Marketing-Key to banks’ expanding horizon in India

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Being a customer-oriented industry, the banking sector today appears tremendously drawn to marketing for building good relations. Sensing the immense difference it can make to business prospects, a growing number of banks have perked up their innovations, using various marketing tools, writes Rashi Aditi Ghosh of Elets News Network (ENN).

MarketingMarketing and its Significance in Banking

The Indian banking industry has shown tremendous growth in terms of adapting marketing strategies, a practice not confined to opening saving bank accounts, credit cards, investments, wealth management, mutual funds, insurance and so on. This is compelling them to improve customer service and build relationships with customers.

For executing successful marketing strategies, every financial marketer has to focus on improving the customer experience across channels and with every communication.

Touchpoints such as mobile, video and social media continue to grow in importance, as far as marketing strategies are concerned.

“In India, banks are always associated with trust and were able to get customers for life. The next door bank branch was an enabler in providing customer-centric approach. While India still has a majority of people who are comfortable with traditional bank setup but Digital Banking is more cost effective and productive. Today, the banking methods have changed with people moving to the cashless economy like never before,” said Amit Vadera, Assistant Vice President, TeamLease Services.

“Marketing will play a significant role in partnering with business teams to offer banking services from deposit to lending effectively and tapping both Transitional and Digital customer’s will be the biggest challenge and opportunity for the marketing team. Marketing will continue to play a significant role in driving growth in under/un-penetrated markets, driving sales for new product offerings, acquiring new customers and more importantly retaining existing customers, and growing their share of wallets,” added Vadera.

Transition in Banking Marketing Strategies

Customers no longer tolerate the poorly targeted marketing communications in the banking sector and their interest and demands are updating with changing times. Customers are now aware and want the financial marketers to register their interest with interesting and rewarding ideas that can make their shopping and purchasing journey more exciting.

If consumers’ experience expectations are not met, they will ignore or block your communications, or abandon the relationship with your bank or credit union altogether.

It is important to acknowledge the significance of improved marketing communications process in complete alignment with the consumer’s perspective. This will help in driving growth, loyalty and profitability. Managing the marketing process without taking advantage of the technology tools available is becoming more and more difficult.

“Banking is a complicated and stressful industry that is, to say the least, intimidating for most. What marketing can do – and should do – is bring a human touch to banking. We create products teeming with complexity that aim to make our customers lives simpler, but no one will use them unless we showcase the benefits to the customer. That’s where marketing comes in. We facilitate the emotional connection between the product and the user, and encourage them to take charge of their finances,” said Vineet Sethi, Chief Marketing Officer, NiYO.

Marketing Trends for Banking Industry

Following are some important trends that are pivotal for financial marketers for becoming a key differentiator in the future:

Insight-Driven Marketing

Consumer insight and data for financial marketers will become significant than ever in the near future. It will be important for financial institutions to leverage advanced analytics for insight-driven marketing. New tools and technologies make advanced analytics available for all sized organisations, while digital channels and the desire for personalised offers make the investment in data analytics mandatory for success.

Mobile Marketing

Mobile banking is no longer a new mode for consumers and it is well-known that consumers do a significant proportion of their researching, shopping and buying on their smartphones. Leading banking organisations are already leveraging the mobile device for sales messaging.

Increasing Focus on ROI

It is important that every marketing campaign should be measured to gauge success. The necessity to measure results has never been greater, as advanced tools can now delve into the customer purchase journey to determine what blend of channels were used in the decision process.

Moving to Social Media Mainstream

Instagram, Twitter and Snapchat are also becoming more popular with certain segments of the population. An ongoing challenge for financial marketers is in linking social media campaigns to sales. This challenge is what is holding most marketers back from increasing investments in social marketing. This is but obvious as social media use is growing as internet access spreads. Facebook already has more than 112 million users in India and Twitter has around 30 million. With increasing competition, banks have increased their marketing budgets and social media is the major part of it. Banks using these social platforms as another customer care, to launch new products, endorsing celebrities and many more.

“Marketing is critical for the industry from two main perspectives (not penning them down in order of preference) – one keeping the company visible out there in the relevant markets. And two, constantly working on building sustainable differentiators – without which every company would very simply look alike. This becomes even more relevant in the banking industry, where there is precious little differentiation and consequently, customer acquisition becomes that much harder,” said Senthil Natarajan, Chief Technology Officer, OpenTap.

While convincing customers through lucrative marketing strategies has become significant for all brands across all industries, banking sector is also adopting several tech-driven ideas to aware customers’ attention towards their offerings.

On one hand, the strategies are helping in attracting more consumers; on the other hand it is also boosting the level of financial inclusion by helping the rural consumers to opt for banking services.

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