With the green shoots of economic recovery seemingly coming out and the stock markets looking up, Kantar Media TGI takes a look at those people in Britain who hold stocks and shares – who are they, how are they valuable to the marketer and what kinds of online activity are they especially likely to undertake (and thus be reached through)?
As Britain finally looks to be beginning its ascent out of the financial abyss of the downturn, many people will be looking to get their finances back on track. A tempting, if risky, way of doing this is to invest heavily in shares, many of which are currently seeing a steep rise. Some people are more well disposed towards playing the stock market than others.
Through Kantar Media’s TGI study we can examine those with a particular propensity for buying shares and assess who is most ripe for marketing campaigns aimed at maximising their involvement in the stock market. We can also evaluate which kinds of websites, financial or otherwise, they most engage with.
TGI reveals that 16% of adults in Britain (aged 15+) hold stocks and shares, that’s 7.9 million people. For the most part these are longstanding investments, with over three quarters of these adults buying stocks and shares over four years ago and only 5% doing so in the last 12 months.
The trend has been, understandably, as the downturn has progressed, progressively fewer adults have held stocks and shares. In 2009 20% of adults held them, which is two million more than today. This, however, shows the scope for recovery in numbers as the economy picks up.
These share-dealing adults take a bullish stance towards their finances generally. However, this doesn’t mean that they are irresponsible financially – quite the opposite. They are a third more likely than the average adult to believe that they are very good at managing money. They are also 89% more likely to usually consult a financial advisor before deciding on financial matters and 32% more likely to feel that financial security after retirement is one’s own responsibility.
Those holding stocks and shares skew very much towards the older age groups. They are three quarters more likely to be aged 65 or over and indeed 70% are aged 50 or older (vs 44% of the adult population as a whole). They are also a group of considerable means and economic clout. They are almost three times more likely than the average adult to have a personal income of £50,000 or more and three quarters more likely to be in the highest AB social grades.
TGI’s WHY Code insights into what prompts consumer decisions shows that when it comes to choosing a bank or building society’s current account those with shares are particularly likely to be motivated in their selection by personal experience (30% more likely than the average adult), followed by interest rates (27% more likely). So, rewarding loyalty would seem a good way to keep this group onside financially.
For a view of what these share-owners get up to online we switch to the TGI Clickstream study, which includes metered consumer internet use. If we look at all those stocks and shares holders who have been online in the last month (6.7 million adults), they are particularly likely to visit business directory sites (50% more likely than the average internet user), gardening information sites (40% more likely) and finance/business sites (39% more likely).
They are a third more likely to have sourced information on financial products online in the last 6 months and are well over twice as likely to have sourced share dealing online. ISAs, home insurance and pensions are other financial services they are particularly likely to look up online.
However, none of this necessarily means that targeting these share owners online is a straightforward task. Their attitudes to advertising are hard-nosed and internet advertising does not get off any more lightly than other types of advertising. They are a quarter more likely than the average internet user to disagree with the notion that they prefer to see adverts that relate to the content of the sites they are viewing. Nor are they any more likely to appreciate seeing online adverts that relate to websites they have visited previously.
In terms of the actual banking sites they are likely to have visited, those holding shares are particularly more likely than the average internet user to have visited ingdirect.co.uk, tescobank.com and firstdirect.com ‘in the last four weeks’. Marketers can fine tune campaigns by understanding exact site visitation metrics. For example, the average time per visit on tescobank.com by those who hold stocks and shares is 7.3 minutes, whilst the average page views per visit is 15, higher than the 12.8 for firstdirect.com. However, ingdirect.co.uk trumps tescobank.com for average time on site per visit, at 8.8 minutes.
Banking aside, when it comes to general financial advice, this group are almost a quarter more likely than other internet users to have visited money.co.uk ‘in the last four weeks’, spending an average of 17.4 minutes on the site over that time and visiting it on average 2.4 days over the four week period.
We could go further still with the Kantar Media Ad-Vantage initiative, taking our consumer target and generating the exact cookies for reaching them online.
Clearly this is a wealthy, predominantly older group with much experience and confidence when it comes to finance. As such they are potentially a very valuable target for many a marketer in the financial sphere. Whilst their attitudes to advertising present a challenge to surmount, a close look at their behaviour reveals a number of opportunities for appropriate ways to engage with them.