We’re nearly a month into the new year and while consumers may have given up on some of their resolutions, they’re likely still focused on their financial well-being. New research from Harris Interactive shows the number of people expecting economic difficulty this year exceeds the number who believe their prospects will improve. This state of affairs suggests that financial services marketers should be rolling out campaigns designed to help consumers get ahead.
The Harris Poll talked to 2,300 consumers at the end of last year and discovered that 32% believe the economy is headed in the wrong direction. About 27% are optimistic and expect improvement and 42% say they think nothing much will change. Baby Boomers are the most optimistic age group with 29% anticipating economic improvement. The most pessimistic consumers are over age 68% with 40% of these folks saying the economy will get worse.
Over the course of the last year, only about 5 in 10 consumers who planned to cut household spending succeeded at this goal. And 4 in 10 consumers who intended to reduce debt managed to whittle down what they owed. The top goals for 2014 are little changed. Here are the percentages of consumers who intend to:
- Cut household spending 45%
- Reduce debt 40%
- Save more 40%
- Save more for retirement 23%
- Cut down on credit cards 15%
- Invest in the home to increase its value 15%
Consumers are clearly having difficulty keeping their financial New Year’s Resolutions. Enterprises who can roll out a financial wellness plan that includes a form of gamification to help younger consumers reach their goals could do well. It may also be possible to reach older consumers with a more personalized approach that includes frequent contact and reporting to remind them of where they’re falling short.
To learn more about these audiences, such as Debt Reduction Seekers, check out the AudienceSCAN report available on the Research Store at ad-ology.com.