10 MINUTES READ

The Covid-19 pandemic catalysed the need for digital marketing in two ways - one by causing the shutdown of physical stores and offices which forced businesses across the world to operate digitally at full-scale, and two by giving consumers more free time to spend on digital platforms. This need for digital marketing has, in turn, spiked the need for methods to increase the efficiency of campaigns, which is achieved through marketing automation.  

Marketing automation software enables a company to run and manage marketing processes and campaigns, across multiple channels, on autopilot.

A recent (September 2020) study by invespcro revealed the following stats:

  • Marketing automation, on average drives up to 14.5% increase in sales productivity.
  • 80% of users using marketing automation software saw an increase in the number of leads, and 77% had an increase in conversions.
  • 91% of marketing automation users agree it is 'very important' to the overall success of their online marketing activities.

These numbers indicate not only the importance of marketing automation for business growth but also its impact. Industries like software and retail have been quick in adopting marketing automation. Some industries, like BFSI, however, have digitized their services but not their marketing processes. This is either because they don't see a potential for ROI or because of a lack of know-how.

In this article, we aim to tackle both these issues by exploring the importance of marketing automation in BFSI, challenges faced with modern customers, the benefits of automation, and important aspects of implementation.

Why Marketing Automation is Important for BFSI Especially in the Covid Era

  • Customer expectations have changed:

The modern customer is tech-savvy and spends a large part of their day online on a computer or a mobile device. People tend to divide their time among multiple online channels - social sites, email, web-apps, video conferencing tools, websites, OTT platforms, etc., with this consumption increasing since the pandemic -since mid February visitor traffic to Facebook.com has increased by 27.0%, Netflix.com by 16.0% and YouTube.com by 15.3%.

Most industries have leaned into this diversity by creating multi-channel communication lines between them and their customers. They reach out to customers via different platforms - social media, email, search engines, etc., and customers can reach them via multiple channels. This, in turn, has normalized multi-channel communication and customers expect it from all their service providers, even BFSI.

  • The customer journey has changed:

Because purchasing services and/or products is extremely easy today (it can literally be done in a few clicks), customers take time in making decisions. They compare services across providers, take feedback over social channels, and sometimes delay decisions for a later time (since it is easy to just continue from where they left off now that the service is digital). 

This means a customer looking for a service is moving across multiple online channels, and being able to identify their online journey helps brands position their services for better recall and ultimately, conversion.

  1. Only 37% of banking customers feel their financial institution knows their needs.
  2. Only 44% of customers experience consistent multi-channel communication.
  3. Only 43% of customers are satisfied with their bank's product-channel fit.
  4. Only 43% of customers feel the relationship with their bank is satisfactory.
  • Incorporating these aspects requires marketing automation:

A marketing automation tool, at its core, collects and analyses public user data (hence identifying the customer's journey) and then pushes marketing messages on the platform they are using (creating multi-channel conversations across web, social, email, and text). The technology has the capability to modify its messaging and strategy mid-campaign for better results, which allows businesses to run entire campaigns on auto-pilot.

Benefits of Marketing Automation

1. Ability to collect rich user data

Customers create a digital footprint with every single click, and this data is very important, especially for marketing. It gives insights into what channels a customer frequents, at what times, what content they are likely to interact with, what content they ignore, etc. Marketing automation platforms have tracking and analytics systems in order to collect this user data which is used to derive the best results from campaigns. Since users have a larger online presence today because of the pandemic, it's an ideal time to harvest rich user data that can be used for nice marketing and sales campaigns.

2. Create personalized conversations

A personal message will always have a better chance of conversion than a generic one. For example, sending out an email with information on a new line of credit cards to users who have been researching credit cards online will yield a higher ROI than sending an email blast to all user in a campaign list. Since email platforms charge based on recipients, the business in this example also saves costs on marketing by only targeting interested users.

3. Multi-channel marketing capability

One major challenge faced by businesses today stems from the fact that the number of channels to reach users on is massive. Targeting all platforms is just not an option - The costs will be huge, and the ROI will be low. Marketing automation makes reaching out to customers on all these channels, both a viable and affordable option by using user data to target the right channels at the right time.

4. More effective campaigns

All of the above lead to highly effective marketing and sales campaigns. A business does not need to invest money on creating open campaigns on all platforms for fear of missing out on a potential customer or sale, because the marketing automation tool is capable of forecasting a user's online journey through data analytics and targeting the right platform for better costs per conversion.

What to Keep in Mind When Implementing Marketing Automation

1. Data security

Data security is especially critical for BFSI companies because the data involved is sensitive. When implementing a marketing automation system, users must be made aware of the data being collected through privacy policies, and this data must be stored in a secure location.

2. Integrating existing systems and processes

The automation tool selected must be able to incorporate legacy systems (or be able to import data from legacy systems) and existing business processes. The alternative is to redefine system architecture and processes which are time and cost consuming.

3. Defining the right measurement

While marketing analytics systems are capable of harvesting all public user data, not all of it will be relevant for all companies. Defining what metrics are useful and what are not, will help the automation tool derive best results. For example, impressions. When a business is running a limited-time sale, it makes sense to show the same message to the same customer multiple times (therefore, higher impressions per user). For long-term and regular messaging, setting lower impressions makes more sense.

4. Implementing the right solution

There are a lot of options that BFSI companies can explore to implement marketing automation. However, considering the fact that the expertise of BFSI companies is towards finance and not technology, implementing a solution that can take care of all the aspects mentioned in this article makes the most sense. 

Our marketing automation platform, Credence completes automates data aggregation, audience targeting, and campaigns along with real-time analytics and monitoring. The powerful platform empowers businesses to optimise engagement across all touch points in a customer’s journey.

With Credence, you can orchestrate marketing campaigns at scale- optimized for devices and conversions. The platform has so far supported leading banks and financial institutions of the country in achieving higher ROI with fewer resources spent on planning, scheduling, and optimizing campaigns.
Visit the link to schedule a demo.