Let’s get fiscal

Taxpayers will look to newspaper media to understand how the Federal Budget 2014 affects their finances.

It is expected that next week’s budget will be a tough one. The Treasurer, Joe Hockey, has said all Australians will be affected. Some groups are expected to be hit harder than others. Many will look to newspaper media to provide information on how the latest budget will affect their finances.

The weeks following the budget are a time when consumers actively review their spending patterns. It’s a great time for newspaper media advertisers to influence financial decisions and promote the value and importance of their products and services. Financial services brands, in particular, can use newspaper media to promote their products at a time when readers are open to receiving financial information.

We use emma to highlight the broad reach of newspaper media by taking a detailed look at three groups who will pay close attention to Mr Hockey’s budget announcement – prospective home buyers, parents with young children and the retired.

Prospective homebuyers Infographic_Budget_DIGITAL

Property ownership goes hand in hand with living “the Australian dream”.

According to emma, more than 1.4 million Australians intend to buy a home in the next 12 months. These prospective buyers are struggling with the spiralling cost of property. Three out of four (76 per cent) feel it is becoming really difficult to buy a home.

Recent ABS figures show the average price of property in metro areas is $540,000. That’s 10 times the average personal income of prospective home buyers ($54,000 per annum).

First time buyers, in particular, will hope this budget offers improved tax breaks and grants to help them get on the property ladder.

Property Sections Reaching Prospective Buyers

Prospective property buyers make extensive use of newspaper media in various print and digital forms.

The vast majority (94 per cent) of prospective home buyers read newspaper media at least once a month. Some 46 per cent read the property section of a print newspaper. More than one in four (27 per cent) have visited domain.com.au or realestate.com.au in the past month.

Prospective home buyers tend to be heavier consumers of print newspapers than other media, indexing well above average as heavy newspaper readers (107) but below average as heavy TV watchers (88) and heavy radio listeners (99).

Parents with young kids

emma data shows there are 2.5m parents of children aged 4 or under in Australia. The rising cost of utilities, healthcare and property are putting a strain on the finances of many of these families.

Young families are working hard to beat the rising cost of living. The average household income for families with children aged 0 – 4 is $102,000 per annum. That’s $14,000 more than the national household average.

Many mothers of young children are returning to the workforce early to maintain their families’ standard of living. Two in five (43 per cent) mothers of children aged four and under are working either full-time or part-time. That’s nearly 600,000 mums with babies and toddlers in the workforce.

This high number of dual-earners has increased the demand for childcare services. Twenty-nine per cent of parents of young kids used a day-care service last month.

The increasing cost of childcare is the subject of much concern. According to the Government’s MyChild website, the average price of long day care (or centre based care) is just under $80 a day or around $20,000 a year per child. This rises dramatically in metro areas with some centres in Sydney charging $160 a day or $40,000 a year per child.

Parents with kids in childcare will hope for more financial support from the government in the form of increased childcare benefits and rebates.

Young Families in a Value Mindset

Newspaper media offer the perfect platform to reach families when they are in a budgeting mindset.

Ninety-two per cent of families with young kids read newspaper media. Some 30 per cent of those with young families read a finance section in the past month.

Retirees & Pensioners

There is much speculation that the senior supplement, which is paid to all seniors regardless of income, will be removed in this budget. emma tells us that there are more than 3 million retired Australians, the majority of whom will be affected by this.

The most recent national figures released for the ASFA Retirement Standard show that, in general, a couple looking to achieve a comfortable retirement needs to spend $58,000 a year, while those seeking a ‘modest’ retirement lifestyle need to spend $34,000 a year. Emma tells us that the average household income for retirees is somewhere in between at $46,000.

Right now, 3 in 5 retirees (59 per cent) have a positive outlook for their financial future. A reduction in pension payments may have a negative impact on this.

Newspapers Reaching the Retired

Newspapers play an important role in the lives of the retired.

They are one of the largest newspaper media audiences with 96 per cent reading a newspaper at least once a month. Retirees are also one of the most engaged newspaper audiences. They are 53 per cent more likely to be heavy newspaper readers than the rest of the population.

Fifty per cent of retirees have read a financial section of a newspaper in the last four weeks.

Newspapers Help convey Product Information

Whichever of these groups financial service advertisers are trying to reach, a challenge they will face is that their products and services are complicated, making it difficult to properly communicate their full benefits.

Newspapers are ideally placed to help with this as they provide the space and time to present a brand’s case and to explain complex products in body copy.

News, business and financial sections provide a relevant editorial environment, which means that readers are in the right frame of mind to notice and take in the information.

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



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