Mar­ket­ing Next

Banking Frontiers - - Cover Story -

In the re­cent BRANDZ Study by Mill­ward Brown, 5 of the top 10 brands by val­u­a­tion in In­dia were from the BFSI sec­tor. This clearly shows that BFSI sec­tor today oc­cu­pies the cen­tre stage. The BFSI in­dus­try of In­dia is go­ing through a trans­for­ma­tion era, new prod­ucts and cus­tom­ized ser­vices have con­trib­uted to the revo­lu­tion in the in­dus­try. The in­dus­try has faced chal­lenges in terms of un­der-pen­e­tra­tion and com­plex­ity of un­der­stand­ing. Fi­nance com­pa­nies are mi­grat­ing from out­moded busi­ness mod­els to busi­ness de­signs that are bet­ter able to sat­isfy cus­tomers’ pri­or­i­ties. With in­creas­ing dig­i­ti­za­tion, the BFSI play­ers are un­der­go­ing a big change as can be seen with the rise of fin­techs and the mi­gra­tion of cus­tomers from PSU banks to pri­vate banks. These fac­tors have con­trib­uted in the trans­for­ma­tion of the mar­ket­ing strate­gies adopted by the fi­nan­cial or­gan­i­sa­tions.


In the BFSI sec­tor, one can clearly see a shift from just selling a prod­uct or brand po­si­tion­ing to trust building. The trust fac­tor plays an im­por­tant role, par­tic­u­larly in tar­get­ing the ru­ral cus­tomers of In­dia, as the ru­ral cus­tomer are not in­ter­ested in how big as a brand you are or what is the most in­tel­li­gent thing about your brand or how you are perceived by the rat­ing agen­cies.

It is heart­en­ing to see how busi­nesses are mi­grat­ing from be­ing ur­ban focused to rur­ban focused. In the past, fi­nan­cial com­pa­nies had busi­nesses that were ei­ther ru­ral or ur­ban. Mar­ket­ing as a trend ex­isted pri­mar­ily in the ur­ban space. But with the ad­vent of or­ga­ni­za­tions like small fi­nance banks, there is a de­fin­i­tive rise in the rur­ban land­scape of the coun­try. Or­gan­i­sa­tions cater­ing to mul­ti­ple cus­tomer seg­ments and con­nect­ing with ru­ral and ur­ban con­sumers to­gether is one trend which is clearly vis­i­ble.

Take the case of Fin­care Small Fi­nance Bank. It uses direct ap­proach to tar­get the lo­cal cus­tomers. The bank en­gages with the lo­cal com­mu­nity within 30 days of the launch of the mar­ket­ing cam­paign, which is done to cre­ate brand re­call and fa­mil­iarise con­sumers with its prod­ucts and ser­vices. Pankaj Gu­lati, Chief Peo­ple Of­fi­cer at the bank, shares the details of the lo­calised theme events: “Our events are lo­calised spe­cific to the mar­ket where we are launched. Dif­fer­ent themes are adopted such as se­nior ci­ti­zen re­lated ac­tiv­i­ties and as­so­ci­at­ing with lo­cal sports. Sim­i­larly, a few so­cial or com­mu­nity re­lated work, like a CSR event. The idea is to in­volve cus­tomers to gen­er­ate leads.”

In­dia First Life has changed the po­si­tion­ing of the brand. The com­pany now fo­cus on pro­vid­ing sim­ple, smarter and faster prod­ucts to its cus­tomers. Rushabh Gandhi, Deputy CEO, INDIAFIRST Life speaks about the brand po­si­tion­ing strat­egy: “We are the first dig­i­tal first in­sur­ance com­pany of In­dia, we fol­low pa­per­less process, our sales team and agents uses tablet for selling the in­sur­ance prod­ucts. Our fo­cus on cus­tomer is sig­nif­i­cant, customised and per­son­alised.”

Fi­nance com­pa­nies are seen fo­cus­ing on con­sumer mar­ket­ing, seg­men­ta­tion and cus­tomi­sa­tion for brand building and cre­at­ing trust among their cus­tomers. Brands with a rel­e­vant and dif­fer­en­ti­ated value propo­si­tion, that sim­plify the role and ben­e­fit of var­i­ous prod­ucts will be the ones that not only go­ing to sur­vive but thrive in the com­ing years.

Mar­ket­ing heads from leading BFSI com­pa­nies of In­dia share how mar­ket­ing is chang­ing from a sin­gle fo­cus to mul­ti­ple foci:


BFSI com­pa­nies uses mix of the tra­di­tional and dig­i­tal chan­nels to tar­get their cus­tomers. The com­pa­nies use the chan­nels as per the needs and re­quire­ment of their tar­get au­di­ence and mar­ket­ing cam­paigns. They use dig­i­tal chan­nels like so­cial me­dia, email, Google search to mar­ket their prod­ucts, tra­di­tional chan­nels like TV and cinema for long term brand building, and news­pa­pers for im­me­di­ate aware­ness cre­ation.

Moti­lal Oswal has a mar­ket­ing bud­get of more than `300 mil­lion per year, and it is spent equally be­tween off­line and on­line me­dia chan­nels. While it spent around 24% of its mar­ket­ing bud­get on dig­i­tal in FY14-15, this in­creased to 50% in FY18-19.

Fin­care Small Fi­nance Bank uses dig­i­tal mar­ket­ing to cre­ate brand aware­ness to at­tract tal­ent into the organizati­on. The bank is now us­ing dig­i­tal plat­forms as a lead gen­er­a­tion chan­nel. It has a bud­get of about `20 mil­lion for dig­i­tal mar­ket­ing for FY18-19. Pankaj Gu­lati said: “Our over­all mar­ket­ing bud­get is ap­prox­i­mately `150 mil­lion, with an in­crease or de­crease of 20%, de­pend­ing on the cam­paing re­quire­ment. The bud­get is spread across var­i­ous ATL and BTL mar­ket­ing chan­nels. Presently, the ra­tio be­tween off­line and on­line mar­ket­ing is 90:10, it will in­crease to 70:30 in the com­ing years.”

Over the last 3 years, Fu­ture Gen­er­ali Life In­sur­ance has in­creased its dig­i­tal mar­ket­ing bud­get by 50%. Rakesh Wad­hwa, CMO, EVP - Strat­egy & Re­tail As­sur­ance at the in­surer says: “We ef­fec­tively do con­tent mar­ket­ing to reach our cus­tomers and video con­tent is the next big thing for our mar­ket­ing cam­paigns.”

Capri Global Cap­i­tal’s mar­ket­ing bud­get com­prises 95% off­line and 5% on­line. Ra­jesh Sharma, manag­ing di­rec­tor, said: “There is no fixed mar­ket­ing bud­get as we are in growth phase. With heavy feet on street model, the fo­cus is on en­sur­ing re­gional reach with ground ac­tiv­i­ties and part­ner­ships.” Ra­jneesh Chawla, for­mer group head, Mar­ket­ing, at In­di­a­b­ulls Fi­nan­cial Ser­vices, ex­plains the dig­i­tal ini­tia­tives of the com­pany: “The com­pany is focused on the dig­i­tal chan­nels, as dig­i­tal is more con­tex­tual to the cus­tomers. It fo­cuses more and more on per­son­al­ized cam­paigns to tar­get cus­tomers. Dig­i­tal will help in mi­cro-seg­ment­ing the cus­tomers in terms of com­mu­ni­ca­tions and mar­ket­ing cam­paigns. It adopts a 360-de­gree mar­ket­ing ap­proach to tar­get the cus­tomers, us­ing both ATL and BTL chan­nels. The strat­egy depends on geo­graphic lo­ca­tions of the tar­get cus­tomers.”

In the last few years, there has been rise in the dig­i­tal mar­ket­ing bud­get among the BFSI com­pa­nies, as the dig­i­tal con­tent is getting pop­u­lar among the mil­len­nial cus­tomers. Con­tent mar­ket­ing and video con­tent de­vel­op­ment are the next big things.


Tra­di­tional mar­ket­ing chan­nels like print, TV and OOH are still pop­u­lar among the fi­nan­cial mar­keters. Fino Pay­ments Bank uses TVC cam­paigns to tar­get its cus­tomers. The bank launched its first TVC cam­paign in Septem­ber 2017 and an­other in March 2018. It uses print ad­ver­tise­ment cam­paigns in the key states of the coun­try and branded con­tent ac­tiv­ity across Ma­ha­rash­tra, Bi­har, UP and MP. Shailesh Pandey, EVP and head - Strat­egy & Mar­ket­ing at Fino Pay­ments Bank, speaks about the tra­di­tional mar­ket­ing chan­nels: “Our tagline is ‘kadar ma­henat ki’ and we use tra­di­tional me­dia chan­nels like print ad­ver­tise­ments, hoard­ings, posters, cinema brand­ing, etc, as part of our mar­ket­ing cam­paigns. In the south­ern re­gion, as the lit­er­acy rates are higher, news­pa­pers and mag­a­zines play an im­por­tant role. In western and north­ern re­gion, au­dio-vis­ual medium is more ef­fec­tive.”

INDIAFIRST Life In­sur­ance had launched ‘Be­cause Life Is Full of Cer­tain­ties, Life In­sur­ance Must Hai’ and In­de­pen­dence Day

cam­paign on so­cial me­dia for cre­at­ing high en­gage­ment, in­volve­ment and for cre­at­ing brand aware­ness. Rushabh Gandhi re­veals details about the ad­ver­tis­ing ra­tio: “We use 360-de­gree mar­ket­ing chan­nels like out­door, print me­dia, ra­dio and other so­cial me­dia chan­nels. We fo­cus on us­ing omni-chan­nels to reach our cus­tomers. We have mar­ket­ing ra­tio of 50:30:10:10 be­tween OOH, dig­i­tal, print and ra­dio chan­nels. We dis­play ad­ver­tise­ments out­side the branches of Bank of Bar­oda and Andhra Bank to tar­get cus­tomers of these banks for life in­sur­ance prod­ucts; we re­ceive 80% of our busi­ness from these two banks.”

Ra­jesh Sharma gives details about the tra­di­tional part­ner­ship model adopted by Capri Global Cap­i­tal: “We par­tic­i­pate in mul­ti­ple prop­erty ex­pos at the lo­cal level, in lo­ca­tions where we have branch pres­ence. Also, we have tie-ups with de­vel­op­ers to have a pres­ence at their project sites where we of­fer home loans to the prop­erty buy­ers. In ad­di­tion, we also do off­line mar­ket­ing ac­tiv­i­ties such as in­stalling canopies and dis­tribut­ing pam­phlets in lo­cal mar­kets. Some other lead gen­er­a­tion tech­niques are through our team’s network or char­tered ac­coun­tants and tax con­sul­tants who pass the cus­tomer leads to us.”

Tra­di­tional mar­ket­ing chan­nels like print, TV, OOH and ra­dio still have dom­i­nant role in tar­get­ing the BFSI cus­tomers par­tic­u­larly in the tier 2, 3 & 4 cities and ru­ral ar­eas of the coun­try. BFSI com­pa­nies need to use seg­ment-wise tra­di­tional mar­ket­ing chan­nels to tar­get the po­ten­tial cus­tomers, as this will save the cost and mes­sage will reach to the right cus­tomer.


The in­ter­net has gripped ev­ery­one’s imag­i­na­tion, and it has changed the land­scape for the BFSI in­dus­try in In­dia. With dig­i­tal lit­er­acy on the rise, the last few years have wit­nessed sig­nif­i­cant mo­bile and in­ter­net pen­e­tra­tion. Fur­ther, there has been a rise in adoption of new age tech­nolo­gies, plethora of dig­i­tal av­enues open­ing up and in­creas­ing in­ter­net en­abled chan­nels. All these fac­tors have con­trib­uted to the rise of dig­i­tal mar­ket­ing.

ICICI Bank has re­cently launched a se­ries of 5 ads for its iMo­bile dig­i­tal plat­form. The ef­forts have been to make the bank’s com­mu­ni­ca­tion light-hearted and eas­ily reach­able to the bank’s tar­get cus­tomers. The com­mu­ni­ca­tion cre­ated for the dig­i­tal medium, shows just how many bank­ing needs can be ful­filled with­out hav­ing to go to the bank. The cam­paign shows inan­i­mate ob­jects with hu­man de­sires and as­pi­ra­tions, and how each of these ob­jects achieve their as­pi­ra­tions with­out ever en­ter­ing a bank.

Yes Bank is us­ing voice and mo­tion sensors to pro­mote sav­ings ac­counts and the at­trac­tive in­ter­est rates. SBI Life In­sur­ance launched an in­no­va­tive cam­paign to raise aware­ness about breast can­cer. The ‘Thanks A Dot’ cam­paign is sup­ported by the Women’s Can­cer Ini­tia­tive of Tata Me­mo­rial Hos­pi­tal. The pro­gram in­tends to em­power women by ed­u­cat­ing them about early lump de­tec­tion through sim­ple self-ex­am­i­na­tion tech­niques. An easy-to-use self­train­ing mod­ule to de­tect the early signs of lump for­ma­tion can be or­dered free of cost through SBI Life’s cor­po­rate web­site.

Moti­lal Oswal dis­plays ad­ver­tis­ing on mar­ket spe­cific sites, so­cial me­dia mar­ket­ing and Google SEM and SEO to tar­get

prospec­tive cus­tomers for the lead gen­er­a­tion. Fur­ther, the com­pany uses email mar­ket­ing mo­bile app and web­site to tar­get cus­tomers. Fin­care Small Fi­nance Bank uses dig­i­tal mar­ket­ing chan­nels like search en­gine mar­ket­ing, so­cial me­dia op­ti­miza­tion and af­fil­i­ate mar­ket­ing to tar­get the cus­tomers. ART Hous­ing Fi­nance uses SEO/ SEM, so­cial me­dia mar­ket­ing, an­a­lyt­ics and con­tent mar­ket­ing for cre­at­ing rel­e­vant con­tent for the cus­tomers to make their buy­ing process easy. In­dia First Life In­sur­ance fo­cuses on mar­ket­ing an­a­lyt­ics, Google, web­site and other so­cial me­dia chan­nels to reach its cus­tomers.


Cus­tomer en­gage­ment and seam­less cus­tomer jour­ney are now be­ing given top pri­or­ity by the BFSI com­pa­nies. So, what is it that fi­nance mar­keters can learn as the whole seg­ment is shift­ing to techno mar­ket­ing?

Rushabh Gandhi shares his learn­ings: “Mar­ket­ing com­bined with tech­nol­ogy has made an im­pact for cre­at­ing an im­proved cus­tomer ex­pe­ri­ence. Launch of AI tools like chat­bot, Pre­dic­tify - an app that identifies the best suited prod­uct ba­sis cus­tomer needs - and other dig­i­tal launches have helped us do tar­geted mar­ket­ing. Fo­cus on cus­tomer en­gage­ment and VAS ser­vices is de­signed to pro­vide our cus­tomers spe­cial things in ad­di­tion to core prod­uct. This is the start of a new jour­ney of deep­en­ing cus­tomer re­la­tion­ship.”

Shailesh Pandey said: “Cus­tomers pre­fer con­ve­nience in ac­cess­ing bank­ing ser­vices. Sig­nif­i­cant num­ber of cus­tomers use new age dig­i­tal medium such as What­sApp, Face­book & mes­sag­ing. Cus­tomers re­call strong mes­sages with emo­tional con­nect.”

Peeush Jain, head, Re­tail Bank­ing, at Lakshmi Vi­las Bank said: “The cus­tomer jour­ney needs to be seam­less through mar­ket­ing to sales fun­nel. Dig­i­tal is a highly re­spon­sive medium for tar­get­ing and re­tar­get­ing the cus­tomer.”

Suneel Yadav, VP & chief mar­ket­ing & ex­pe­ri­ence of­fi­cer at ART Af­ford­able Hous­ing Fi­nance, shared the learn­ings and mar­ket­ing strate­gies that are needed: “The con­ver­sion fun­nel is needed to mon­i­tor con­ver­sion and drop-offs; we need clear con­sumer mar­ket­ing strat­egy for ev­ery part of the fun­nel. Iden­ti­fy­ing cus­tomer per­sonas and map­ping the con­sumer jour­ney is very critical for any mar­ket­ing ef­fort. With the av­er­age at­ten­tion span of the cus­tomer com­ing down day by day, right time and right place mar­ket­ing is what makes the dif­fer­ence. Mar­ket­ing must be rel­e­vant and con­tex­tual. Ex­per­i­men­ta­tion and op­ti­miza­tion are needed to be done on a con­tin­u­ous ba­sis. The cus­tomer val­ues per­son­al­ized con­tent. We should cre­ate en­gage­ment with the con­sumer in dif­fer­ent ways. It is about cre­at­ing the long tail of mar­ket­ing.”


Mar­ket­ing and ad­ver­tis­ing ac­tiv­i­ties need to be more open to cre­ate transparen­t re­la­tion­ship with the cus­tomers. A lot of fo­cus is mov­ing to con­tex­tual ad­ver­tis­ing. For ex­e­cut­ing suc­cess­ful mar­ket­ing strate­gies, ev­ery fi­nan­cial mar­keter must fo­cus on im­prov­ing the cus­tomer ex­pe­ri­ence across chan­nels and with ev­ery com­mu­ni­ca­tion.

Ra­jesh Sharma gives the details about the fu­ture mar­ket­ing strate­gies that will be adopted by Capri Global: “We plan to con­tinue to use off­line direct sales chan­nel (direct re­la­tion­ship model) as it is a dom­i­nant source for lead gen­er­a­tion. In ad­di­tion, de­vel­oper tie-ups will be an­other key source of lead gen­er­a­tion. We also plan to ex­pand our mar­ket­ing ini­tia­tives through ra­dio and news­pa­per ad­ver­tise­ments in ad­di­tion to a bol­stered on­line pres­ence through SEO, google ads, etc.”

Ram­nik Chabra, di­rec­tor, Mar­ket­ing at Moti­lal Oswal adds: “We have em­barked on our ‘eq­uity in­vest­ing ex­pert’ po­si­tion­ing exercise just re­cently. Soon our mar­ket­ing plans would be piv­ot­ing around this focused propo­si­tion. This would be brought to life through top­i­cal themes rel­e­vant to var­i­ous au­di­ences. Dig­i­tal, au­dio vis­ual and con­tex­tual me­dia (en­gage­ment events, me­dia ar­ti­cles, etc) would be the 3 pri­mary chan­nels. The mix would be cal­i­brated de­pend­ing on the prod­uct and tar­get con­sumers.”

Pankaj Gu­lati of Fin­care Small Fi­nance Bank shares details: “We are connected through mo­bile with our cus­tomers. As much as 70-75% of our cus­tomers get mes­sages through SMS. Since we are a very re­gional and lo­cal player, for the next 6-12 months our fo­cus on mar­ket­ing spends is through the lo­cal chan­nel, which ef­fec­tively means lo­cal mar­ket ac­ti­va­tion. In fu­ture, when we be­come more of a na­tional player, we will bring in the sec­ond level of ATL com­po­nent.”

Mar­ket­ing strat­egy is the art of cre­at­ing value for the cus­tomer, mar­keters need to en­sure that this value is rel­e­vant and dif­fer­en­ti­ated; be it in the cus­tomer ex­pe­ri­ence or brand com­mu­ni­ca­tion. This has dras­ti­cally trun­cated the ‘greed’ and ‘fear’ emo­tional cy­cle. For ex­e­cut­ing suc­cess­ful mar­ket­ing strate­gies, ev­ery fi­nan­cial mar­keter must 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 the BFSI in­dus­try.

Me­her Sarid Group Pres­i­dent Cor­po­rate Af­fairs - HR, Brand & Mar­ket Shailesh Pandey EVP and head - Strat­egy & Mar­ket­ing at Fino Pay­ments Bank Peeush Jain Head, Re­tail Bank­ing, at Lakshmi Vi­las Bank Ram­nik Ch­habra Di­rec­tor Mar­ket­ing, MOFSL Ra­jneesh Chawla For­mer Group Head Mar­ket­ing, In­di­a­b­ulls Rushabh Gandhi CEO, IndiaFirst Life Ra­jesh Sharma Manag­ing Di­rec­tor Capri Global Cap­i­tal Lim­ited Shab­nam Pan­jwani Head - Mar­ket­ing Com­mu­ni­ca­tions, Edel­weiss Fi­nan­cial Ser­vices Rakesh Wad­hwa CMO & EVP, Strat­egy & Re­tail As­sur­ance, FGILI Suneel Yadav VP, Chief Mar­ket­ing & Ex­pe­ri­ence Of­fi­cer, ART Hous­ing Fi­nance

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