COVID-19: How social media came to the rescue of the CRM dependent BFSI sector

BFSI brands lockdown

With the lockdown cutting into the prime JFM period for BFSI brands innovative communication and initiatives are cropping up across digital. We take a look at COVID-19 BFSI Marketing initiatives.

The last quarter of a financial year is an important one for the BFSI sector with brands going the distance to communicate with consumers, promoting offerings and listing benefits of association. However, this year is different. With the lockdown, it is no longer relevant for BFSI brands to talk about wealth generation or build narratives around their offerings. They have to dig deeper and find ways to stay with consumers, especially when financial volatility becomes prominent. COVID-19 BFSI Marketing seems to break the barriers of traditional touch & feel CRM associated with the medium.

With the pandemic, brands have been seen to move from marketing to communication creating a need based strategy to solves problems & supports during times of crisis. BFSI brands too are seen bridging the information gap, especially when premium deadlines near, share market gets erratic, and personal finance doubts loom overhead.

Offline, several banks have introduced mobile ATM vans and opened premise facilities with skeletal staff. Banking is a crucial service that needs to be available for people, especially in a crisis. It is important for people to know they will have access to cash as needed and that certain EMI payments can be skipped as per RBI and bank guidelines. Brands are essentially trying to help consumers maintain their peace of mind.

Digital and social media platforms are being used by brands as tools to communicate better. Push notifications are being used to the hilt. BFSI brands are evolving their communication according to the needs of the consumers. They are putting in efforts to stay relevant and sensitive to the situation. The initiatives coming up are unique and heavy on attempts at social media engagement and digital solutions.

Live Streaming and Contests

Under the Fitness from Home initiative, Bajaj Allianz Life is going live with instructors on their Facebook and Instagram pages. Revolving around yoga, meditation and home workouts, these virtual sessions feature well-known personalities like Mandira Bedi and Anushka Panjwani.

With these sessions, the brand is able to stay involved in the lives of its consumers while staying true to its umbrella communication around health and life goals. Apart from the live sessions, the brand is also using images of real people and other creatives to amplify the message.

Kotak Life Insurance has taken a contest approach, sharing various tasks with consumers & urging them to share images of the process or the final product. The theme is to keep consumer morale high and social media engagement going.

Bots for Communication

Several banks have simplified the ways in which people can stay in touch and access online facilities. Banks are pushing for people to use digital services to make payments and manage the money in their accounts & portfolios. Launching WhatsApp bots is one of the ways most banks have adopted. Tata Asset Management has launched a similar service on Telegram.

Anthems and Compassion

Like a number of brands across sectors, BFSI brands are also generating content that aims to make people hopeful. This is reflecting in the posts they put up, often topical in nature. Recently, SBI Life partnered with various known faces to stitch together an anthem, #WeCanWeWill.

Another key communication line at the moment is compassion. Axis Bank has been consistently focussing on the idea of salaries and cash flow across campaigns. In the face of COVID-19, they have kept the narrative going by highlighting the importance of digital payments to clear salaries of persons employed in the unorganised sector, prominently house helps.

Awareness Communication

Banks have taken on the onus to demystify jargon for people, simplifying the various concepts that have become reality. They are trying to help consumers understand government orders because information can help control the panic that is bound to crop up in times like these.

Brands are using creatives and disseminating information using FAQs. While the presentation is still key to communication, BFSI brands are not hesitating from putting up text-heavy templates as long as information about the lockdown and its consequences gets passed on to people.

Also Read: Brands give the lockdown extension announcement a quirky take

A significant chunk of the communication at the moment is to ensure people know of the possible frauds they can fall prey to. This is especially important in times like these people have to rely on digital to manage money and can’t walk in the bank to talk in case of doubts. BFSI brands are understanding their responsibility in the scenario and acting accordingly.

COVID-19 Precautions

COVID-19 precautions and the lockdown are making up for a significant part of the brand communication across sectors. BFSI brands have also been dishing out such content. This helps them stay relevant, be creative and reassure people that they care.

A sector that is often categorized or traditional or complicated for obvious reasons. The unprecented crisis has brought about subtle changes in the way brands look at social media communication and digital assets for COVID-19 BFSI marketing. With little to no offline assistance options, online has become even more important for BFSI brands to keep up with their consumers.

This has also brought about challenges as virtual communication about money is always tricky due to a heightened sense of awareness and vulnerabilities. However, it is interesting how brands have found ways to stay useful in the lives of their consumer, extending help with innovative initiatives.


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