A DIGITALLY DRIVEN BANK
With 80% of their total transactions across the country taking place online, Ravi Santhanam the newly appointed Chief Marketing Officer of HDFC Bank, elaborates on why it makes perfect sense to launch #StartDoing, a digital-only campaign for the brand
Q] You have recently moved from Telecom (Vodafone) to Banking. How different are the challenges you face at HDFC?
The first challenge is the number of products we have at HDFC. Telecom is voice, data and a little bit of valueadded services, here and there. And the value-added services necessarily are not the ones which you actually force communication for or attempt to sell. But, when it comes to banking, the number of products and the lifecycle in which you can engage with the customer is fairly large. So you might be starting with a simple savings account, then when you start working we give you a credit card, post that a two-wheeler loan, a four wheeler loan and so on.
Q] What was the first thing on your agenda when you took over as the CMO of HDFC?
The first thing for me was to understand the customer from a banking perspective. Different customers have different needs and expectations from the bank. For example, the millennials expect everything to be done on their phone and not at the branch. Most people don’t even go to the branches anymore. So, we need to be sure that our digital investments are in line with the aspirations of the customers. In fact, some of the old customers who hadn’t seen a mobile till they started their careers have also moved towards internet or mobile banking. So, the engagement, awareness and fulfillment have to start and end on Digital. Also, as soon as one product lifecycle is over, the next one starts, so the engagement is continuous. Q] Tell us a little about the new campaign #StartDoing which focuses on credit cards and loan options?
Whenever I asked customers in the branches in my initial touring round as to how they heard of HDFC Bank, they always said it was through an existing customer’s reference. What I gathered from that is that if you take care of the needs of your existing customers, then you are bound to get some more customers in your fold through wordof-mouth. Earlier, there was a time when I would wait for a Times of India review to know if a movie is worth watching. Today all I need to do is go to my Facebook timeline and see if any of my friends whose taste matches with mine has referred, say, Jagga Jasoos. That’s the way the whole world is moving, even the financial products and systems. So, this time we thought why not use the new way to engage with our audience, considering that most people are digitally savvy today. Q] There is emphasis on being the number 1 Bank in the ad unlike the previous HDFC commercials, why?
There are two things
I’d like to mention here. We have a leadership position in most of the product categories we operate in.
But when we went and met customers, we realized that while the entire market knows about it, the person on the street is not necessarily aware. Secondly, most consumers we asked said that whenever they need to take a call on financial