Nimish Agrawal from Niva Bupa sheds light on the marketing trends in the BFSI sector while highlighting the need for relevant and customized services in the industry for a unique consumer experience.
The banking and financial sector has undergone a paradigm shift over the years. From a huge financial crisis in 2008 to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic which started in 2019, the lives and careers of many in India and across the globe have been impacted. In the last decade, the sector has also seen tremendous growth in digitization and a rise in fintech companies which is contributing to propelling India to become the fourth largest private wealth market globally by 2028.
Rising income & consumer awareness is cooking up an appetite for varied financial products and increased penetration of existing. Innovation and customer experience have alone made a big difference in the sector and how it operates. Today, India is one of the most vibrant global economies on the back of robust banking and insurance industries.
As a marketing enthusiast, I do see the marketing landscape shifting rapidly across industries and BFSI is no different. Here are my top five picks for FY 22-23 that would further strengthen the consumer experience in the sector.
Convergence Driven By Digital Acceleration
Consumers want everything now. Even the five-second ‘Skip Ad’ duration looks like an eternity and a second lag on your popular streaming device seems very irritating. We are growing impatient as consumers – no wonder that 10-15 minutes delivery models are gaining consumer traction.
In the BFSI segment, there is a big opportunity to re-imagine processes that can cut down on time and improve delivery.
Many organizations are yet to leverage the opportunity to digitize some of their processes - from policy issuance to claim adjudication and thereafter providing cashless/reimbursement post-hospitalization.
This could be a big potential differentiator for the world, here-and-now.
Hyper-personalization For Unique Customer Experiences
Consumers today expect the manufacturer to understand and remember them while offering customized solutions for them. Financial services is a fairly competitive space and leveraging personalization is a big opportunity.
Let us take lead acquisition as an example - personalization here would imply a better understanding of the prospect wherever possible like what were they looking/searching for? Have they visited your site? Did they interact with your products and services? The consumer is already leaving these bits of information across the world wide web. The need of the hour is to use these insights and stitch a narrative that aligns with and is relevant for the consumers as opposed to the usual cold calls that offer loans to people, for instance, who might not even need it.
With the digital accelerations, there has been a lot of progress in the marketing technology space in the last couple of years and many tech startups are using these inferences, quite successfully.
The classifications of products and services are largely driven by manufacturers. For example, Amazon has come a long way from just selling books online to essentials, online. The consumer today uses the same platform to order a host of different things. Swiggy, in addition to bringing your meal, is attempting to deliver more than just groceries, capitalizing on consumer needs who look at convenience and trust.
Health insurance sits at the sweet spot of insurance, wellness, and healthcare from a consumer lens. While a few of these brands do have value-added offerings. But that is like only scratching the surface of it. There are many more things that come under the gamut of value-added services. For example, can a health insurer be my health advisor? I am sure consumers would not mind and this could be a big disruptor that can tip the scale on consideration and preference.
Keeping It Human
The war on productivity and efficacy has brought in an era of automation and bots. To hear a human on the other side is a delight these days. While it is important to keep a lens on efficiency & productivity, it is imperative to understand the nature of the business. Insurance operates on TRUST – wherein every policy is a promise.
Therefore, it is important to have a human touch in the key areas rather than simply automating everything. Further, brands, especially in the BFSI segment, need to keep the communication simple and easy-to-understand while avoiding difficult jargon. One must realize that decision-making happens from the heart and not just over excel sheets.
Positive & Purposeful
The last couple of years have been hard on everyone and nothing can compare with the adversities faced by mankind in this period. We all need heroes more than ever.
We all need to make positive memories more than ever and we all need to re-orient to think positively more than ever. Brands across the spectrum have a big role to play – advertising not only reflects the social fabric but also molds it. From fear to love, from constraints to freedom is the journey that the brand should make.
It is important to seed the brand narrative as an enabler to live life as against just saving a life.
I am hopeful that 2022 is going to be very different than its predecessors and we could finally turn on life. I also believe that this could be the year for some key shifts in the BFSI segment - from product to consumer, from efficiency to empathy, and much more, in days to come.