chapter  7
Understanding the financial services consumer
Pages 18

Understanding consumers is central to effective marketing, and yet our understanding of how consumers buy financial services is rather limited. For many personal consumers, financial services are not seen as particularly interesting or exciting purchases; they are seen as complicated, and often it is difficult for consumers to identify differences between a bank account from, say, HSBC and one from Standard Chartered, or between an insurance policy from Aetna and one from AIA. Consumers find it difficult to evaluate their purchase in advance, and consequently experience high levels of perceived risk. Furthermore, as explained in Chapter 3, financial services are often seen as uninteresting and consumption is contingent – that is, the services in themselves do not generate a current consumption benefit; indeed, they can serve to reduce current consumption pleasure. In some cases

By the end of this chapter you will be able to: ● understand the factors that influence consumer decision-making in financial

services ● recognize the ways in which financial services providers can influence the

buying process ● recognize the differences between final consumers and business consumers

in relation to financial services.