First Peek at the 1996 Data MacroMonitor Marketing Report Vol. III, No. 1 March 1997

Consumers Would Like To Learn More About How To...

Perhaps the most important finding from the new data is not in the data at all. The overall response rate for the 1996 data has increased significantly from 41% in 1994 to 45% in 1996. Also, the item nonresponse for virtually every financial product has gone down—in most instances a significant amount. At the same time, response rates for most market research, public opinion, telephone, and direct mail solicitation are declining. The implication is that consumers have a growing interest in their financial services. They want to learn more. The graphic above shows consumer interest in a number of topics. Other important findings follow:
  • Interest and participation in retirement products and planning continue to increase, driven primarily by the Boomers' demographics and increased media attention.
  • Led by mutual funds, investment activity outside qualified plans continues to grow, with additional activity in wrap fee accounts and electronic investment.
  • Use of credit products is growing, with significant increases in home equity credit lines and credit cards as consumers concentrate and attempt to control their debt.
  • For the first time in more than a decade, household incidence of life insurance use appears to be increasing, while most forms of property/casualty insurance continue to grow.
  • Overall, health insurance remains static, although consumers continue to shift toward HMOs and PPOs from comprehensive and major medical.
  • PC ownership and use for financial services is growing along with other electronic transaction products such as ATM and especially debit cards.