Giving the current economic scenario, aggressive competition and changing consumer behaviour, banks and financial institutions aren’t usually able to refocus and realign. However, they are trying to adapt to the changing environment to stay competitive.
“What we understand of banking relationships is that these relationships are for life. Studies have shown that people don’t change their banking relationships. Tipping point is when you take up a first job, get a new home, get married, or get divorced. But in today’s volatile world, even banks are struggling to keep up and maintain customer relationships,” said MG Parameswaran, Executive Director and CEO, Draftfcb+Ulka Advertising.
In an interconnected world, there are no more island nations. “One can’t say a particular strategy works only in a certain country. It is incorrect to say that it does not have an impact on the rest of the world. We have to be very efficient marketing people as with the world going global and digital, it is only getting more and more difficult to keep anything secret,” said Sanjeeb Chaudhuri, Global Head – Marketing, Standard Chartered Bank.
Consumer behaviour is changing in very dramatic ways. The outlook of consumers around the world is getting increasingly global. “Today’s consumers are intellectual, more ambitious, love gadgets, are hyperactive, and are always connected. They are much more social; the fact is that social media is one more manifestation of a very basic human need to connect,” said Chaudhuri.
There is a sea change in the media universe. It is an obvious fact but it has a humongous impact on what it does to consumers and their consumption patterns. They have access to lots of information, and what you are really looking for is to make some sense of that information.
Banks are complacent of Big Data, ATM data, online data, phone data and transaction data – information that can be very powerful and useful.
“Mobile devices have changed the way people consume media. With the 24X7 connected phenomenon, we need team players on the marketing side who help in co-learning and co-creating. The mobile revolution has huge implications for a CMO. Every action is now gravitating towards mobile as it has become a very powerful instrument,” he further said.
Banks are now moving from product-centric to customer-centric interactions. “We at Standard Chartered work towards the principle of move, manage and engage. We give customers mobile options to view their money like never before. They can have a today view, a calendar view, etc. Everything can be customised according to an individual’s preferences,” added Chaudhuri.
Focus is also on value-added services. Financial institutions are looking at doing a lot more than just banking like sending movie alerts, helping with flight timings, mobile top-ups, etc. One such example is SCB Breeze Home, which helps customers make their home buying experience more defined.
End-to-end marketing to connect with consumers and using 360-degree multi-media capabilities to reach them is the mantra today.