Article by Arun Fernandes, CEO - Hotstuff Media Group
"Unthinkable" is how one would have described the notion of India's largest PSU Banks launching their own app, until a decade ago. Clearly, we have had to change the way we thought.
Over the last few quarters, we noticed that the BFSI Sector is slowly warming up in understanding the impact of digital transformation. This explains why some legacy banks in India have invested resources and effort not only into offering a digital consumer experience but also into communicating with customers, employees and stakeholders digitally. A leading private sector bank, recently converted all of its retail banking operations from offline to online -- allowing customers to open an account, run transactions and use various facilities through their mobile application. This bank jumped its customer base up from 8 million to 14.5 million in a matter of months! Not too long later, most other banks soon followed suit.
Now, since major BFSI players have realised the efficacy of the digital universe in garnering leads, the way they communicate is reflecting a shift towards digital media. Take, for example, the need to educate the masses on why insurance is a prime need that should be fulfilled. For ages, the needs of roti, kapda and makaan have been taught as the basic needs of a human. A client of ours had managed to make inroads majorly through the bancassurance route. Hence, we teamed up to recreate Bollywood movie sets from the 70s and 80s in order to position Life Insurance as the 4th basic need after roti, kapda and makaan. The awareness route was deliberately chosen as it was missing in the industry. Thus, a need to enter and break the clutter was needed by building category awareness, digital content that is interesting and thereby getting noticed as a brand for the common man. The 1 million-odd views not only positioned the client as a credible Insurance provider but also helped garner leads beyond speculation. One thing that surely needs to be kept in mind though, is that digital media is that of an indulgence platform and the more you make the content interesting, you will attract more eyeballs. A hitherto perceived cut & dry category, is increasingly becoming aware of this and producing some really interesting content to attract or retain audiences who are or could be potential users of those financial products. A case in point would be another one of our satirical films created for a client that compared traditional investing to the "uncle culture" and carried forward the theme on social media, encouraging young professionals to invest in ELSS schemes. This campaign achieved a CPV of 29 paise, far surpassing bollywood's known average CPV!
On a macro level, the shift to the digital sphere is more poignant. While UPI in India is seeing 12.5 million+ users, The US Federal Reserve is mulling to create a UPI-like platform. Over 2,000 fintech companies launched their services this year. Other tech startups are gearing up to launch services catering exclusively to help BFSI organisations engage their customers. It has been observed that firms which invest in customer experience tend to garner a better share of wallet. In a recent study it was found out that a lead in customer experience had a higher share of recommendations and thereby a higher number of deposits – almost double!
Furthermore, we are expecting that the middleman / agent will no longer see himself just as a broker. He will invest his time and efforts into taking an advisory role with in-depth knowledge, research and analysis backing his advice.
The Indian ecosystem will see a paradigm shift in the way finance and securities are received by the customers. Certainly, BFSI organisations will realign their operations to accommodate this shift.