BFSI VISION | Marketing


Sushil Tyagi

Director, Global Marketing, CRMnext

CRM can help financial institutions convert challenges into their competitive strengths

How can technology address the challenges faced by financial institutions in Marketing?

The financial sector is expected to grow around 20% in 2015. Institutions dealing in financial services face unique challenges while building momentum to achieve this level of growth. From marketing point of view, some of the key challenges will be building solid and long lasting customer relationships, increasing customer acquisition amongst intense competition, lack of awareness about service attributes, hidden benefits, presenting visually appealing communication with no loss of key messaging with strict adherence to regulatory policies and the most important, measuring their return of investments (ROI) from their marketing campaigns.

Technological marketing solutions like Customer Relationship Management (CRM) can help financial institutions convert these challenges into their competitive strengths. For example, banks can create a complete 360 view of customer profiles that includes their portfolio, relevant needs, interaction history, purchase behaviour, value bands etc. This will help them to segment customers to provide customized advisory services to maximize complete lifecycle value. Technology can help financial services to move from ‘volume’ to ‘value-based’ partnerships. Today, financial institutions face bottle-necks while trying to cross sell and up sell. By giving real time information about customer needs and wants, companies can design campaigns that pitch relevant products for cross selling and up selling.

CRM for marketing can also help them to deploy multiwave (single product/service with different messaging) campaigns at all possible touch-points including mobile, web and physical counters. Overall customer service can be enhanced through personalized communication templates that are aesthetic and within guidelines. Furthermore, with social media gaining enormous audience traction, financial institutions can harness the immense reach of social media to spread their campaigns. For measuring ROI, marketing technology can give them multi-channel tracking, easy dashboard analytics and matrices capable of predictive analysis.

The end result is that, with the help of marketing technology like CRM, financial services can increase their Assets under Management (AUMs) with increased customer retention numbers even in the face of intense competition.

What new trends do you see emerging in technology for marketing?

Technologies specializing in marketing will continuously adapt in the face of dynamic social and customer spending preferences with special focus on mobility. Marketing software developers are building applications that focus on enhanced end user experience with easy access anywhere.

Emerging economies like India have more than 70% mobile penetration, with smartphones taking an increasing chunk of that share. This level of mobility provides an enormous opportunity for institutions to reach out to previously inaccessible customer segments. Marketing technologies like Mobile CRM for financial services will develop apps to facilitate ease of transaction and have interfaces that capture our browsing behaviour, to be sent to financial institutions to prepare marketing campaigns.

Another exciting feature that is fast getting acceptance is online product recommendation engine. What it does is, based on the user’s online purchase or browsing behaviour, relevant product or service recommendations are displayed in the form of ads on a brand’s digital self service platform and other web presence. This feature has got immense benefits in the form of increased conversion rates, because you are displaying what the customer is in really need of/ interested in. This also translates into easy targeted campaigns that give the right services to the right customers.

Customers are now encouraged towards buying action through ‘next best action’ technology. These marketing action technologies can include easy third payment options, platform for attractive deals through multiple purchases etc. Integrating ‘next best action’ in your regular marketing campaigns will boost your sales numbers.

With wearable devices gaining increased customer acceptance, marketing software developers will create apps that map out users every move, both virtual and physical. How will that help financial services? Insurance providers can create apps that transmit data collating a customer’s health. This will be a game changer in risk assessment. Another area of emerging focus is integrating financial data with real time information about a customer’s location and behaviour. This will enable them to further boost cross selling with greater customer delight. Telematics i.e. application of sensors to transfer long distance information will find increased usage in non life insurance situations.

Firms who have the first mover advantage in such areas will successfully attract and garner a large market share.

How should financial institutions choose technology for marketing?

The primary hurdle facing financial institutions is lack of awareness about the benefits of marketing technologies like cloud CRM and an assumption that such implementations are expensive and very risky. However, if financial sector wants to achieve tremendous growth and reach untapped customer segments, it should wholly embrace marketing technologies. The best marketing technology will have targeted marketing email and sms campaign capabilities, static and dynamic mailing lists, customized templates, centralized document repository, call scripts, lead capturing through social media etc.

For starters, firms should do some groundwork to understand what marketing technology like CRM actually means. How it would impact their businesses and most important their end customers. Before embarking on a marketing technology implementation, decide which technology would make life easier for your employees. Second, see which technology is scalable, i.e have the capacity to accommodate your future growth levels. This will save you from additional investments. Third, whichever marketing technology you choose, ensure that it has social media integration, so that you have real time collaboration with your customers. Fourth, always choose an integrated technology, not a soloed one as the former gives you more organizational alignment than the latter. Last, but not the least, it should have a detailed and intelligent analytics to measure performance levels, ROI etc.

Financial companies should choose technologies that help them highlight their USP (Unique Selling Points) over their competitors. Marketing applications should help them personalize their internal and external communications with all their stakeholders. Also, the best marketing technology will have a mobile first concept in their interface and functionalities. Whether it be smartphone or a basic one to take advantage of 70% mobile penetration.

How do you see Big Data evolving in marketing?

The term Big Data is being used frequently over the past 2-3 years. This is because analytics is now being increasingly used to monitor large amounts of complex data to figure out consumer trends. They have immense applications in targeted marketing campaigns.

Big Data signifies that online human activities can be quantified in greater amounts for behavioural analysis. There is a huge potential for big data as the information gathering venues are increasing at a rapid pace annually. Before, marketers only had email campaigns, newsletters etc to gather information. Now, along with these methods, they can tap into daily click behaviour, site preferences, purchase history, data from wearable sources, social media, daily commute time (through cars equipped with cloud tracking technology), health apps etc.

Leverage big data can translate into enormous revenue potential for marketing professionals. Big data is constantly evolving to create marketing strategies which are extremely targeted with the right segmentations. It is also being increasingly used to dish out customized offerings through contemporary campaigns like email, mobile, digital etc. By integrating predictive analysis into big data, your marketing team can identify specific content that drives maximum engagement and fine tune it to perfection and beyond. Lead management will see enormous growth levels through big data models that give clear insights in individual lead behaviour. You can improve on your existing strategies by identifying areas of improvement and revise your marketing goals with the help of Big Data.

However, in the end, big data depends on human analysis and hiring trained professionals who are adept at gleaning information from Big Data is the need of the hour.