March 27, 2012

A majority of U.S. consumers are generally pleased with how they're treated by their primary financial institution, but say there is room for improvement, according to a recent study conducted by BAI Research.

The study, sponsored by Cognizant and SAS, also found that consumers are willing to be approached by their bank to learn about additional products and services, yet they perceive banks as slow to do so.

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The study, conducted on a nationally representative sample of 3,200 U.S. consumer households, identified five core segments representing the consumer banking landscape -- Marginalized Middles, Disengaged Skeptics, Satisfied Traditionalists, Struggling Techies and Sophisticated Opportunists, according to BAI.

The study's sponsors suggested that banks can benefit by targeting their product offerings to these particular groups.

"Many financial institutions typically tend to market to the 'mass market' customer with generic value propositions," said Vin Malhotra, consulting partner, banking & financial services for Cognizant Technology Solutions. "But, hidden within the broad customer base are often distinct segments with extremely different preferences. By understanding the nuances and differences across segments, financial institutions can more closely address individual customer needs, leading to deeper relationships and greater share of wallet."

Added SAS Financial Services Global Industry Marketing Manager David Wallace, "The research findings also indicate that segmentation models created as recently as one or two years ago will most likely need to be replaced based on more robust segment profiles and new market realities. A financial institution can identify customer segments that are most likely to respond to specific campaigns or marketing actions."

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Bryan Yurcan is associate editor for Bank Systems and Technology. He has worked in various editorial capacities for newspapers and magazines for the past 8 years. After beginning his career as ...