ACTON Marketing, LLC

October 05, 2010 16:18 ET

ACTON Market Intelligence Study Finds How Consumers Choose a Financial Institution

Nationwide Study Reveals Which Factors Have Greatest Influence Over Decisions

LINCOLN, NE--(Marketwire - October 5, 2010) -  A nationwide survey asked consumers what influence certain factors have over their decisions to choose one bank or credit union over another. The results -- including some surprises -- are offered in a new report, "The Primary Banking Decision: A Nationwide Study of Bank Customers," conducted and released by ACTON Market Intelligence.

The study focuses on four major categories: People, Products & Services, Facilities, and Image & Community Support. Overall results are compiled in the report, then further broken down by age, gender, income, and census region. Many subcategories are rated and represented, including low banking fees, full-service ATMs, and truly free checking.

Consumers in the study rate people (the financial institution's frontline staff, client service representatives, and senior level executives) as the most influential factor in their decisions to choose a certain bank or credit union for their primary banking services.

"While the common belief among banking executives and financial marketers might say products are the primary focus, this study shows it's really the employees who have the greatest influence on customers," says Zach Gabelhouse, Director of ACTON Market Intelligence. "It shows how valuable good staff training and communications can be for customer acquisition as well as retention."

Overall, 71% of consumers in the survey say the service and attitudes of individuals at the financial institution play an important or critical factor in their decision-making process.

The study further shows the age group of 18-24-year-olds, or Generation Y, rely more heavily on the financial institution's staff for their choice than other age groups. Gen Y females are significantly more influenced than even their male counterparts, saying the people factor plays a part in their selections 88% of the time.

"Here's another category that goes against accepted belief," Gabelhouse says. "We expect Gen Y to be a group who would prefer online and mobile services for their banking. Yet they rate people in the branches as having a greater influence on them than survey responders in the older age groups."

Facilities have the least impact, overall, with regard to a consumer's primary-banking decision. Only 53% of those in the survey indicated this was one of the influential factors in their choice.

Copies of the report, "The Primary Banking Decision: A Nationwide Study of Bank Customers," filled with charts illustrating results, is available from the ACTON Marketing/ACTON Market Intelligence Web page: or by calling ACTON Market Intelligence at 402-470-2909.

ACTON Market Intelligence is a wholly-owned division of ACTON Marketing, LLC, Lincoln, Nebraska. ACTON Marketing is a full-service direct marketing organization that provides complete direct mail programs for financial organizations pursuing new account growth. ACTON Marketing was the first marketing company to promote free checking. Using decades of proprietary data, knowledge, and experience, ACTON Marketing continues to offer successful strategies, creative, and production services to clients nationwide. Besides its Checking Account Customer Acquisition program and its NSF marketing program, ACTON offers strategies for New Movers marketing, pre-approved auto loans, cross-selling and more.

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    Amy Cosgrove
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    (402) 470-5708