Banks count on print to grow interest

When it comes to making an investment decision, newspapers are a trusted source. Some 80 per cent of readers – either in print or online – will be the decision-maker for any new product or service from a bank. Brian Rock and Adrian Fernandes report.

Infographic_BANKING_DIGITALThe Commonwealth Bank has put its $44 million media-buying account out to tender. An opportunity of this size doesn’t come around too often and agencies will pitch tooth and nail to win the business.

The bank is a heavy user of newspaper advertising. Those seeking the business will need a strong knowledge newspaper ad strategy to be successful, displaying an understanding of the roles of print and digital advertising within a campaign.

New emma data offers some insight into what consumers think of banks and the financial products readers are actively planning to buy in the coming months.

The benefits of print advertising for a financial service marketing campaign include it being a platform to create positive brand perception and encouraging call to action.

The Satisfaction Challenge

Consumer sentiment toward the banking sector is positive. emma data shows that 67 per cent agree “Australia has many good banks and financial institutions to choose from”, and 58 per cent believe “the banking and financial sector is dependable”.

Conversely 54 per cent say “the government should regulate them more strongly” and three-quarters (77%) say “the profits they make are excessive”.

In terms of their day-to-day dealings with customers, opinions aren’t overwhelmingly positive.

Only two out of five respondents agree banks “provide excellent customer service”, and 28 per cent say “they are good at listening to the needs of their customers”. The real killer from a consumer perspective are fees and charges, with three out of four (74%) saying “fees charged for everyday banking are excessive”.

emma allows us to rank the nation’s banks in terms of customer satisfaction scores. The Big Four – CBA, Westpac, National Australia Bank and ANZ Bank – are all near the bottom of the chart, which is dominated by independent banks and topped by CUA credit union.

Top 10 Banks Satisfaction
CUA 88%
Bendigo Bank 87%
St George Bank 82%
Bank of Queensland 80%
BankWest 78%
NAB 76%
Suncorp 75%
Commonwealth Bank 74%
Westpac 72%
ANZ 72%

Though the satisfaction scores for the Big Four are still strong, smaller financial institutions are raising consumer expectations for service. What the Big Four can offer that others can’t is a vast suite of financial products and services.

emma data shows the newspaper media audience is finance savvy and seeking banking products right now.

Financial Futures

Newspaper media reaches four in five household finance decision makers every week and 25 per cent of adults read a business section each week. The data suggests these readers want easy-to-digest advice on personal finances, such as sourcing the best investment products to reducing loan charges. Newspaper readers, in this environment, are a captive audience open to information that will influence how they manage their money.

Some 3.8 million newspaper media readers are planning to buy a financial product or service in the coming months, according to emma.

The following table shows the top 10 financial products that newspaper media readers are actively thinking about buying in the coming months (excluding insurance and superannuation).

Financial Product 000
Term deposits 361
Savings accounts that can be accessed in multiple ways 344
Debit cards 283
Variable/floating rate mortgage (non-investment properties) 281
Credit cards with Reward or Frequent Flyer Programmes 266
Low interest rate credit cards 213
Accounts with comprehensive access 212
Accounts designed for electronic access 196
Fixed interest rate mortgage (non-investment properties) 168
Savings accounts with primarily online access 157

Savings products are top of the list with 361,000 readers looking for a term deposit account and a further 344,000 seeking a savings account that can be accessed in multiple ways.

More than 350,000 newspaper readers are interested in taking out a new mortgage. Variable mortgages are currently more popular than fixed, with 281,000 house-hunters looking to take advantage of low interest rates, the data states.

Online banking products are also popular with the newspaper media audience. Some 196,000 readers are thinking about opening an account designed for electronic access, and an online savings account is a consideration for 157,000.

Newspaper Advertising Grows Interest

A challenge faced by financial service providers is that many of their products and services are complex, making it difficult to properly communicate their benefits.

Newspapers are ideally placed to help with this as they provide the space and time to present a bank’s case and to untangle the complexity with great copywriting.

News, business and financial sections provide a relevant editorial environment, which means that readers are in the right frame of mind when they see the advertisement.

To find out more about Information-based advertising and some examples of how it has been done successfully in newspapers, click here.

The Power of Creative

Banks are one of the biggest users of newspaper advertising. They know that newspaper advertising works and The Newspaper Works’ ADvance creative benchmark service proves it.

A recent ADvance report shows how UBank’s use of humour and Westpac’s Bank earnest approach to its $100 million Corporate Social Responsibility program have ignited positive responses from readers. For more information, click here.



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