New Ways to Make People Save: A Social Marketing Approach
In this study, we use a social marketing approach to develop a planning aid to help new employees at a not-for-profit institution contribute to supplementary pensions. We employed different methods, such as surveys, focus groups and in-depth interviews, to "listen" to employees' needs and difficulties with saving. Moreover, we targeted specific groups that were less likely to save and contribute to supplementary pensions, such as women and low-income employees. The program we developed is not only effective but also inexpensive. While this program was implemented at a single institution, it is suitable to be applied to a variety of employers and demographic groups.
We would like to thank Nava Ashraf, Robert Cialdini, Petia Petrova, David Richardson, and participants of the conference "Improving the Effectiveness of Financial Education and Saving Programs," NBER, Cambridge, MA, May 2007, the "Transformative Consumer Research Conference," Tuck School of Business, Hanover, NH, July 2007, the TIAA-CREF Institute Fellows Symposium on "Retirement Savings Adequacy and Influencing Savings Behavior," New York, NY, March 2008 for suggestions and comments. We would also like to thank the staff of the human resources office of the not-for-profit institution we worked with for their help and support. Anna Dev, Ka Yan Luk, and Diep Pham provided excellent research assistance. Financial support from Dartmouth College and the National Endowment for Financial Education is gratefully acknowledged. Any errors are our responsibility. The views expressed herein are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Bureau of Economic Research.