MacroMonitor Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

  1. What is CFD?
  2. What is the MacroMonitor?
  3. What types of companies use MacroMonitor data?
  4. How do organizations most frequently use the MacroMonitor?
  5. Why is the MacroMonitor an invaluable resource?
  6. How does the MacroMonitor differ from other consumer-financial research?
  7. What does the MacroMonitor measure?
  8. What about methodology?
  9. How can my organization obtain access to the MacroMonitor?
  10. How much does a MacroMonitor subscription cost?
  11. What do MacroMonitor subscribers receive?
  12. Does the MacroMonitor integrate with other services?
  1. What is CFD?
    Founded in 1978, Consumer Financial Decisions (CFD) provides a wide range of strategic planning, marketing, and research services to leading financial institutions, associations, and government agencies. The MacroMonitor is the foundation for CFD services.
  2. What is the MacroMonitor?
    The MacroMonitor is the most comprehensive, independent macroeconomic measurement of US households. The biennial, proprietary survey is the foundation of CFD services. The MacroMonitor serves as an objective, single source for data about consumer needs, behaviors, and attitudes in response to financial-industry change. Its use is a reliable method to target customers and to identify trends.
  3. What types of companies use MacroMonitor data?
    Leading banks, stockbrokerage firms, consumer-credit organizations, insurance companies, mutual fund companies, business corporations, financial associations, government agencies, and other financial organizations and consulting firms use MacroMonitor data and CFD expertise.
  4. How do organizations most frequently use the MacroMonitor?
    • To size and profile key market populations.
    • To identify best business opportunities.
    • To create robust household-level financial profiles.
    • To develop targeted product offers.
    • To link the MacroMonitor with GfK/Mediamark's Survey of the American Consumer through VALS™.
    • To find data appends. The MacroMonitor can be appended with segmentation and scoring systems such as PrizmNE, P$YCLE, Cohorts, IXI's Inve$tyles and Wealth Complete, IAP's Empirics, and a process for securing FICO scores through TransUnion, Equifax, Experian, and Acxiom.
  5. Why is the MacroMonitor an invaluable resource?
    Because consumers' actions and attitudes change in response to changing economic conditions, it is critical for financial-services providers to have a clear and complete understanding of households' needs and competing priorities. For example, access to credit may be a higher priority than buying life insurance, or saving for retirement may take precedence over immediate but not necessary transactions. The MacroMonitor provides the only single-source measure integrating all US households' financial needs (transactions, borrowing, protection, saving, investing, information and advice), financial attitudes, and demographics. Several decades of financial measures provide users with the ability to learn where consumers have been, where they currently stand, and where they are most likely to head. You use your resources—time, attention, and budget—wisely when you subscribe to the MacroMonitor.
  6. How does the MacroMonitor differ from other consumer-financial research?
    • The MacroMonitor measures all financial products, services, and channels; an extensive list of demographics; an extensive set of financial attitudes; and recent and likely financial-product and -service purchase behaviors.
    • The MacroMonitor measures major financial institutions by name. Each institution can be profiled by general awareness, by current customers, by former customers, and as a primary institution.
    • The MacroMonitor provides a single, integrated source of data about all household financial needs, priorities, constraints, preferences, behaviors, and attitudes.
    • The MacroMonitor uses continuous variables—not ranges—to measure income and financial-product and -service balances. Measurement of continuous variables enables calculations such as real means and medians. Subscribers have flexibility to create their own custom segments.
    • The MacroMonitor provides calculated summary variables such as net worth, total investable assets, and total outstanding debt. Continuous variables are an accurate measure; response in ranges provides estimates.
    • The MacroMonitor measures an extensive set of financial attitudes about topics such as goals, needs, banking, channel use, budgeting, saving, investing, retirement, credit use, insurance, and financial planning and advice. It also includes other measures, such as risk/return, loss aversion, discount rate, and planned purchases.
    • Since 1978, the MacroMonitor has consistently delivered consumer-household financial data to diverse organizations, providing the ability to size, track, and trend populations, products, and attitudes reliably.
    • MacroMonitor's sample of household financial decision makers includes an oversample of affluent households. The survey sample includes a minimum of more than 4,000 financial household decision makers; roughly half of those households are affluent.
    • MacroMonitor's accuracy is validated by comparisons with the US Federal Reserve's Board of Governors' Survey of Consumer Finances and the Flow of Funds report. Internal validation takes place through wave-to-wave comparisons.
  7. What does the MacroMonitor measure?
    The MacroMonitor measures all aspects of consumer-households' financial needs, behaviors, and attitudes. The financial areas covered by the MacroMonitor include all transaction products, channels, savings and investment products. retirement products, credit, insurance products, information and advice, institution use, demographics, and attitudes.
  8. What about methodology?
    MacroMonitor's survey methodology is the standard for accuracy, reliability, and validity. Since 1978, Consumer Financial Decisions has steadfastly maintained a commitment to methodological excellence. CFD uses GfK's KnowledgePanel, the only online panel that maintains a true probability sample projectable to the total US population; the panel includes households without online access, households with unlisted telephone numbers, and cell-phone only households. This methodology enables clients to recontact MacroMonitor respondents for additional, proprietary research.
  9. How can my organization obtain access to the MacroMonitor?
    MacroMonitor is available by subscription. Contact us by email or phone.
  10. How much does a MacroMonitor subscription cost?
    To learn about the cost of a subscription, contact us by email or phone.
  11. What do MacroMonitor subscribers receive?
    View a list and description of subscriber deliverables.
  12. Does the MacroMonitor integrate with other services?
    CFD integrates with other SBI services such as Consulting, VALS, Scan™, and Explorer. In addition to providing MacroMonitor deliverables and access to financial-consumer experts, CFD provides subscribers with entrée to cross-disciplined teams of senior-level statisticians, seasoned survey designers, technology analysts, consumer-psychology experts, and adept process professionals. Finally, SBI and CFD are always open to collaborating with other organizations to provide our clients with the best possible solutions to their needs.