Financial Services

So This Gecko, Caveman, and a Woman Named Flo Walk into a Bar: Part I

The Gecko, the Cavemen, an enthusiastic woman named Flo, Mayhem, magical jingles and Mike McGlone smugly asking rhetorical questions. These are just some of the ways auto insurance companies have attempted to separate themselves and establish greater market share in a multibillion dollar advertisement war aimed at capturing widespread consumer attention[1]. Although traditional companies like Allstate and State Farm still do the majority of their business offline, the gap is

Americans Plan to Save and Pay Bills, According to Compete 2011 Tax Survey

Earlier this week, I received a letter from the Internal Revenue Service marked “official business.” I must admit I shook a little with apprehension. In turn, however, I was delighted to learn that I would be getting an unexpected, additional refund. (My delight was heightened by the relief I felt knowing I wasn’t going to be the subject of an audit.) Unexpected refund! To save or spend, that is the

Compete January Category Data Show Surge in Demand for Accountancy and Tax Services

BOSTON, MA–(Marketwire – February 25, 2011) - Compete, a Kantar Media company, today released data for January showing that the Accountancy and Tax Services category as a whole jumped 258.45 percent for the month. Apparently taxpayers are getting an early jump on filing their 2010 federal income tax returns, fueling an increase in unique visitors (UVs) to tax-software sites, tax-preparation services sites and government-sponsored tax sites during January. January and February

Battle of the Bulge: Nutrisystem Sees Rapid Weight Loss

Here at Compete we often talk about the predictive power of our data. We can often see trends in behavior and business performance before it is represented in financial statements. As someone who worked in the financial services community for a long time, I love looking at cases where Compete data can be related to the stock market. Here are two companies I’ve been watching – Weightwatchers (Symbol: WTW) and

Hopeful for Revenue from New Prepaid Cards, Big Banks Can Deploy Multiple Marketing Strategies to Drive Online Awareness

Traditionally, big banks have not focused on the prepaid card market, typically comprised of low income consumers seeking a checking account replacement. But as new federal restrictions on debit cards threaten a significant source of revenue, financial institutions such as Bank of America and U.S. Bancorp are wading into prepaid waters. Capital One has been one of the few traditional banks offering prepaid cards. And of all the banks offering

Consumers Pick Up the Pace of Spending, But How Are They Paying for It?

‘Twas a merry holiday season. Even the economy showed signs of holiday cheer. According to the Commerce Department, consumers enjoyed their biggest shopping spree since the recession began and retail sales rose 0.8% in November lifted by a 2.8% jump in department store sales. These better than expected sales figures have prompted many to revise 2011 forecasts and proclaim that consumers and the economy are back. The government’s emerging package

The Wallet Wars — Round 5

In the earlier blogs I talked about trends among credit card owners. What about people who are in market for credit cards? Are they seeking features similar to what current credit card owners find appealing? What resources do they use when they shop? Where do they apply? What are they looking for? Features shoppers sought in credit cards are illustrated in Chart 1. Shoppers were asked to rank the features

The Wallet wars — Round 4 — Features attractive to specific segments

Round 3 recap: Overall, credit card owners find "˜zero annual fees’ the most appealing credit card feature. While on average, some form of reward — reward points, bonus on purchases, cash back, and airline miles — is more appealing than low interest rates. A credit card issuer would be interested in not only what is popular overall but also which features are most appealing to specific segments. For example, which

The Wallet wars — Round 3 — Preferred card features

Round 2 recap: An average American credit card holder owns 4.4 credit cards, of which only 2 cards are used frequently; the others are rarely or never used. Hence a credit card has to compete with other credit cards for share of wallet. While deciding which card to use for a purchase, there are primarily two groups of card owners: 1. Those who have a primary card that they regularly

The Wallet Wars — Round 2 — Which card to use?

The Wallet Wars — Round 2 — Which card to use? In Wallet wars — Part 1 I talked about the competition between credit cards, debit cards and cash. However, a credit card does not just have to compete with debit cards and cash — it also has to compete with other credit cards that the cardholder carries! For credit card issuers already wrestling with implications of the Credit Card

The Wallet Wars — Part 1

Ever wondered how people use credit cards, debit cards and cash? Which is used more often? How do people choose between these while making a payment? 181M Americans are predicted to own credit cards in 2010[1]. At the same time debit cards also seem to be widely used. I was curious to understand what the trends in this segment really were. At Compete we decided to analyze this segment and