Insights to Help Financial Marketers Understand & Respond to the Changing Customer Needs in the US

iQuanti’s digital experts have been continuously monitoring the changes in search demand to understand evolving consumer priorities. Understanding changing customer needs is the first step towards adapting bank marketing strategies and responding effectively (and in a timely manner) to those needs.

In our previous report, we had looked at an in-depth analysis of the rapid changes we have seen in the search trends for Credit Cards over the past 6-8 weeks.

THINK PIECE: Shifting Lending Search Trends


At a Glance:

This report is a part of iQuanti’s research series: “Responding to COVID-19: Tactics for Financial Marketers”. This report focuses on the current Lending search trends in the banking sector in US and provides:

  • Insights on shifting customer behavior trends in LENDING.
  • Tactics that bank marketers can implement to ensure marketing effectiveness during these uncertain times.

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Some of our key findings from the report:

This report takes a closer, detailed look at how the lending search trends have been changing – across loan needs, personal loans, student loans, business loans and mortgage.

  1. With the uncertainty around the pandemic, new stimulus packages / relief programs by the government, and overall dynamic rate environment, the current environment is very volatile. This is driving the search behavior with consumers searching for stimulus packages for different loans, as well as inquiring about the rates for different lending products.
  2. With people’s behavior shifting from spending to saving, and the stimulus checks providing some relief, the need for borrowing has not increased sharply during the pandemic. However, we are beginning to see a slight uptick in May.
  3. Overall, the pandemic has not massively shifted any of the markets yet. The college enrollments remain stable right now. The home buying demand is also coming back to normal levels after a brief slump. Demand for home improvement has been trending up. However, the rising unemployment and uncertainty around the US economy could have a significant and sustained impact on consumers’ financial needs and behaviors in the coming months.
  4. Personal Loans
    After a temporary spike in March due to ‘rates’ related searches, the search demand for personal loans has been lower than pre-COVID-19 levels. This is due to a lower demand for debt consolidation. However, we are beginning to see an uptick from the beginning of May 2020.
  5. Student Loans
    There was a big spike in ‘stimulus’, ‘rates’ and ‘refinance’ related searches in March; the demand has gone back to pre-COVID-19 levels since then. There wasn’t a corresponding spike for most of the lender searches in March.
  6. Business Loans
    Business loans demand saw some huge spikes in March 2020 around the CARES Act bill. The demand continues to be significantly higher than pre-COVID-19 levels as the business are struggling with cash flows. Business owners are using new terms in their searches – ‘coronavirus business loans’, ‘covid business loans’, ‘cares act business loans’, ‘ppp business loans’, etc.
  7. Mortgage
  • We are seeing two spikes in March across most mortgage categories – one driven by historic low rates and the other driven by the Fed announcement of slashing rates.
  • Home purchase demand is rising again after a slight slump in March and April.
  • ‘Refinance’ related searches remain high in the low rate environment. ‘Cash-out refinance’ demand has been rising in the past few weeks.
  • The demand for home equity loan and second mortgage keywords is also seeing a rise over the past few weeks, in-line with the increasing demand for ‘home improvement’, as the lockdown eases.

This report reflects our perspective as of early-June 2020.

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