Why Forum Data Can’t be Ignored in FinTech

Analyzing consumer online conversations reveals forums are the go-to source for consumers expressing their opinions

Where do people go online to express their interests? If you’re like most people, your mind probably jumps to social media channels like Twitter and Instagram. Or maybe personal blogs for more personal or longer-form content. But there’s one online channel that may not leap instantly to mind. A venue where millions of consumers go every day to have detailed conversations about topics they have pre-existing knowledge of.

Online forums, broad like Reddit or narrow and industry-specific, are incredibly valuable resources of consumer insights, and nowhere is this clearer than in the fintech industry.

Analyzing consumer conversations in the financial tech industry reveals that forums are a consumer-favorite for expressing their opinions, deeper and more varied than their traditional social media counterparts. These consumers know the background of the space and are able to best express their opinions, and this data cannot be ignored by fintech brands hoping to keep up with modern consumer preferences.

But what can a brand discern from this data? Forum data differentiates itself from other platforms in several key ways. While other online channels offer a vast audience or visual storytelling, forums offer two data differentiators: in-depth discussion and subject experts.

While Twitter is the the most accessible platform to hash out ideas and Instagram provides a means for enviable photos, forums are a medium that offer unlimited space for opinions to be stated, explicated, and debated. Because of this, forum conversations are more thorough and detailed compared to other online venues.

For an industry as tied to evolving consumer opinions and constant product feedback, finserv brands cannot afford to ignore forums.

In Depth Discussions

Forums encourage a thorough explanation of one’s ideas, and for mobile banking, that’s imperative. As a more technical industry, knowing exactly what satisfied and dissatisfied consumers specifically is imperative. A tweet airing frustration with a banking app isn’t enough information to improve it.

A longer-form medium provides enough space for ideas to be fleshed out. While Twitter can help gauge brand health for finance brands, forums provide meaningful insights on what they’re doing well and where they need to improve.

Here, a consumer discusses Wells Fargo feature: cardless ATMs through their bank app, while other users air out their concerns that come with that. The forum provided the consumer the means to state that they like Wells Fargo’s app and also the why behind that positivity. By comparison, Twitter’s limitations can show PNC that people aren’t loving their app, but would have no idea why.

While Twitter still makes up a solid proportion of the banking apps conversation, the conversation that gets into the details of each app is dominated by forums.

With almost 90% of the conversation about a specific feature occuring on forums, it’s obvious that if a brand ignores this data, they’re going to be getting a very high-level, detail-lacking look of how people view their apps. By utilizing the full, holistic view, brands can find real-world opportunities to further satisfy their consumer base.

Subject Experts

Another data differentiator for forums: subject experts are more likely to use them. Consumers who know the industry well are going to the aid of industry newcomers to provide detailed experiences and opinions.

Forums are full of people who actually know what they are talking about. They go to forums to have intellectual conversation. More than a one-off Tweet where a consumer posts one idea about one topic, forum-goers are able to develop their idea, and also discuss it with others.

In this post, a consumer discusses their research on the security of mobile banking compared to credit and debit cards. Brands can discover the topics that are important to those closest to the industries they’re interested in, and this couldn’t be more important for financial services. Finance companies are often barraged by negativity from their consumers. Knowing what’s dissatisfying consumers with the most knowledge of the space, brands can better wade through the negativity to discover where their biggest problems lie.

Take this consumer’s view on debt. He doesn’t showcase much knowledge on the subject nor does he have a meaningful conversation with another consumer. It’s one post to relieve some frustration.

This forum post, on the other hand, is experienced consumers discussing the pros and cons of different banking systems. If these brands access these conversations, they know exactly how people feel about them, and why.

Forum data can’t be ignored for any company, and this is especially true for technical companies like those in financial tech. The unlimited capability to express thoughts from experts is a more direct way for financial brands to discover the most important issues to tackle among a sea of posts that complain, but don’t explain.

For more information about the Financial Services industry, download our full report: Financial Services Consumer Trends Report

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