How financial services leaders can stay ahead of what’s new and what’s next

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How financial services leaders can stay ahead of what’s new and what’s next

Investors, financial services providers, and portfolio managers are turning to survey research to anticipate consumer needs and make more data-driven decisions

Kenneth Garcia

January 20, 2022 | 3 min read

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From the GameStop/Robinhood drama to the rapid consumer adoption of “Buy Now Pay Later” (BNPL) services, 2021 was a wild year in the world of finance and digital investing. And while we’re only a few weeks into the new year, 2022 looks to be more of the same, as rising inflation and ongoing pandemic-related issues continue to impact consumers and financial markets. 

For financial services leaders navigating this rapidly changing landscape, understanding evolving consumer sentiment while anticipating possible shifts in industry trends will be the key to evaluating market opportunities faster, making investment decisions with confidence, and staying ahead of the competition.  To adapt, investors, financial services providers, and portfolio managers are turning to alternative data, including survey research to anticipate consumer needs and make more data-driven decisions.

Using industry and brand tracking to stay ahead of the curve in 2022

In today’s feedback economy, consumers are using their power to sway markets faster than ever, which is why it’s important to understand consumer sentiment and market shifts. A great way to do this is to rely on industry and brand trackers, a type of research study that monitors key metrics for industries, product categories, and brands, such as awareness, perceptions, and loyalty — the types of early indicators for how people will respond to new launches, price changes, IPOs, corporate scandals, and so much more.

If your firm is on the buy side, you’ll depend on market data and proprietary insights that help make better decisions about purchasing securities and managing investment portfolios, pensions, and hedge funds. On the sell side, staying on top of the trends that affect your clients and their financial performance is essential and provides a unique competitive advantage.

Whether you’re looking to expand into new markets, discover how macroeconomic forces influence stock valuations, track emerging category adoption, or get ahead of earnings cycles, industry and brand tracking can help you collect insights over time to meet investment goals with timely market research that propels your firm forward.

Enriching your datasets with survey research

Investment management companies rely on a broad range of metrics to better guide investment decisions — from sales transactions to earning per share and cash flow estimates, the amount of information available is almost endless. Increasingly, more investors are looking at nontraditional data sources, including survey data to expand their datasets and help minimize some of the strategic risks inherent in investment decisions. So, what’s the value of integrating survey data into your decision-making process?

Going beyond the transactions for deeper, proprietary insights from survey data

From an investment standpoint, transactional data is extraordinarily valuable in revealing a clear uptick or downturn in sales, which has a clear impact on the company’s short term financial wellbeing. But what the transactions do not reveal is where consumer sentiment is heading or why consumers are behaving the way they are.

Surfacing intentions is what makes survey data invaluable: not only can you ask your respondents questions such as “How much did you spend on food last month?” but you can also ask them whether that is more or less than what they spent before. You can also ask questions that help you understand what they’re worried about and what they think the future might hold.

While transactional data will tell you that sales at a particular brand rose in March, that data can’t give you the backstory. You’ll also need to know why people chose that brand over another, what they purchased, why they purchased it, whether they’ll buy again — these are the real insights that give you the fullest possible picture to inform the decisions you make about your investment portfolio.

Uncover more insights with a modern industry tracking strategy

​​If you're an investor looking to enrich your existing business intelligence data set, I'd highly recommend reading our modern guide to industry and market tracking. We detail how investment firms, financial services providers, and portfolio managers can use industry and brand trackers to get proprietary insights that present a more complete picture of market trends, consumer behavior, and competitive landscapes. 

Kenneth Garcia is a principal content strategist at Momentive

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