Interest in financial matters is growing with a younger, more female audience and marketers should tailor their communications accordingly.
Personal finance site This is Money, has noticed a significant transition in user profiles since 2005.
Although the traditional audience of men in the 55+ age bracket who have a specialised interest in the financial sector still makes up a key core of users searching the site, the last two years have witnessed huge growth in the younger age groups, particularly the 25-34 age bracket, which has seen a 44 per cent rise since November 2005.
Almost three-quarters (71 per cent) of users are from households of more than one person, without any children – a huge proportion when compared to 57 per cent of the general UK population of Internet users and 65 per cent of users of the other UK finance market websites who live in a multiple adult, childless household.
Perhaps most significant is the increasing number of women choosing to consult This is Money for information on managing their finances, with the latest figures showing the female audience has risen by 9 per cent over the last 18 months.
There are several factors behind these findings, including the general population demographic of an increasing number of single women over 35 years old, who are taking a greater responsibility for their own finances.
Finance is also increasingly seen as a part of daily household life, a far cry from the days when being financially astute meant dealing solely in stocks and shares.
A whole industry of ‘switching’ has been born around everyday oriented utilities such as gas, electricity and mortgages, areas which women are more likely to take responsibility for.
The current financial climate is another factor and has contributed to a continuing squeeze on many household incomes, encouraging women to seek support in making savings.
Editor of This is Money, Andrew Oxlade, said, “Historically, finance was an area dominated by older people and largely men. It was somehow viewed as a stuffy, detached or difficult to understand or subject. But there seems to have been a fundamental shift in the past year.
“People now realise that everyone is affected by today's burning money issues, with debt, buying a house and pension saving top of the list of concerns.
He added, “That's one of the reasons we've seen such a sharp rise in the number of younger people and women coming to the site.
“Everyone is now keen to empower themselves with the knowledge they need to make the right financial decisions.”
Oxlade continued, "The figures clearly show that growing numbers of consumers are using personal finance sites to help them make financial decisions.
“Marketers must respond to this by using this channel not only as a direct response mechanism, but also for brand building activity.
He concluded, “Online allows you to target a niche audience and offers you the behavioural and contextual insight you need to get the messages right for that consumer, so with an increasingly younger and more female audience, marketers must leverage this to ensure that messaging really resonates."
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