The Australian population is ageing. Over the next two to three decades this has the potential to place a serious burden on the nation's social welfare system. The Federal Government is addressing this problem by encouraging people to invest in superannuation and thus make their own financial provision for retirement. However, the service of superannuation must be properly marketed if the desired participation rate is to be achieved.
The objective of this report is to generate insights which may improve the marketing of superannuation. The research methodology involves a detailed analysis of the literature on services marketing followed by primary research into the characteristics of superannuation and consumer attitudes toward the performance of the service.
There are two key products of this research. The first is the proposal of a new model of marketing which may have the potential to handle both physical goods and intangible services. This model is then applied to the research into consumer attitudes. The second product is the finding of substantial consumer dissatisfaction with the service of superannuation. Key areas of concern among focus group participants and pilot survey respondents were 1) the performance of personnel involved in the service, 2) the quality of communications between superannuation organization and client, and 3) specific aspects of superannuation, such as inflexibility. The report concludes that if the Federal Government's goal of substantially increased participation in superannuation is to be achieved, the industry must conduct additional research into these key areas of consumer concern. The industry must then modify their service offering to better suit consumer needs.