We need to move from one campaign per season to one campaign per reason: MVS Murthy, Tata Mutual Fund

MVS Murthy- Tata Mutual Fund

MVS Murthy of Tata Mutual Fund gets candid about the functional challenges faced by BFSI brands when it comes to marketing.

With almost 2 decades of experience in the BFSI sector, spearheading marketing and content for various brands, MVS Murthy is now with Tata Mutual Fund as the Head Marketing, Digital & Corporate Communications.

Recently, the brand launched the #MeriAzaadi campaign after a series of ads with the popular Suppandi series and the #NoToKatauti campaign. Murthy sheds light on TMF’s marketing strategy with a ‘Digital-first’ approach.


What is the idea behind the latest campaign of Tata Mutual Funds, #MeriAzaadi? 

Here, Azaadi is not post-facto i.e. after retirement, it is based on the genesis of the desire and courage to retire. #MeriAzaadi is a state of mind wherein, your investments made in the early years of your career, emboldened you to pursue your dreams.

Our campaign though targeted at millennials is urging everyone to live their dreams and not wait till the age of 58-60. Let your investments help you become ‘Financially Independent’ & help you make the decision to retire whenever you wish to.

All the 3 demographics viz Gen X, Gen Y, and the Millennials are all digitally active. We can focus on each of them together, distinctly or in a hybrid manner within the omnipresent medium.

Hence, we will be digital and all its extensions and nodes of communication will be activated.

How much of your marketing mix is occupied by digital?

We are a Digital-First company in thinking and in execution. 70% of our spends are on digital.

Please share digital marketing trends you plan to leverage as a roadmap to 2020.

  • The 3 Vs: Video, Voice, and Vernacular
  • Taking the inside out and getting the outside in: which means that not just the Fund Manager’s views on the markets or sectors but also approach towards the investing needs to be known to channel partners, existing as well as prospective investors.
  • Similarly, process improvements, creating agile investment platforms, our work in AI / ML domains, will all need to be disbursed unequivocally across the ecosystem. More importantly, the measurability of responses allows us to relay back a stream of outside messages to the internal “manufacturers of WOW!

With the Suppandi Series and #NoToKatauti campaign that had a common protagonist for the video series. Do you think brand mascots help to stay connected to the audience?

We all buy stories. Suppandi, as a protagonist connects to first-time investors’ dilemmas. His naïveté allows him to cut across geographies in India. We have put him up in both, rural parts of the nation and corporate offices of the country.

In both the places, he has managed to have audiences giggle at him, while at the back of their mind know that they too are guilty of such naïveté. He is here to stay for he has a role to play for a particular type of audience.

Katauti Kumar, on the other hand, is not a person but is like a metaphor for the feeling of being short-changed when you don’t plan for taxes. And someone, somewhere will always go through this pain if the person has not planned his/her taxes.

Digital allows you to have different ecosystems of communication catering to distinct audiences with one lead anchor.

As a marketer, one needs to do an audience of one marketing at multiple clusters and a protagonist gives a strong sense of identity. 

What are the three ways to stand out in the BFSI sector? 

  • Identify new Customers much early and rejig your product as well as marketing approach immediately according to that.
  • Use digital to create newer markets.
  • Regularly break communication stereotypes: smart/dumb, gender up-manship, urban plots, English-first.

Please share your views on short-format video content like Facebook’s 10 seconds ads.

We will leverage every medium which helps us connect with our audiences. At some places, the channel gives us a 10-seconds window and we respect that, while elsewhere digital allows for a 120 seconds narrative. Hence as marketers, we have great opportunities.

Also Read: Interview: Digital and Television will co-exist: Rajiv Bakshi, Big Synergy

What is your take on native advertising as a brand? What are the metrics you look at, for such ad formats?

In the absence of digital, media was unidimensional and in a way audience agnostic. Native advertising allows marketers to choose platforms, on the basis of the audience we want to communicate with. But the key is respecting the form factor of the platform and deliver the message. If I were in a library my message would be delivered on a bookmark and not a loud jingle the moment I pass a shelf.

  • When we did the web-series, Road Trip with the Boss, we looked at reach.
  • When we do an NFO the focus is on a number of transactions.
  • Now that we are sending out Fund Manager Videos, the time viewed is a key measure.
  • Our vernacular content focuses on geographic penetration of digital viewership reach plus duration of viewership.

How do you measure ROI for digital and social media marketing? Please take us through your measurement metrics.

We have been able to put in place before/after measures and there is only one metric –  uptick in the AUM volume. Everything else is a sub-set reach, click-through, time spent, the entire funnel.

We also have a sense that the investors won’t do a sequential funnel – they may skip a step and straight away invest. The amount spend to AUM garnered on new funds could be proportionately lesser than say a theme campaign for e.g Tata Retirement Fund.

It’s imperative to highlight that we have the halo of the Most Trusted Brand which we hope draws investors to park their funds for “sacred wealth creation” that won’t be used for anything else. Of course, performance matters and that’s the starting point.

What are the functional challenges you face as a BFSI brand when it comes to social media marketing?

The Investor has an endless choice of media. They fleet through digital, social, user-generated platforms, all at the same time. Each of the media has its distinct native DNA.

The need to be everywhere and in a native form is a constant transformative challenge.

Quick Questions-

One marketing tip to the brands and advertisers :

Let’s create some great Vernacular work in Voice and Video too. More than 1,500 languages and dialects are spoken in India. There are 15 regional languages. अपना Time आ गया!

 The secret sauce to cracking social media :

Content is King 

One social media channel you can do away with :


One marketing myth :

One campaign per season. It’s time for one campaign per reason. 


A storyteller and a narrator by heart, vocalist by genes and a thesaurus-bee. Also, an explorer, traveler, and trekker, Aishwarrya has myriads of interests with love for music and movies. Writing is not just a hobby but her first love with a Facebook page on perspectives, channelizing the passion. Got her research paper published with IGI Global US on music. A maverick by nature and a feminist by choice, to challenge stereotypes.