The pace at which technology is disrupting the economy is creating an inflection point for the financial services sector. The ubiquity of internet and mobile penetration in India has radically transformed the way customers seek and consume information. This has, in turn, changed the way how they perceive and assign value to the relationships they want to have with companies. Financial services CEOs are finding it challenging to address consumer demands and real-time expectations.
If financial services brands are to match the pace of changing expectations and demands of their consumers that comprises an increasing base of Millennials, they need to overhaul their communication strategy, suggests MSLGROUP India’s insights report ‘Fincomm Imperatives 2017’. The report offers key insights into the changing nature of the financial industry and defines communication strategies to unleash the full potential of digitalization.
The report employed closed-group interactions among 50 CXOs from the Indian financial services industry. The findings were distilled and interpreted by financial experts at MSLGROUP India to offer key insights on the sector. In the survey, a whopping 87% respondents admitted that millennials are driving their communication strategies, while 90% said that their communications have shifted to digital mediums. With Millennials forming a growing consumer base, 88% respondents felt that performance on digital platforms has become an integral part of brand building. The report also revealed several other insights that point to an urgent need for brands to redesign their communications:
- 88% respondents felt consumers attach high importance to convenience and response time.
- 88% said demand for personalized services has increased.
- About 84% of respondents believe that customers now give importance to instant gratification when it comes to financial services.
- 75% felt customers have become more discerning.
- 69% said when it comes to customer expectation the urban-rural divide has narrowed.
With the advent of new technologies and a consumer base that’s embracing new digital platforms, MSLGROUP India identified an urgent need to redefine communication strategies for the BFSI sector. With a finger firmly on the pulse of the BFSI sector and national presence that extends to tier-3 and tier-4 towns, MSLGROUP India has a deep understanding of changing trends in the industry. A well-established financial communications practice, backed by prowess in the digital space and in-house capabilities that span PR, content, events and creative services, allows MSLGROUP India to offer insight- and impact-driven solutions to the evolving needs of financial services brands.
Fincomm Imperatives 2017 was launched at a panel discussion with the BFSI industry experts. Acknowledging the imperatives, Mr. Munish Sharda, MD and CEO, Future Generali Life India, a panelist commented “We once only knew of face-to-face communications. Today offers many more ways to build trust and be transparent”. Mr. Sudhir Dash, MD of Investec, on the panel commented about the need for refining big data analytics even more to make targeting better
In the study, MSLGROUP India has defined how the nature of communications would need to change and adapt around three pillars
1. Consumer Intelligence: Aggregating, Assimilating and Deploying: Adopt data-driven intelligence leading to a stronger understanding of the customer and thus stronger, efficient and personalized customer services and managing reputation.
2. Discover, Design and Delivery: Optimizing Digital Consumerism: With digital consumerism leading a supercharged lifestyle of customers, brands need to meet the customers where they want to be met – in the new digital environment.
3. Innovation: Understand that digital platforms and technologies bring with them a large number of avenues to innovate at low investment. Quick and relevant adoption of technologies and platforms is a priority.
Further, leveraging the insights, MSLGROUP India lists six communications imperatives in the study: Fincomm Imperatives 2017
1. Digital-first brand communications: A digital-only brand approach is crucial to engage customers
2. Communicating to capture micro-moments: Engaging customers at moments when they make pivotal financial decisions by leveraging contextual signal like location, time of day, keywords – data-driven digital approaches are becoming more efficient
3. The need for C-suite conversations: In financial institutions, consumers trust brands with their money, they expect to have humanized connect with the organization. Direct and aptly timed CXO communications can create a strong connect reach and impact with the customer
4. Powerful Thought Leadership: Forward-looking, bold, compelling thought-leadership narratives on topics affecting the customer’s prosperity will yield powerful results
5. Content Marketing for the Millennials: Key to a strong content marketing strategy is simplifying and personalizing the experience for millennials. This allows for building a comfort level and easy digestion of complex information
6. Tackling Reputation Risks. Risks are inherent to the BFSI sector. Financial institutions and reputation managers should be cognizant and cautious about the customers’ concerns around identity theft. Optimization of user experience should not be at the cost of integrity of consumer data. In an industry with prevalent trust deficit, introduction of new financial instruments may face consumer scrutiny.
Commenting on the report Amit Misra, CEO, MSLGROUP India said, “The wave of digitalization that’s sweeping across the country has impacted the BFSI sector in a significant way. The idea behind this report was to use MSLGROUP India’s expertise in financial communications in interpreting the key insights that the survey revealed, and to provide a roadmap for India’s financial services brands to transform their businesses by using powerful communications in the online space.”
To read Fincomm Imperatives 2017, visit http://www.mslgroup.com/insights/2017/india-fincomm-imperatives-2017/
Today MSLGROUP India has evolved from a traditional PR agency to an Integrated Communications Firm. Leveraging i3, its go-to-market Strategic Planning Model, MSLGROUP India offers Integrated Communications Solutions, Public Relations, Digital and Social Media, Public Affairs, Content and Design services to a broad spectrum of MNC and Indian clients. With 400 + passionate colleagues across 8 offices, MSLGROUP India partners over 250 clients nationwide. As part of MSLGROUP in Asia, the firm has been recognized as Asia Pacific 2016 Consultancy Of The Year by both Holmes Report and PRWeek.
MSLGROUP is Publicis Groupe’s strategic communications and engagement group, advisors in all aspects of communication strategy: from consumer PR to financial communications, from public affairs to reputation management and from crisis communications to experiential marketing and events. With more than 3,000 people across close to 100 offices worldwide, MSLGROUP is also the largest PR network in Europe, fast-growing China and India. The group offers strategic planning and counsel, insight-guided thinking and big, compelling ideas – followed by thorough execution.
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