The Shift From Traditional to Tailored: How Data Transforms Customer Engagement in Retirement Planning

In retirement services, a firm’s approach to understanding and communicating with its clients can drastically influence customer satisfaction and financial outcomes. Let’s explore the experiences of two women, Kayla and Danielle, who receive services from different financial firms with contrasting communications strategies.

Meet Kayla: The Traditional Approach

Kayla, a 35-year-old professional, interacts with Company A for her retirement services. This company utilizes traditional marketing strategies and demographic data to tailor its communications. Kayla receives her enrollment and welcome kits, quarterly statements, investment statements, and disclosure notices based on generic data that assumes her needs based on her age group and basic demographics.

However, Kayla often feels disconnected. The communications from Company A seem impersonal and off-target. She feels the company does not truly understand what drives her financial decisions. This lack of personalized understanding leads to dissatisfaction; she often second-guesses if her financial portfolio aligns with her personal and career goals. Despite receiving regular updates, Kayla does not feel empowered or adequately informed to make the best decisions for her future. She represents a common scenario in the industry where traditional methods fail to resonate on a personal level with clients.

Meet Danielle: A Data-Driven, Tailored Approach

Danielle, also in her mid-30s, is a client of Company B. Unlike Company A, Company B harnesses rich data, including social determinants of health (SDoH), to build a comprehensive profile of Danielle. This approach allows the company to understand her lifestyle, financial goals, motivations, and even her approach to financial responsibility.

With this deep understanding, every piece of communication Danielle receives is tailored to her unique circumstances. Whether it’s her quarterly statements or investment insight, each piece reflects her financial behavior and personal goals. For instance, knowing that Danielle values long-term health and wellness, Company B provides insights into how her financial planning can support her lifestyle aspirations, such as saving for wellness retreats or investing in health-related funds.

Furthermore, Danielle’s passion for travel and sustainability is also addressed. Company B sends her customized newsletters featuring emerging green technologies and sustainable tourism projects that she can invest in. They also provide recommendations for charitable trusts focused on environmental conservation, aligning with her values. This thoughtful and personalized approach fosters a stronger connection between Danielle and Company B, enhancing her satisfaction and engagement with their services.

The Impact of Rich Data on Customer Experience

The contrast between Kayla’s and Danielle’s experiences underscores a critical point: the importance of utilizing rich data and analytics to understand customers deeply. In Danielle’s case, Company B’s approach ensures that the communications she receives are not just information but actionable insights that align closely with her personal and financial aspirations.

This strategy enhances customer satisfaction and drives more qualified decision-making. Clients like Danielle feel more confident about their financial choices, leading to improved financial health and potentially better market performance for the retirement services firm.


The portrayal of Kayla and Danielle illustrates a pivotal shift needed in the retirement services sector. As we move forward, companies that leverage sophisticated data analytics and personalize their services will likely lead the market. By truly understanding and responding to each client’s unique needs, firms can not only increase satisfaction and loyalty but also ensure that their clients are making the best possible decisions for their futures. This is not just good customer service; it’s smart business.

Proven Success in Financial Customer Satisfaction

O’Neil Digital Solutions shares your commitment to enhancing customer relationships. With over 50 years of combined experience and a proven track record with 350 global clients, we excel in data-driven customer communications. Our ONEsuite platform empowers Financial Services institutions to control customer communications and maximize data value. Our integrated solution streamlines processes for tailored communications at scale from design to distribution. We drive tangible business results by leveraging data analytics and AI, fostering revenue growth and customer retention.