Connecting With High-Anxiety Consumers

Yankelovich’s Monitor Minute newsletter took a look this week at “highly anxious consumers” — a growth market if ever there was one as major financial institutions collapse. It finds such consumers especially wary of marketing.

One example: 72 percent of the survey’s high-anxiety/severe-anxiety respondents endorsed the statement, “If the opportunity arises, most businesses will take advantage of the public if they feel they are not likely to be found out.” By comparison, 57 percent of no-anxiety/low-anxiety respondents said they think this is the case. Along the same lines, 71 percent of the anxious consumers (vs. 58 percent of the unanxious) agreed that “There should be more limits and regulations on marketing than there are in place today.” And 58 percent of the anxious (vs. 45 percent of the unanxious) believe “The amount of marketing and advertising today is out of control.”

But reaching these people isn’t a hopeless task. Yankelovich says its research shows they’re “particularly approachable while watching television, a platform that nearly half view in a positive manner.” Anxious consumers watch a lot of TV, in part because it helps them unwind. “As a result, they become more receptive to television advertising, especially those executions that have a ‘family-centered,’ ‘warm’ or ‘funny’ theme.”