This exploratory study examines the differences in perceptions between managers of corporate firms in the financial services industry and those of a sample of the low income market concerning funeral insurance needs. The purpose is to understand these differences and whether the opportunity exists for corporates to achieve greater market orientation.A sample was drawn from the corporate firms, banks and insurance companies who currently offer funeral products. Qualitative interviews were conducted with senior managers who had an influence on the developing products for the market. A second sample representing the LSM1-5 group (low income) was drawn from a township outside Johannesburg. The resultant perceptions were compared to each other.Findings reveal a lack of market orientation on the part of most service providers coupled with low levels of market understanding. However, service providers have also displayed a willingness to re-orientate themselves to the market.Further, the market displays a willingness to purchase formal products but certain incorrect perceptions and a shortage of appropriate products could be preventing greater uptake. Recommendations for managers and for policymakers on more meaningful ways of understanding and designing for the market are offered.The exploratory nature of the study has also yielded ideas for future research that could be of value in accessing and serving the market.The author presents a model for researching low income markets based on the findings of this study coupled with precepts of consumer behaviour theory.