For the second consecutive year, consumers were more eager to interact with digital ads and respond to direct mail and email campaigns, illustrating heightened demand for financial products. Accompanying their desire for new financial solutions is an increased appetite for research, with consumers turning to a greater number of channels to seek out information before making a decision.

As research patterns deepen, consumers are looking for ads that tick multiple boxes, diving beyond purely quantitative descriptions of products in order to educate them on the customer experience as a whole. This diverse interest in multiple themes may suggest a growing opportunity for financial institutions to invest in longer-form digital ads, which can provide engaging depictions of customer centricity while maintaining the informative tone that customers prefer.

Consumers indicate a rising willingness to switch financial institutions for adequate incentives, providing a clear acquisition opportunity for institutions launching new products with flashy bonuses. However, Gen Z’s focus on brand-level features like customer service indicates that institutions that focus messaging on high-level support rather than product specifics may have the ability to not only appeal to this prized segment in acquisition, but also build lasting loyalty.

This report looks at the following areas:

  • Sources of personal finance information
  • Likelihood to respond to financial ads across channels and conduct research based on ad exposure
  • Top features when considering products with new financial services institutions
  • Interest in marketing themes within financial services ads
  • Interest in marketing tone within financial services ads
  • Attitudes toward marketing financial services

Rising consumer demand for financial products stimulates a need for diverse marketing that educates and informs.

Patrick Rahlfs, Principal Analyst – Financial Services

Table of Contents

  1. Executive Summary

    • What you need to know
    • Consumer interest in new financial products continues to rise
    • Graph 1: responses to financial marketing, by year, 2022-24
    • Gen Z seeks support from financial relationships
    • Graph 2: Gen Z most important features, by year, 2022-24
    • Informative tones provide the bedrock for financial ads
    • Graph 3: interest in marketing tone, 2024
    • Existing banks have customers' attention, but not exclusively
    • Graph 4: response to communications from financial providers, 2024
    • Market predictions
    • Opportunities
    • Give consumers resources, not just products
    • Graph 5: product research based on advertising, by year, 2022-24
    • Millennial desire for value provides challenger brands with opportunity
    • Graph 6: Millennials' most important features from new financial services institutions, 2022-24
  2. Market Dynamics

    • Market context
    • Market drivers
    • Inflation remains above 3%
    • Graph 7: Consumer Price Index, 2022-24
    • Consumers face an increasingly difficult saving environment
    • Graph 8: Personal Saving Rate, 2022-24
    • Consumer sentiment took a hit in May 2024
    • Graph 9: Consumer Sentiment Index, 2022-2024
    • Market size and forecast
    • 88% of consumers are banked
    • Graph 10: financial product ownership, 2024
    • Gen Z have achieved parity with Millennials on deposit accounts
    • Graph 11: financial product ownership, by generation, 2024
  3. Consumer Insights

    • Consumer fast facts
    • Sources of financial information
    • Young consumers drive interpersonal sources atop the list of financial sources
    • Graph 12: sources of financial information, 2024
    • Social media and podcasts made leaps in usage
    • Graph 13: sources of financial information, by year, 2022-24
    • Hispanic consumers drove the growth of rising channels
    • Graph 14: sources of financial information, by race, 2024
    • Millennials are the top consumers of non-social websites
    • Graph 15: sources of financial information, by generation, 2024
    • Financial adviser usage is heavily concentrated among older, wealthier consumers
    • Graph 16: discussions with a financial adviser, by age and household income, 2024
    • Responses to financial ads
    • Nearly one in four consumers clicked on a financial services social media ad in the past year
    • Graph 17: responses to financial ads, 2024
    • Consumers are following through on plans to explore new accounts
    • Graph 18: financial advertisement behaviors, by year, 2022-24
    • Gen Z continues to make large leaps in product research
    • Graph 19: Gen Z financial product research, by year, 2022-24
    • Millennials ratchet up responses across channels
    • Graph 20: Millennial response to financial services ads, by year, 2022-24
    • Most important features
    • Brand reputation outpaces specific product features
    • Graph 21: most important features from new financial services institution, 2024
    • Customer service is Gen Z's top priority
    • Graph 22: Gen Z most important features, by year, 2022-24
    • Millennials look to earn on imminent purchases
    • Graph 23: Millennials' most important features from new financial services institutions, 2022-24
    • High earners redirect focus towards earning
    • Graph 24: most important features to $200K+ household income consumers, by year, 2022-24
    • Marketing themes
    • Educational content and quantitative focus are most popular themes
    • Graph 25: interest in seeing marketing themes in ads, 2024
    • Younger Millennials direct rapt attention to financial ads
    • Graph 26: interest in marketing themes, by generation, 2024
    • Consumers in the $75k-100k household income group seek testimonials
    • Graph 27: interest in marketing themes, by household income, 2024
    • Parents respond to endorsements
    • Graph 28: interest in marketing themes, by parental status, 2024
    • Marketing tone
    • Consumers seek information more so than entertainment
    • Graph 29: interest in marketing tone, 2024
    • Young consumers respond to more ambitious ads
    • Graph 30: interest in marketing tone, by generation, 2024
    • Higher-income consumers want straightforward information
    • Graph 31: interest in marketing tone, by household income, 2024
    • Attitudes toward marketing financial services
    • Six in 10 consumers open mail from providers they lack relationships with
    • Graph 32: response to communications from financial providers, 2024
    • Men are more likely to open acquisition direct mail
    • Graph 33: opening financial services direct mail, by gender, 2024
    • Interest in switching financial providers continues to rise
    • Graph 34: switching interest and behaviors, by year, 2022-24
    • Nearly 80% of Millennials would switch banks if given the proper incentive
    • Graph 35: financial services research and switching, by generation, 2024
    • 25-44 year old social media researchers are the prime target for incentives
    • Black and Hispanic consumers are more open to financial ads on social media
    • Graph 36: preference not to see financial services topics on social media, by race, 2024
    • Financial brands should promote events and experiences to more than just affluent segments
    • Graph 37: interest in event and experience marketing, by household income, 2024
  4. Innovation and Marketing Trends

    • Marketing and advertising
    • Banking makes up a growing portion of financial services marketing
    • Graph 38: share of financial services marketing spend, by subindustry, 2022-24
    • Paid Instagram ads surpass paid Facebook
    • Graph 39: financial services paid social spend, by channel, 2022-24
    • Wells Fargo shifts Active Cash promotion to TV
    • Graph 40: Wells Fargo Active Cash marketing spend, 2022-24
    • Grace periods provide much-needed relief
    • Western Union boosts ads promoting money transfers to Mexico
    • Chime uses national TV ads to build brand equity
    • Opportunities
    • Elevate tools and features beyond products
    • Promote access to events with broad appeal
  5. Appendix

    • Consumer research methodology
    • Generations
    • Abbreviations and terms

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