Research for Banks, Credit Unions, and Financial Institutions
Although the current economic climate is presenting challenges for many large financial institutions, well-positioned regionally and community-based banks and credit unions are finding great opportunities to grow core deposits, increase their share-of-wallet, and actively take market share from the competition.
For over 35 years, Market Street Research has been helping banks, credit unions, and other financial institutions identify opportunities for growth and understand how to most effectively position themselves in the market so as to take full advantage of the opportunities surfaced through the research.
Market Street Research is adept at combining our clients’ understanding of their organization, their customers, and their competitors with our expertise in designing and conducting top-quality marketing research. At Market Street Research, we are dedicated to producing only actionable, reliable marketing research that drives effective decision-making.
Our core belief is that marketing research should be decision-oriented and result in not just charts, graphs and tables, but in specific recommendations for action regarding how our clients can most effectively achieve their goals. It is this orientation that differentiates Market Street Research in the industry and keeps our clients coming back to us year after year.
We are keenly aware of the marketing issues facing financial institutions in a challenging economy, and can work with with our clients to:
- Identify your company’s key decisions and information needs
- Define marketing research objectives based on those needs
- Design a marketing research methodology that makes sense given your institution’s size, assets, customer characteristics, brand recognition, competitors, and geographic markets served
- Collect the data needed to answer your questions
- Present results that can be put to use immediately in terms of marketing, staff training, public relations, and customer communications efforts
Market Street Research handles all aspects of banking marketing research projects that may include, among other marketing research methodologies, focus groups, telephone surveys, customer and employee satisfaction and loyalty studies, and other marketing research techniques aimed at helping you to assess your institution’s:
- Overall reputation, awareness, image, and branding in the markets you serve
- Market feasibility of new products or services, including location feasibility studies for new branches or ATMs
- Market characteristics and segmentation of your customers and prospects
- Attitudes toward and use of online banking services
Many of these research goals are best achieved through quantitative research with banking consumers. After interviewing banking consumers in our client’s marketplace, we can use a variety of analysis techniques in order to provide our client with the most helpful information. Some of the analysis techniques Market Street Research uses include:
- Conjoint analysis. This technique is effective in helping organizations understand what is most important to their customers and prospective customers when making decisions about which financial institution to use. In general, consumers often have difficulty assessing what criteria are most important to them when asked outright; for example, they may say that every criteria is equally critical to them. In reality, consumers are always making trade-offs, selecting a more convenient service over one they believe to offer higher quality, for example, or selecting a service with an excellent reputation over one they believe to be less expensive. Conjoint analysis is a tool that uses a select subset of possible attribute features (e.g., convenience of branches, low or no fees, availability of ATMs, etc.) to determine the relative importance of each feature in consumers’ actual decision-making.
- Market segmentation. This type of analysis clusters consumers together based on a statistical analysis of the criteria that are important to them. For example, this analysis might group together consumers who are most strongly oriented toward (1) convenience of branches and ATMs, (2) toward exceptional personal service, and (3) low or no fees. Through this analysis, we are able to quantify the proportions of residents in our client’s market who are primarily driven by these perspectives when making decisions about banking.
- Multi-dimensional attribute mapping. Through this technique, we are able to produce a “perceptual map,” or a graphical representation of where our clients “live” within the minds of consumers in terms of the criteria that are important to them (convenience, fees, personal service, rates, etc.). Perceptual maps illustrate how consumers perceive our client’s performance on key criteria compared to how consumers perceive the performance of major competitors. This enables us to illustrate our client’s position in the market compared to how competitors are positioned.
These analysis techniques allow us to identify challenges our clients may be facing in their market, as well as opportunities for our clients to overcome those barriers. One key challenge recent study, for example, we were able to identify that in a particular marketplace, large proportions of consumers were driven by low fees in their decision-making. While our client offered the lowest fees in the market, the findings indicated that consumers perceived them to have the highest fees.
In addition, Market Street Research can conduct qualitative research to help banks and credit unions identify gaps in brand image, and to understand barriers to effectively building a strong brand for the organization. For example, are the employees of the bank living the brand? If not, then what is preventing them from doing so? Are their needs being met as employees? Do they understand the mission of the organization? If issues like these are identified through quantitative research, follow-up qualitative research, such as focus groups with employees, could be used to identify the issues that are preventing the organization from living up to the promise of its brand.
Qualitative research can also be useful for financial institutions in testing new products and services. Market Street Research can help you to understand, for example, how helpful and easy-to-use your newly redesigned website is perceived to be among current and prospective customers, and identify features that may need further refining. If there is a particular population that your organization is trying to reach, such as underserved populations in the marketplace, qualitative research can help you to understand their needs and the most effective ways to reach them.
Why Use Market Street for Banking Marketing Research?
Through our 35 years of experience of working with financial institutions throughout the country, Market Street Research is not only uniquely qualified to help you understand your market, your customers and prospective customers, and your competitors, we are able to recommend the appropriate steps that must be taken to act on this information. Instead of reports that gather dust on shelves or are never used, Market Street Research offers solutions based on thoughtful, customized studies using state-of-the-art marketing research methods.
The majority of our clients work with Market Street Research on an ongoing basis-many for decades-because we work closely with you to set clear research objectives, meet deadlines, and deliver clear, focused, actionable results.
Please contact us to discuss how Market Street Research can help you achieve your goals.
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