output to video that engages, making branded content that helps get the right message across and much much more.

There is a revolution going on in video. Its not video per se that is the answer, but how you make video that unlocks everything. The revolution has only just started and no financial firm will be left untouched by this shift to the new demographic.

Getting your video strategy right will separate the winners from the losers.

Original Post by - Raoul Pal