INNOVATIVE Finance ISAs (IFISAs) were searched for on Google less than any other ISA product over the last tax year, new analysis has found.
Help to buy and cash ISAs saw the greatest volume of searches, followed by the lifetime ISA, then stocks and shares ISAs and then IFISAs.
The Marketing Eye used Google Trends to show how ISA search terms compared with one another. Google Trends does not reveal the exact traffic numbers for search terms but shows how they are trending and how they compare with each other.
“The headline fact here is that IFISA searches have barely left zero on this scale – consumers just aren’t searching for these products,” said the marketing firm.
“Is the industry simply not doing a good enough job of showing the benefits of the IFISA wrapper to consumers? IFISA products have been around since April 2016, and while it is always likely to be the most niche of the set, to see such a low relative search volume is surprising.”
The Marketing Eye said that product-specific searches peak at around 33 per cent of generic searches when added together, which indicates that a significant proportion of the population is looking for education and guidance towards the best product.
“Early commentary from businesses like Assetz, RateSetter and Crowd2Fund all speak of take-up of their products exceeding expectations, so it’s not right to say the industry is flogging a dead horse with the IFISA,” said The Marketing Eye. “Far from it, ample liquidity is being generated on the back of the product from existing investors and amplified by word of mouth and referrals.
“What we’re still waiting for though is the often-quoted ‘wall of money’ from the general population of investors. Evidently, this isn’t going to arrive until awareness and education improves.”
The research found that search volumes for the term “ISA” had declined over the past few tax years but were still significantly higher than searches for individual products.
“Generic ISA searches still get a massive amount more volume than product-specific searches,” said the marketing firm.
“There’s no major surprise in this, but it illustrates how users educate themselves – ‘tell me about ISAs first and then explain the different types to me’. This should inform search and content strategies.”
HMRC data showed that the IFISA attracted £17m across 2,000 accounts in the 2016/17 tax year, although this has been contradicted by industry providers whose own figures suggest that uptake was higher.