October 18, 2006
Press Release

Quantcast Data Shows Demographics Help Determine Online Bank Choice

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. – October 18, 2006 – According to new data from Quantcast, US banks’ customer demographics can be inferred from Web traffic analysis and vary significantly. Quantcast results also suggest promising websites for banks to reach potential customers. Some extracts include:

  • Washington Mutual caters particularly to income brackets under $60K and attracts the most ethnically diverse audience of all major financial institutions online. Its customer base includes nearly three times as many Latinos and twice as many Asian Americans than average. Washington Mutual is also the favorite of the under 35 crowd, with 42% more 25-34 year-olds and 29% more 18-24 year-olds than average.
  • Citibank also attracts Asian Americans at twice the average rate, and its customers are 37% more likely to have graduate degrees than average. One-time visitors make up 54% of Citibank’s online audience compared with 30% for Wells Fargo, which suggests that Citibank advertises more heavily and draws more shoppers to its site.
  • Bank of America has the most addicting website, with 11% of its traffic coming from loyalists who visit 30 or more times per month, in contrast with only 4% for Citibank. Bank of America also serves an ethnically diverse user base and boasts 20% more African American visitors than average.

“While many banking institutions appear similar, these statistics confirm that the demographics of online users vary greatly between each site,” said Quantcast co-founder Konrad Feldman. “This demographic data based on characteristics such as income, age and ethnicity is important for understanding who is visiting the site. Perhaps more importantly for marketers, this data also reveals the differences in advertising locations that firms need to consider to get marketing messages to their customers and prospects.”

Quantcast examined the affinities* of online banking customers to understand where else they go on the Web. This unique capability helps advertisers extend their reach beyond the largest, least-differentiated sites to “long tail” websites that are harder to identify, but richer in the target audiences.

“Our data shows that Washington Mutual and Bank of America visitors are more likely to frequent sites such as BMW and Costco, whereas Citibank users have a higher affinity for Subaru and Sears,” explained Mr. Feldman. “The customers of West Coast-based Washington Mutual display a greater affinity for visiting California sports teams, including the San Jose Sharks and Los Angeles Dodgers. The Minnesota-based US Bancorp crowd favors online newspapers such as the Minneapolis Star-Tribune and St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Naturally, the geography of branch locations and demographics affects which audience a bank’s online presence will attract.”

Quantcast’s open Internet ratings site compares demographic characteristics and frequency of visits for hundreds of thousands of sites to create a snapshot of a website’s audience usage patterns. Quantcast also offers a solution for advertisers to access highly refined audience segments that match their brand and product to effectively target elusive online audiences.