I'm sure many of you, like me, are still feeling a bit raw after England's departure from the World Cup.
I am sure many of you, like me, are still feeling a bit raw after England's departure from the World Cup. And those sporting wounds only had more salt rubbed in them when Scotland's great Wimbledon hope Andy Murray was knocked out last week. But despite all of this defeat, I'm sure all of us enjoyed the way in which this summer of sport has effortlessly united households and offices. Though I'm not sure all my Scottish colleagues will agree with my liberal use of the word ‘Unite'!
But the point is, love it or hate it, sport gets everyone talking, well almost everyone. Even people who, year round would never think about tuning into a game of football or watching a tennis match suddenly find themselves hooked. I am a keen all season tennis player, so it always amazes me as to how many budding Federers turn up on the courts in the last week of June. So I wonder what it is that lures people in? What is it that makes football fever appeal to ladies who normally only lunch or blokes who only ever follow rugby?
My guess is it's that flavour of the month factor- for a few weeks sport becomes something of a phenomenon. Its appeal temporarily spikes and then tails off. I'm sure I am not the only person to have thought about why there is this sudden surge in popularity for something that's not normally so well liked, but understanding behaviour is in my marketing DNA so bear with me...
The thing is, I can't help wondering how we can use either this football fever or recent election hype to get people interested in, or better still acting on the big things in life that really matter. Like saving for the future, say. I do appreciate routinely putting away money, or making your own pension fund selection holds less appeal than enjoying ninety minutes of Argentina versus Mexico or seeing Andy Murray attempt to break Nadal's serve, but surely there must be some way we can get people tuned in to saving?
Because the thing is that despite more white papers, motions in parliament, and speeches to the nation than anyone thought possible, we are still not saving anywhere nearly enough. Another report out, this time from the ONS, paints an equally bleak picture: people in the UK are saving less today than at any time in the past 40 years. So, arguably there was a time when we understood the value of saving, but perhaps like the world cup its popularity seemed to tail off.
As a nation we need to start getting our savings back on track. Perhaps as the DWP's research showed last week, it really is down to the individual to take control of their savings but they do need a lot of help and encouragement along the way. I personally think we can help ourselves by viewing saving for retirement as a process instead of a one-off event. But to help this ‘process' mentality when it comes to saving, we need to provide the right options that will help us save in a way that suits our lifestyles.
We need our new coalition government to support employers' endeavours and foster a savings culture.
Maybe that way the appeal of savings will last longer than the month long world cup or Wimbledon fortnight. Or maybe that's just wishful thinking on my part!
Martin Palmer is head of corporate pensions marketing at Friends Provident
Echoes of sci-fi thriller 'Minority Report'
Heading for biggest annual nominal losses since 2008
‘To drive future inflows and AUA growth’
‘To support growth strategy’