How To Understand Consumers

As useful an ability as it might be, we cannot read peoples’ minds. Probably for the best in many everyday situations, but for credit union marketers, having a good understanding of what’s in a person’s head is important to provide the products and services they want and need.

One thing for certain right now is consumers’ brains are overwhelmed. Routines have been upended. Many are working from home or working reduced hours – or not at all. Children are homeschooling online and require oversight and assistance. We aren’t going out with friends to blow off steam, so feeling overwhelmed is logical.

Ser Tech LIVE webinar with Melina Palmer on Fetch Marketing

But our brains aren’t logical, according to Melina Palmer, founder of The Brain Business and guest speaker on our upcoming webcast. In fact, 99% of a human brain’s processing is performed on a subconscious level. In stressful situations, such as the emotional, psychological and economic impact of the worldwide coronavirus pandemic, our subconscious tends to run the show even more.

Register today for our Jan. 21 Ser Tech LIVE webcast, Planning for the New Normal, here!

It’s more important than ever in our lifetimes to understand the mindset of a consumer and make it as easy as possible for them to choose to do business with you. Marketers can use our understanding of the brain to an advantage, Palmer advises,  “…not in a sneaky way, but in a really helpful, communicative way. If you know how people are going to make decisions, you can build your messaging off of that.”

Ready for the secret sauce? Here it is:

“When brands make their messaging simple and it speaks to the way the subconscious makes decisions, it’s easier for people to choose you. That’s it.”

– Melina Palmer The Brainy Business Founder Melina Palmer for Ser Tech

Our brains don’t work the way we think they should, but applying certain rules to how the brain actually works can help craft your credit union’s messaging in a more meaningful way to the brains of consumer decision makers. By incorporating behavioral economics, as Palmer explained in a recent article for, credit unions can get a leg up on helping members to choose their financial institution.
  1. Framing. What you say is not as important as how you say it.
  2. Anchoring. Use numbers, even big ones.
  3. Relativity. Brains do not value “one-offs,” so provide context with comparisons.
  4. Scarcity. When a product or service is perceived as exclusive or particularly unique, the value increases exponentially.
  5. Priming. This represents everything that comes before the pricing conversation.

Palmer will share how to apply these strategies in a variety of ways to communicate more effectually with consumers regarding:

Financial Coaching and Education. Many people have had their financial situation change due to the coronavirus pandemic and at the same time may not have the information and resources needed to deal with these changes. Offering education and coaching services can provide insight into what consumers want out of their credit unions.

Credit Cards. Being forced to stay home has caused many consumers to change the way they shop. Commerce quickly moved online, and the use contactless cards became widespread. This pandemic has clearly accelerated the use and popularity of digital platforms and payment services.

Communication. Of course, the simplest way for your credit union to understand what’s going on in consumers’ heads is to reach out to them. Your marketing messaging should be consistent with your mission statement and goals, but also it must show compassion, empathy and be inclusive. You can also give them needed and useful advice through content marketing. In the case of credit unions, only 16% of consumers consider a credit union their primary financial institution according to a study from Kasasa. Clearing up the confusion as to who can join a credit union can be a way to build an understanding between the institution and a potential member.

Start your member conversation with Ser Tech’s credit data-targeted Fetch Marketing! Learn more here.

Understanding the mindset of consumers, especially during these difficult times, can be tricky, but taking a closer look at their behaviors can be your credit union’s window into their psyche. If you want to learn even more about understanding the mindset of consumers, join us for Ser Tech LIVE: Planning for the New Normal with Melina Palmer of The Brainy Business on Thursday, Jan 21 at 11:00 a.m. CST. Click here to register, and we hope to see you there!

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