Australians bank on news media

Australian banks remain a focus of social and political attention. LANCE CLATWORTHY takes a look at news media readers’ attitudes to banks and identifies 6.1m opportunities to sell financial products to 2.5m readers who are in the market to obtain them.

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6.1 million sales opportunities

Australian news media is now read by 16.8m people including 2.5m who are in the market to obtain/switch at least one financial product in the next 12 months. And of these readers, on average they are interested in 2.4 products each – that’s 6.1m sales opportunities for finance related companies advertising in news media – we can call them “prospects”. The break down is illustrated in the graph below, noting that these numbers exclude prospects for insurance related products.

For example, 826k prospects say they are looking to switch/obtain a mortgage for an investment property. Of them, 129k represent a different proposition – these are prospects who currently have an investment mortgage but are planning to obtain another or even to switch from their current provider. Of all the financial products (below), it is transaction/savings accounts where finance companies are competing most to win customers who already have the product/service. Of those intending to obtain a transaction/savings account, 3 out of 4 readers already have one.

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There’s work to be done with readers attitudes to banks

On a range of metrics, news media readers appear to have slightly less favourable attitudes towards banks than is the case for non-readers. While 64 per cent of readers agree that Australia has many good banks and financial institutions, 72 per cent say that fees charged are excessive. Similarly, 76 per cent say that profits are excessive.

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Commonwealth Bank has the biggest customer base

Of the Top 10 banks that news media readers consider to be “my main bank”, 77 per cent are accounted for by the Big 4. With 3.9m readers regarding Commonwealth Bank as their main bank, they are the clear market leader.

For each of the Top 10, news media readers account for around 90 per cent of people citing them as “my main bank”.

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2 out of 3 are not satisfied with the rates charges by the Big 4

Among the Top 10 banks, it’s ING Direct that leads on perceptions of rates and charges – 85 per cent of readers, who are a customer of ING, say that they are satisfied with charges. That’s a different story to that presented by customers of the Big 4 banks. Westpac, Commonwealth Bank and ANZ Bank have only 35 per cent of customers saying they are satisfied with rates and charges, while 41 per cent of NAB customers are satisfied.

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Customer service also lags for the Big 4 banks

When it comes to ratings of overall customer service, 3 out of 4 say that they are satisfied with that provided by each of the Big 4 banks. This compares with Bendigo Bank which leads the market at 92 per cent. As with rates and charges, the Big 4 lag the rest of the Top 10 banks on customer service too.

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News media reaches 93% of financial decision makers

News media presents a variety of retail and branding opportunities for financial institutions to reach those who make the decisions on financial products. Newspapers reach 75 per cent of the 6.3m decision makers, while 72 per cent of them read digital news media. Overall, advertisers can use news media to reach 93 per cent of decision makers.

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Reading Arts and entertainments, Sports and Property sections

With financial products being obtained for a huge variety of reasons, newspaper sections represent an opportunity for advertisers in the finance sector.

The Arts and entertainments section of a newspaper is read by 44 per cent of the decision makers – that’s 2.6m of them. The Sports section is the second most popular section with 2.3m reading it.

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Complex products, simple ads, building brand affinity

When planning creatives for newspapers, banking and finance advertisers should bear in mind that financial ads do work with the extra detail. However, creative executions can do more to attract attention and build brand affinity with simplified communication, less text and an engaging picture.

ING Summary results

View the full article at this link ADvance creative benchmarking (ING Direct)

Acquire them, retain them, upsell to them

With 93 per cent of financial decision makers reading news media, advertisers gain extensive reach to prospects looking to acquire or switch financial products – and we’ve identified 6.1m opportunities to do so. Some of the 11 product sets demonstrate a higher propensity to switch or to upsell an additional product within that same set (eg an additional credit card). With reputation and satisfaction playing a key role in acquisition, retention and upselling, we can see that it’s the Big 4 banks that have the most room to improve and grow their business. News media presents an opportunity for advertisers to not only convey offers of financial products but also to build brand affiliation.

Source: emma™ 12 months to March 2017. Readership based on last four weeks. Survey conducted by Ipsos MediaCT, people 14+ ; Nielsen DRM March 2017, People 14+ only.

ADvance creative benchmarking (ING Direct)

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