Opinion: The future of Fintech marketing – ETBrandEquity.com

The future of Fintech marketing.By Manu Prasad

Fintech is one of those small words that contains worlds. Just like marketing. While the former could be payments, lending, insurance, wealth management, neobanks etc, the latter includes brand management, digital acquisition, marketing automation, social media and so on. A combination of the two makes for a complex mix. It also means that crystal gazing has its limits and there really is no common answer. Having said that, lets try our hand at how it started, how its going to go...

Audience & Access: Indias digital economy now boasts over 700 million connected users. As per RBI data, the number of digital transactions are expected to make a 12x jump from 125 million a day in 2020 to 1.5 billion by 2025! Fintech has made leaps over the last 10 years - starting with personal finance products such as banking accounts and deposits, moving on to mobile payments and e-wallets, and finally leading to a full bouquet of financial services including trading, insurance and wealth management. (1) But the pandemic has been a force multiplier for digitisation in many sectors, including personal finance. This audience avalanche means that marketers have to revisit their segmentation and personas, and deal with different cohorts of digital audiences at different levels of maturity. What are the new user segments, what financial products and services would they like to access, and what are the new use cases that will emerge?

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This is crucial because were now living through a kind of liminality, a period marked by the uncertainty between an old normal, and what emerges next. Even more than before, marketers will need to have an empathetic mindset. Channeling this into communication will be necessary to build trust. Beyond actual trials, different consumer segments would have different surrogates for trust. And old wines and new bottles have challenges. Take celebrity endorsements, or its (relatively) poorer cousin - influencer marketing. Or cause marketing. All of them are susceptible to social media vigilantism and cancel culture, even as manufactured word of mouth thrives.

Cords & Cookies: Were in the era of the second screen. After all, some people still use the television when they want a large screen experience. But seriously, though cord cutting may not be mass yet, such has been the rise of OTT and digital consumption in general that the erstwhile second screen is practically the first. This has a huge impact on the media mix, especially because of the range of customisation thats possible on digital media. Of course, you might still be an IPL sponsor if youre a mass brand, but its definitely possible to build brands with digital as the primary medium. Not that its without challenges. Some level of precision targeting will continue to be an option at the top of the funnel, but privacy concerns are making a cookie-less world imminent. Even as adtech is scrambling to find a replacement for cookies, (I believe that) first party data and a non-cookie cutter approach is something brands should focus on. Codeless designing, chatbots, and the ever increasing tools of marketing automation allow the digital marketer to create custom journeys using demographic, behavioural, and other parameters. Content marketing using multiple formats is still a great way to build domain authority and trust. Podcasts have seen quite a lift during the pandemic. In short, we have moved further from mainstream to many streams.

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Data & Delivery: The common theme in all the above points is fragmentation - of markets, messaging and media. And this is essentially what the future looks like. The challenge for the marketer is to ensure narrative cohesion. This requires us to get comfortable with collecting and analysing data, and being able to deliver this understanding via communication and channels. The other kind of delivery well be responsible for is ROI. This will require us to find new ways to measure both effectiveness and efficiency across campaigns, channels and market segments.

In closing: The new normal is unlikely to be the normal we knew. Especially for marketing, because even after the pandemic goes away, the uncertainty will linger in consumer minds. Despite the abundance of choice that customers have, there is an opportunity for brands. As Scott Galloway has astutely pointed out, Choice is a tax on your time and attention. Consumers dont want more choice, they want confidence in the choices presented. In the race for wallet share, trust continues to be the best currency. Building a trusted brand in a fragmented world takes time and a growth mindset. Its good to remember that there are no perfect solutions, only conscious trade-offs.

The author is the vice president - marketing at Scripbox. Views expressed are personal.

Watch BE+ | Way forward mantras for post COVID world | Leading marketing leaders like Deepa Krishnan, Anurita Chopra, Samir Singh to Santosh Iyer, across sectors in the special video series

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Opinion: The future of Fintech marketing - ETBrandEquity.com

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