The rise of digital – what technology-based engagement tools are working for the super industry?

November 14, 2017
| Australia

A massive 94% of superannuation funds are increasing their investment in digital technology to boost member engagement and education. That’s the headline metric from The rise of digital, our third report in a series looking at digital technology trends in the super industry.

It’s a long way from our first report in 2013, where uptake of digital technologies was slow and funds did not have significant budget to invest in this area. In 2017, funds are increasingly looking to new technologies and refining existing ones and budgets are reflecting that push, although they are still being stretched across a wide array of tools. Funds understand the need for an omni-channel approach to ensure an integrated and consistent member experience.

Our survey found:

  • 79% take-up rate of digital technology across the eight channels surveyed (including multimedia, mobile websites and webinars)
  • Highest growth was in social media, games/quizzes and webinars. 88% of funds are using social media, up from 47% from 2015
  • Decline of print is slower than expected, still making up around 42% of a fund’s overall communication mix
  • Fewer funds consider themselves to be laggards on technology. Early adopters of digital technology grew from 24% in 2015 to 31% this year
  • 29% of funds are spending $1.5 million or more a year on digital technology

Making the most of data was also important to funds. While 77% of funds reported that data analytics was important in reporting outcomes to executive teams and as a means to justify growing budgets, only 31% of funds are using data analytics across a range of digital tools.

Segmentation of member groups is an important tool to inform funds’ digital strategy, while robo advice is being explored but funds remain unconvinced of its merit over more traditional financial advice.

In the short-term funds continue to explore digital tools, including technologies such as robo-bots and artificial intelligence, but there is a realisation that technology for its own sake is not the goal. Given the limited resources, only those technologies that drive member engagement and contribute to a fund’s overall strategy will survive.