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Whatever happened to the heroes?

The “new” mortgage borrower lifestyle types – “cross-shifters”, “new authentics” and “heros” – described in Standard Life&#39s The Shape of Dreams report (Money Marketing, August 26) are as dangerous as they seem to be enlightening.

Any segment labelling like this always tends to imply that consumer behaviour can be popped into neat pigeonholes and that these pigeonholes describe fundamental and abiding changes in consumer behaviour. Neither is true.

In fact, one could say that such descriptors are constructed only for the convenience of the qualitative market researcher and are not practically useful for the marketer, whether at the intermediary or the originator.

The reality is that each financial marketer needs to examine their particular clientele and catchment in order to develop a targeting strategy that makes sense for their particular circumstances, advisory specialities and product offering.

Anyone who thinks that this process can ever be a simple, off-the-shelf exercise is kidding themselves.

Even more important, targeting profiles need to be refreshed at least every six months. Even small changes in a targeting model can substantially improve the return on investment from marketing activity.

Finally, who says that these behavioural pigeonholes are anything other than temporary? In today&#39s highly leveraged society, a modest movement in the cost of money could see these new “types” disappearing like snow off a dyke.

Market research is all very well but often does not justify seismic shifts in marketing strategy.

Andrew Greenyer

Director of customer relationship solutions & DOC1 product management, Group 1 Software Europe,

Watford, Herts


Multi-ties are last throes of old age of industry, says Marr

Multi-ties will not bring any benefit to the consumer and are the “last throes of the old age of financial services”, says Origen chief executive Gareth Marr. The head of the Aegon-owned national IFA has att-acked multi-tying IFAs, saying that for too long, the industry has been focusing on itself, squeezing out margins between distributors […]

Cheltenham & Gloucester – Two Year Premium Fixed Rate

Type: Fixed rate mortgage Fixed term: 4.99% Fixed rate: Until September 30, 2006 Minimum loan: £100,000 Maximum loan: Up to 80% of valuation subject to a maximum of £3m Income multiples: Based on affordability calculation and credit score Conditions: Capital repayments of up to 10% a year allowed without penalty Arrangement fee: £499 Redemption fee: […]

Iimia chooses chief investment officer

Iimia Investment Group – the firm formed from the merger of the original iimia business with Exeter Investment Group – has appointed Nick Greenwood as chief investment officer. Greenwood, who has been running the iimia accelerated fund and the iimia investment trust, will run a team that will include iimia fund manager Daniel Lockyer and […]

Out of context

“When you&#39ve just spent £6,000 on something, you don&#39t want to get too violent.” – Nick Bamford of Informed Choice sorts out his computer problems. “Why is the mortgage sector the only industry that calls customers who shop around tarts?” – Purely Mortgages&#39 Ian Giles reflects on the semantics of the lending sector. “When I&#39m […]


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