Taboola-e4m Roundtable: Decoding how BFSI brands can tell stories on discovery platforms

Industry leaders from BFSI sector deliberated on the challenges, trends and strategies in the digital world

e4m by exchange4media Staff
Updated: Dec 2, 2019 1:09 PM

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Taboola-e4m Roundtable

The Banking, Financial Services and Insurance (BFSI) roundtable hosted by Taboola, the global player in AdTech solutions, in association with exchange4media, saw digital leaders and top marketers from leading BFSI brands come together on the same platform.

The panellists exchanged ideas, spoke of industry-specific challenges and discussed possible solutions that the BFSI sector could benefit from.

Participating in the panel, moderated by Gomti Shankar, Country Manager India, Taboola, were - Douglas Kennedy, CTO, Aegon Life; Vishal Subharwal, Executive VP, e-commerce & Digital Marketing, HDFC Life; Arpanarghya Saha, Head - Digital Business, Nippon India MF; Topendra Bhattacharjee, Head - Digital Bank, Direct Channel & Analytics, RBL Bank; Tarun Kishore, Country Marketing Manager-India, ClearScore; Geethanjali Sachwani, AVP-Digital Marketing, Franklin Templeton; Madhurima Anantatmula, Digital Marketing Manager, HDFC Bank; Ashish Walia, Head-Marketing, IndiaFirst Life Insurance Company Ltd.; Gagan Singla, Chief Strategy Officer, IIFL, Hardik Joshi, Digital & Social Media Head, Brand Marketing, Axis Bank; Yogin Vora, Marketing Manager, e-commerce & Digital Marketing (Lead Paid Media), HDFC Life. 

Throwing the floor open for discussions, the evening’s moderator Gomti Shankar expressed that they were happy to host their first BFSI roundtable in Mumbai given that it was the hub for the sector. She began by asking the speakers what they felt were the biggest challenges and trends in the BFSI sector.

Sharing valuable insights, Subharwal of HDFC Life said, “Everyone is competing for the same customer and the customer is getting smarter. They are using discovery platforms - whether it is search or going online to research about products, that trend is very clear and that is compounding very very fast . A lot of customers are coming and discovering products online but not necessarily buying online, they still want an intermediary to guide them. How do you ensure that complexity goes out of the process? Essentially, the digital maturity of the consumer is going up and that’s an irreversible trend.”

According to Geetanjali Sachwani, AVP-Digital Marketing, “Marketing in the digital space is at an inflection point. There are too many ads that consumers find annoying and not trustworthy. To enter a consumer’s mind and then to stand out is going to be challenging.”

While, Arpanarghya Saha, Head - Digital Business, Nippon India MF, explained how content would help the sector make it more relatable to a new-age consumer and how exploratory platforms could help play a role in removing the feeling of intrusion amongst consumers, he added, “It is about vernacular in India. People are going to talk in their local languages. How do discovery platforms come in and adapt to that lingo is going to be the biggest opportunity change and also a challenge for the BFSI sector.”

The use of data in one’s approach to a customer was one of the key changes in the sector, according to Topendra Bhattacharjee, Head- Digital Bank, Direct Channel & Analytics, RBL Bank. The other trend he pointed out was content, but stressed on the right use of the right medium to showcase that content.

On the question of what does effective marketing mean in the industry right now, Ashish Walia, Head-Marketing, IndiaFirst Life Insurance Co. Ltd said, “Today the connect with the customer is not happening with one department of an organisation. So a number of times, the consumer is bombarded with too much communication. Hence, keeping the customer in mind is very, very critical.”

Douglas Kennedy, CTO, Aegon Life, agreed that from a point of view of a consumer, over-advertising was not ideal and care should be taken not to create nuisance with over communication.

As part of discussions on how adtech platforms could do better, Gagan Singla, Chief Strategy Officer, IIFL, said he always wanted to find a way of communicating content step by step to consumers or how sequential targeting could perhaps help marketers.

The panellists were in agreement on the increasing importance of video for communication even in the BFSI sector.

Sharing her experience of the BFSI roundtable, Gomti Shankar said: “The beauty of the roundtable was that there was participation from across the various segments within the FinTech industry.

The whole idea was to talk to them and figure out what are the sort of challenges facing the industry today, where we can bridge, either a knowledge gap or product gap or something that's missing from their 360-degree digital approach, and learn from that and dovetail that back into our product and innovation strategy. Because in the digital world, everything's changing, it's a dynamic world and people are always looking to keep learning.”

Tarun Kishore, Country Marketing Manager, ClearScore, spoke about the key challenges. "The key challenge is finding the right mix of marketing channels to drive marketing as well as business ROI and the extremely volatile and fast changing media landscape, especially in the digital space. Another key challenge we face is the lack of robust attribution models in the BFSI space."

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