Experts analyze the shifting sands of BFSI marketing in 2023

The year 2023 has been a pivotal chapter in the evolution of BFSI marketing. From innovative media patterns to the strategic use of CGI and AI, this year has witnessed transformative changes. Experts share insights on innovative strategies, influencer collaborations, ad spend trends, and tips for effectively engaging with the young audience.

Pranali Tawte
New Update
BFSI marketing

As the most crucial period for the Banking, Financial Services, and Insurance (BFSI) sector i.e. January, February, and March draws closer and 2023 comes to an end, we reflect on the transformative journey this industry undertook throughout the year. The past twelve months have been pivotal for BFSI, marked by significant trends, unprecedented technological integration, and innovative marketing strategies. From digital dominance to the integration of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Computer-Generated Imagery (CGI), the year 2023 witnessed a kaleidoscope of marketing innovations and strategic shifts. 

Adding AI and CGI to the mix

In 2023, AI and CGI emerged as transformative tools that reshaped the way BFSI brands engage with their customers and market their services, revolutionizing traditional marketing strategies. 

AI, with its capacity to analyze vast datasets and draw actionable insights, has become a cornerstone for understanding customer behavior and tailoring marketing initiatives. Although the influence of AI-driven technologies, exemplified by chatbots and virtual assistants, has been evident in revolutionizing customer experiences, the year 2023 witnessed a surge in the prominence and application of AI in content marketing. 

Speaking of the tech dominance, Abhishek Gupta, Chief Marketing Officer, Edelweiss Tokio Life Insurance, said, “In 2023, the media landscape underwent a transformation with the rise of AI and immersive tech, reshaping marketing strategies. Brands, including ours, wisely invested in AI.”

Similarly, MVS Murthy, CMO of Federal Bank highlighted that the brand is using AI to enhance the efficiency and quality of our marketing shopfloor. 

He said, “We are producing smarter and more videos, images, blogs, and other possible forms of content. As a Brand it gives us a lot more width to experiment and create new templates for experiencing Federal Bank.”

Concurrently, CGI, known for its ability to create compelling visual narratives, has added a new dimension to the aesthetic appeal and engagement potential of the content.

Moreover as monument marketing with CGI was a trend witnessed among national as well as international brands, BFSI brands have also banked on using CGI for content marketing on their social platforms. HDFC Bank leveraged CGI to bring a hyper-realistic, larger-than-life version of their new product to the forefront for its launch.

The BFSI sector is leveraging CGI to enhance the visual appeal of interfaces, providing a more engaging and user-friendly experience for digital applications.

-Somesh Surana

Somesh Surana, Head- Digital Business Group and Marketing, HDFC ERGO General Insurance believes that for the BFSI sector, the emergence of CGI and AI is fundamentally altering how the BFSI sector is approaching customers’ interactions, risk management, and operational efficiency. 

From personalized virtual assistants to visually immersive campaigns, AI and CGI integration are revolutionizing BFSI marketing. These transformations are helping BFSI brands explore new areas and adapt to the digital era.

Influencer collaborations boomed in 2023 for BFSI

Another notable trend seen in 2023 in the BFSI sector was piggybacking on influencers, celebrities and sports personalities to bridge the information gap and enlighten the audience on taxes, fixed deposits, and other new services.

The 2023 Influencer Marketing Report by states that 77.8% of brands said that influencer marketing is a “must-have” component of their digital marketing strategy and about 39% of brands said influencer campaigns allow them to target a niche audience.

Shoma Narayanan, MD & Head - Group Strategic Marketing and Communications, DBS Bank India attributed the growing traction of influencer collaborations to the authenticity and relatability influencers bring to complex financial discussions.

She said, “Influencer collaborations foster a sense of trust and engagement, which is crucial in this industry”

In 2023, DBS Bank India partnered with five badminton stars, Lakshya Sen, Satwiksairaj Rankireddy, Chirag Shetty, Treesa Jolly, and Gayatri Gopichand. 

Narayanan said, “These players reinforce our core values on and off the field and strengthen our positioning as a purpose-driven, relationship-led, and future-forward bank.”

Banking on the fame of Priya Mani Raj’s influence in the southern part of the country, Federal Bank chose a regional route to connect with the audience during the festive season.

Highlighting this strategic use of influencers, Murthy described it as a staccato approach to amp up moments.

He said, “These are largely celebratory in nature and by plugging into those spaces which are an area of strength. Definitely they are a part of our marketing mix and they add more variety to our marketing efforts. 

He emphasized that by taking this route, the bank is not replacing any element but being invoked as needed for a particular marketing initiative.

Uptick in adspends

The research agency, TAM, released AdEx report on advertising in the BFSI industry for H1 2023. As per the report, index ad volume growth of the BFSI sector witnessed a surge of 32% during Jan-Jun'23 compared to Jan-Jun’22.

The BFSI sector's ad impressions on digital medium observed a massive surge of 91% during the H1’23 compared to H1’22.

Surana highlighted that the Quarter 4 stands out as the busiest quarter for BFSI, particularly due to the increased transactional activities preceding tax filings ahead of the end of the fiscal year.

He said, “BFSI companies are now adopting a more continuous and strategic approach, focusing on engaging consumers throughout the year rather than concentrating efforts solely in the final quarter and digital advertising is playing a pivotal role in this transformation, with BFSI brands increasingly leaning towards digital platforms.” 

Citing a report, Surana highlighted that over 36% of Indian marketers are projected to allocate more than 60% of their budgets to digital marketing, which surpasses the average for APAC marketers overall, which stands at 25%. 

He said, “This emphasizes the growing significance of digital channels in the BFSI sector's advertising strategies, aligning with the broader shift towards online interactions and transactions.”

Tailoring BFSI communication for young audience

With over 2 billion individuals worldwide, representing about 30% of the global population, and a massive demographic group with global spending power of US $853 billion, generation Z is shaping the consumer landscape. These qualities have made them a force to be reckoned with, especially for the BFSI sector.

To connect effectively with Gen Z, experts believe that brands should bring a fresh approach to marketing. Brands need a new plan for how they communicate and advertise that's both real and relevant to what the young audience cares about – with the mediums that they are present on.

Experts share tips for communicating with young audiences in the BFSI industry:

-It is important to understand the objective of the campaign. 

-While trends can be a benchmark for the campaign, marketers need to first understand if it is relevant for their campaign and TG. 

-To effectively engage with younger audiences, embrace a digital-first strategy featuring personalized content, videos, infographics customized to their preferences.

-Optimize communication for mobile platforms by using technologies like AI and chatbots.

-It is always advised to maintain concise, clear, and regular communication, positioning yourself where customers are connecting with them on their preferred platforms to deliver a seamless and accessible experience. 

-Propositions and services also need to be customized based on the preference of the young audience.

-Money is primary for youngsters anywhere in the world and BFSI is the first port of call that leads to other venues to earn, save, invest, insure and spend. Our effort should be to keep being relevant to the next generation of customers.  

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