New robo advisors are turning to specialization as a way to differentiate their offerings. Ellevest is a notable example.
Ellevest is the brainchild of ex-Merrill Lynch Wealth CEO, Sallie Krawcheck, and is designed specifically for women. According to Krawcheck, the offer “will be unlike anything else out there and will empower women to take financial control of their lives.”
While competition in the robo market is intense, Ellevest has some important advantages that may help it succeed:
1. Star power – Krawcheck in particular has made a name for herself in financial services and in supporting women’s issues. She has also assembled a recognized list of venture backers
2. Underserved market – Some leading robos have acknowledged that the majority of their customers are male, creating an opportunity to capture the underserved female market
3. Substantial opportunity – According to the Center for Talent Innovation, women hold approximately $11.2 trillion in investable assets
4. Compelling story – By promoting their use of archetypes, attitudinal profiling and gender-specific content, Ellevest is developing a compelling and differentiated narrative
Micro-segmenting can be beneficial in that it allows marketers to potentially increase their ROI by concentrating spending on a smaller target. But for greatest success the offer must be clearly aligned with the needs of the targeted segment and clearly distinct from offers available to the broader market.