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Economic Outlook Segmentation System

Media companies, advertising agencies and advertisers need to know how the relationship between the American consumer and the U.S. economy is changing over time. That is, they want to know how consumers perceive their current and near-term personal financial outlook as well as how they feel about the future of the U.S. economy. These financial outlook-based attitudes directly affect the spending behaviors of the American consumer. Simmons® created the Economic Outlook Segmentation to help marketers to better understand how different segments of the U.S. population evaluate their personal financial situation and how marketers need to evolve their messaging strategies to make it all work in the real economy. This system consists of five unique clusters.

The five Economic Outlook consumer segments now available include:

  • Confident Spenders: Consumers of this group remain largely untouched by the current economic downturn. They are confident about their current economic condition, financially secure and even willing to take investment risks. They are confident spenders. Their purchasing behavior has not been significantly influenced by the economic downturn; they continue their regular spending or even spend more on big- and medium-tickets items. Many have plans to improve their homes or buy/lease a new car.
    Outlook: Spending more, taking risks, and optimistic
  • Fiscally Fit: Consumers of this group are more flexible and adaptive to changes in the market than others. They are fiscally fit and well positioned during the current economic downturn. They feel financially secure and their consumer confidence is high. They are optimistic about the future of the American economy and their own financial health. While they’re always looking for better financial opportunities, they generally do not take risks. They keep their spending under control with few big- or even medium-ticket items planned in the near future.
    Outlook: Cautious with spending, but optimistic
  • Financial Nesters: While Financial Nesters are trying to maintain their lifestyle with –a “business as usual” outlook, they haven’t lost sight of the changes taking place in the American economy. This group has been padding their financial nest egg in anticipation of retirement and they intend to stick to that plan despite external events. Even though they don’t expect the American economy or their personal financial situation to improve anytime soon, they continue to purchase medium-ticket items, spend on household essentials, make home improvements and live their lives according to plan.
    Outlook: Continuing to spend, but not optimistic
  • Facing Challenges: Consumers in this group are facing challenges and all the realities of the current economic situation. Their consumer confidence and propensity to purchase everything from big ticket items to household essentials is low. The financial situation of Facing Challenges is worse than it was 12 months ago and they are neither hopeful about their personal financial future nor that of the American economy.
    Outlook: Spending less and not optimistic
  • Economically Indiferent: Consumers of this group are out of the mainstream. They are economically indifferent to the economic downturn. They do not have a sense that the economy is slowing down or getting better. Their modest financial situation is not a result of the current economy.
    Outlook: Holding spending steady to cutting back, not economically aware

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