In first blog of this series The Unique Distribution Challenge Faced By Financial Industry we discussed how BFSI (Banking, Finance and Insurance) industry is heavily dependent upon Distributor or Sales person providing last mile connectivity for sourcing of retail business. And typically because of low skill possessed and below par intensity displayed by them, customers are often left wondering about the utility of product purchased. Which can mean low retention and hence loss to the company. We also discussed the possibility of whether Digital Marketing can provide a solution to this problem. In this blog we will discuss the Digital Marketing application in bigger detail.
Before we dive in let me make one thing clear that I am not trying to suggest that BFSI sector in untouched from Online/Digital marketing. There have been many attempts made to communicate with customer by bypassing the conventional distribution channel. Further, there are few companies who are sourcing Mutual Funds (MF) and Insurance policies online successfully. But those attempts can be at the best described as halfhearted and too few to make any realistic impact. And most importantly they suffer from the same constraints which traditional financial distribution channels suffer from. That is lack of nurturing mechanism and inability to plan for customers.
That’s because most of the companies those which are sourcing online are hardly having any nurturing mechanism. What they are doing basically is using website (which is promoted through TV commercials or Print Ad etc.) to attract customers. Once customer is enrolled, he is chased like crazy to apply for a product. And at most of the times it’s counterproductive.
Of these two the second constraint can be can be partly ascribed to customer’s reluctance to divulge critical info. However when looked at more closely, managers would realize that that it’s lack of nurturing mechanism coupled with low skills of Sales Person which make customers uncomfortable. And precisely that’s where Digital or Online Marketing can be of help. As it has a great quality of being able to reach ascertained target with great precision, without being intrusive but being persuasive at the same time. However I am fully aware many who have had an experience of buying a financial product (Loan, Credit card, Insurance) online will hardly agree with me. That’s because most of the companies those which are sourcing online are hardly having any nurturing mechanism. What they are doing basically is using website (which is promoted through TV commercials or Print Ad etc.) to attract customers. Once customer is enrolled, he is chased like crazy to apply for a product. And at most of the times it’s counterproductive.
To make things easier let me bring OrangeWit‘s new exciting framework SPICER in here. The SPICER contains 6 steps. ‘Invite’ and ‘Connect’, together form the ‘Nurturing’ phase of the process.
Now at this stage your prospective customers know you but you don’t know them. It’s only right content which can change this situation and you can extract vital info such as e-mail or tele-number from the customer. Content makes them believe in you and ease of access keeps them interested in you.
The ‘Invite’ phase begins with Identifying ‘Suspects’
1) Depending upon product / service to be marketed, we need to generate Suspects by categorizing leads across various parameters such as age, gender, location, profession, etc. This cohort of people is our customers in making.
2) Once we have identified the potential customers, we need to zero down upon the Right Social Networks where they can be found. For this purpose it’s important that we should be flexible enough to enter into multiple SM networks in search of same type of customers. As these days individuals have multiple SM accounts.
3) After identifying right people we need to analyze social habits or conduct of this group of people. This analysis will help us find out what are things of interest for them. What are their common concerns etc. Basis which a content strategy can be developed. This will help us to deliver right content to these prospects.
4) The content can be a small FB post or a Tweet or a mini-video on Instagram accompanied by your company website URL. This will start driving traffic to your desired location.
Now at this stage your prospective customers know you but you don’t know them. It’s only right content which can change this situation and you can extract vital info such as e-mail or tele-number from the customer. Content makes them believe in you and ease of access keeps them interested in you. They are ready to share their personal details such as e-mail and mobile because they think they can do business with you. This is where a mechanism to establish connect like Landing Pages, comes into play. Interested website visitors must be diverted to Landing pages, where they get what they are interested in against sharing their personal details. A perfect Connect is established and we have an Acquaintance now. From here on what’s needed is little bit of careful Nurturing to take this relationship to next level.
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Now compare this ready-to-go-ahead-Prospect with a Prospect sitting across a semi-skilled Financial Sales Person. Jittery and unsure...Dealing with reluctance rather than out of choice. The chances, that this Prospect who has established a Connect through gradual Nurturing will be ready to give out critical info are much high. And this becomes possible only because we have reached him/her in direct manner but did not annoy him/her. Please appreciate that owing to nature of Financial Products and resistance to Medium / Long term Savings it’s critical that our Sales Process helps us in establishing a need and identifying problem statement.
Digital Marketing can create a bang in Financial Distribution if pursued with Nurturing mindset and Structured manner. In upcoming and concluding blog of this series will present Digital Marketing solutions for Financial Distribution.