Phoenix Study Reveals the Importance of Opinion Leaders to Credit Card Marketers

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Among the wealthiest and most valuable customers, opinion leader spend level is 50% greater than non-opinion leaders

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Both groups are highly likely to be affluent and quite happy with their primary credit card, but the ‘blogger’ contingent is far less loyal and over half say they’re ready to jump ship if a better offer comes along

Opinion leader research has been applied to a wide range of product categories over the years. Often equated with early adopters, opinion leaders have been shown to exert an outsized effect on market development – in some, but not all, cases. Newly released research from Phoenix Marketing International identified opinion leaders in the credit market, evaluated their impact and found that there are critical differences among types of opinion leaders.

In the first half of this year, Phoenix surveyed 6,000 credit cardholders using a battery of questions designed to cull out an opinion leader population. Overall, 19% of cardholders were classified as opinion leaders in the study, and their spend level and revenue value was found to be about 50% greater than non-opinion leaders.

"While the size of the opinion leader population is larger than in some categories, the research showed that there are actually two main streams of opinion leaders to consider in credit card marketing,” said Greg Weed at Phoenix Marketing International. “There is a huge age gap dividing the older ‘traditional’ opinion leaders from the younger, ‘blogger’ opinion leaders."

“Both groups are highly likely to be affluent and quite happy with their primary credit card, but the ‘blogger’ contingent is far less loyal and over half say they’re ready to jump ship if a better offer comes along,” added Mr. Weed.

Some of the key findings from the research include:

  • Blogger opinion leaders exhibit a clear early adopter profile while the traditional group does not.
  • Blogger opinion leaders have big spending plans for the future and more than 50% are engaged in operating a small or home business.
  • Since they turn over accounts at a much higher rate than traditional opinion leaders, blogger opinion leaders are a moving and valuable target for credit card companies.

The Phoenix report, ‘The Influence of Opinion Leaders in Credit Card Marketing’ is part of an ongoing research study, Phoenix Credit Card Monitor, that surveys cardholders each quarter on a variety of topics including card ownership, use, wallet position and loyalty. For a free excerpt of this report, please click here.

About Phoenix Marketing International
Phoenix Marketing International is a premier global marketing services firm providing its clients with tailored, unique insight into their customers and markets via a wealth of existing proprietary data. Coupled with custom research products and the latest qualitative and quantitative techniques, Phoenix has extensive research experience across the Automotive, Financial Services, Healthcare, Converged Technology and Media, Restaurant, and Travel/Leisure sectors. From the strategic definition of consumer needs to effective marketing program implementation, PMI provides profit-driven market solutions and is committed to maximizing a client’s Return on Marketing Investment (ROMI) by leveraging the ability to attract and retain new business through cost efficient data acquisition and statistical modeling techniques. Founded in 1999 by Chairman and CEO, Allen R. DeCotiis and President, Martha Rea, Phoenix Marketing International has established its global presence with offices in major locations such as New York, New Jersey, Boston, Philadelphia, Raleigh/Durham, Detroit, and London.

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Kristin Johnson
Phoenix Marketing International
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