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Road to 2023: A year of inclusive marketing for the BFSI sector

1/3/23 6:36 AM

Inclusivity is finding its way into every industry, including the BFSI sector. Abhishek Gupta notes down 6 top trends that he foresees for the new year.

The BFSI sector is closely interlinked with all our lives and has a noteworthy impact on India’s economy. From all things wealth multiplication to protection, the BFSI industry caters to a large number of Indians across the country and continues to grow at a robust pace towards a Financial Inclusion agenda. 

It is no wonder then that this sector also dominates a large portion of the marketing trends across the year. As we look ahead to a new year, BFSI companies are increasingly turning to innovative marketing practices to gain an edge over their peers and drive meaningful as well as robust customer experience. The multiplicity of languages in marketing, collecting unique cultural/geographical customer insights, personalized/customized communication and much more have become the order of the day. Quite simply, inclusive marketing has become a brand necessity aligned with customer expectations. 

As we prepare for 2023, the focus on inclusive marketing will continue as BFSI brands explore modern marketing practices to innovate. Here are the top 6 trends that are likely to unfold in the new year:

● Going back to basics: In a cluttered marketplace, going back to the basics will help marketers discover relevant and differentiated methods of interacting with the customer and improving brand saliency. A deeper understanding of their expectations and everyday experiences will support brands in creating well-rounded and well-informed marketing strategies. For example, Samsung lets their users directly interact with a customer care representative through WhatsApp chat as opposed to having them call a toll-free number and encounter long wait times or visit a brick-and-mortar service centre.

● Simplification:  As businesses stay rooted in the aspiration of customer centricity, brands will strive for simplicity. Customers crave simplicity in products and services. For instance, the insurance industry is perceived to have several complexities in not only their products but also their buying experience. The paperwork and documentation requirements alone seem overwhelming to the customer. Companies are already leveraging digital solutions to alleviate the tediousness and make the overall process simpler and relatively less dependent on the customer. 

● Content visualization: As the marketing landscape evolves and grows more competitive, brands will find ways to make content visually appealing and engaging. They will rely on storytelling to convey brand vision and purpose. There will also be an emphasis on redefining content strategies to build credibility and simplicity around BFSI products, which are perceived to be complex and difficult to understand. 

● Streamlining of backend processes: Businesses will aspire to build agility into their processes to facilitate quicker turnaround on the queries arising from the sales or post-sales service functions. For example, Walmart, the supermarket major, requires their backend teams to respond within hours of a query being raised by their stores. This service-centric mentality will be critical to driving future business growth and customer experience.

● Omnichannel marketing: Marketers will take an omnichannel approach in 2023. It is a holistic strategy that creates an integrated offline-online customer experience across all channels and touchpoints. It certainly creates a pathway to build stronger bonds with their target customers and drive more sales through various interfaces. It is essential for businesses to stay competitive today.  For instance, Starbucks utilizes omnichannel marketing for its customer loyalty program by letting users view and top-up their cards through all platforms like apps, physical stores, website, phones etc. In the upcoming years, marketers will have to incorporate technology into customer service to create a unique experience.

● Authenticity and social responsibility: These have become the buzzwords in the post-pandemic world. Brands need to create an aura of approachability and authenticity to relate to today’s customers. The best means to achieve this goal are staying rooted in the community and extending a helping hand wherever required. Marketers will have therefore make social responsibility a key part of their value proposition since data suggests that the purchase decision of Gen-Z and millennials is affected by how brands address various social challenges as a part of the bigger social fabric of the world.

In the insurance sector specifically, the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India’s (IRDAI) recent push towards ‘Insurance For All by 2047’ will prompt insurance companies to target B30 cities. Microinsurance as a product category will see significant growth and innovation as insurers focus on B30 cities. Life insurers who have invested in creating robust and renewed advisory models during the Covid period will now focus on personalization across the board – be it communication or products. 

As we gear up for yet another year, customer experience will continue to drive the overall brand experience.

Written by Abhishek Gupta, 

Chief Marketing Officer, Edelweiss Life Insurance

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