Top Marketing Trends in the Indian BFSI

Digital transformation has crept into every facet of India Inc., to build resilience and navigate the disruptions caused by the pandemic. According to IDC, by 2024, companies will shift 50% of all their tech and services spending to outcome-centric and as-a-service models. The Indian Banking, Financial Services and Insurance (BFSI) sector has also been at the forefront of these initiatives. In the last 2 years, there has been a massive shift in how consumers engage with these companies. To cater to changes in consumer behaviour and offer seamless contactless experiences, BFSIs have had to leverage advanced technologies like hybrid clouds, facial recognition and robotic process automation (RPA).

Now, they will have to anticipate consumer needs in marketing messages as well. Digital engagement is a given and not a differentiating factor anymore. Customers want instant support across all touchpoints. They want proactive advice and ongoing financial planning. Simplicity, relevance and convenience will be extremely important in these ever-evolving times.

Building an Emotional Connect through Storytelling 

Just focusing on “selling” and “marketing” won’t help in building customer relationships. As BFSIs embrace large-scale technology upgrades, they can’t forsake the human side of the business.

In the first Covid-19 wave in 2020, there was a 44% decline in India’s average monthly per-capita household income. The second wave led to a further 19% decline in per-capita income between January and May 2021. People have realised that uncertainty in life is not a sales pitch anymore. The demand for insurance and investment products is on the rise.

Brands must capitalise on the demand for such products but in an empathetic way. They must understand the stressors affecting their customers’ lives, and their desired digital and real-world experiences. Brands have to be authentic in their messaging and convey genuine stories. There will be many stories to tell of these times, hardships, learnings, perseverance, and successes, which consumers will hugely relate to. For financial brands, connecting to these user emotions will be crucial to discover and convey meaning. It is a great way to attract, retain and build customer loyalty. 

Explainer Videos for Digital Inclusivity and Convenience 

Across the BFSI spectrum, companies are dealing with the “new to banking” generation, the Gen Zs. To build a strong connection with them, companies will need to offer them instant gratification across apps and platforms. Explainer videos can make financial services more exciting and understandable for these customers. Animation can help people understand complicated financial information easily, without putting in extra effort.

It’s an excellent way to convey essential information and introduce new products and services. There is no need to send lengthy newsletters or extensive blogs about a new product. Over 650 million Indians (3 out of 4 internet users) will consume short-format videos by 2025. This, therefore, offers huge scope for the BFSI sector to reach the masses. 

And not just the young. Videos will help people irrespective of age, linguistic preferences and physical capabilities. For instance, an individual above 65, who till now relied on the assistance of banking staff to understand financial services, has suddenly been thrown into a completely virtual world. With bite-sized videos in vernacular languages, they can learn to navigate this world with ease.

Personalised In-App Marketing 

Feature-rich personalised marketing will be the main way to drive engagement and loyalty. There is no better way to pursue this than via the consumer’s preferred devices.

In 2016, a study of European consumers revealed that over 1/5th of customers prefer buying financial products and services from internet giants like Google and Amazon. Cut to 2022 and there is little reason to disbelieve that Indian consumers won’t want the same. After all, these companies are attacking financial services in every way, despite not being conventional financial institutions.

The modern Indian consumer is used to the convenience of platforms like Amazon and Netflix. India has over 100 million Amazon customers, and 79% of new customers on the platform came from Tier-II and Tier-III cities in India in 2021. They want similar experiences from their financial services apps too: personalised product recommendations, quick feedback, relevant notifications, and access to multiple payment methods.

Marketers will have to pay close attention to micro-moments for better customer experiences. We are talking about digital KYC, automatic flow of data between documents, in-app data processing and AI-powered chatbots to handle queries, 24/7.

Starting a Two-Way Dialogue on Social Platforms

Shopping while consuming social media is a raging trend. BFSI brands must capitalise on this trend to increase business, as well as maintain effective communication channels. With over 33.4% of the Indian population on social media, financial brands can harness the power of these platforms to drive customer service, build reputation, and gain a competitive edge. It can make vital information more accessible to end-users and humanise a financial brand. 

If harnessed well, digital tools can provide innovative solutions for the marketing departments across the BFSI sector. We can pave the way for a brand new decade of financial planning and banking experiences with the right marketing messages on the right channels.

The views and opinions published here belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of the publisher.

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