Bank marketing in the new normal

Bank marketing is to attract and acquire new customers through various media strategies. Compared to other services, banking products are distinguished by the fact that they are complex and abstract. Most customers do not easily understand financial services, their benefits and their differences. The Covid-19 pandemic has transformed markets around the world. It affected the banking industry in two ways: One by accelerating existing trends and the other by creating new ones and leading to a new normal. In bank marketing, enormous additional challenges have emerged. So, banks must respond immediately to future-proof their business and operating model.

With the mainstreaming of the internet and social media, the ubiquity of technology, and the world becoming more connected, marketing is no longer restricted to traditional methods. The Covid-19 pandemic has transformed it. The bank marketing landscape has changed and become more dynamic, digitised and driven by purpose. The pandemic has disrupted the industry and altered business processes significantly. Customers’ communication has changed from face-to-face to face to non-face to face. Markets are demanding faster, more creative innovation. Purpose-driven messaging and action to back it up are more relevant than ever. There has been a rapid increase in live chats, e-mails, text messages and social media use; in response to this change, banks and financial institutions have become more flexible and adaptive.

Embracing innovation

Covid-19 has negatively impacted the banking sector but has facilitated the development of the fintech sector. Fintech has increased the convenience of the public lifestyle and improved the productivity of businesses. As security is enhanced, the public becomes more dependent on fintech, and the sustainability of the banking sector is severely impacted. The coronavirus crisis made clear that despite all the progress they’ve made in recent years, most banks still have much work ahead of them regarding digital transformation. Only with considerable effort and significant concessions from all sides was it possible to implement the measures that had to be taken during the lockdown. We are seeing openness and tolerance of innovation from customers, employees and regulatory authorities alike that presents a unique opportunity to explore new avenues much faster and indeed to see off the kind of resistance you often come up against when doing so. It’s the perfect time to overhaul outdated business models and tackle long-overdue changes. There is an increased need for digital interaction, comprehensive offering beyond banking and demand for holistic advice and a long-term partner.

Consequently, the operating model has also been changed. Banks established new ways of working, i.e. the larger share of remote work. There is pressure on the acceleration of technological change.

In the fiercely competitive market, the needs of customers keep changing. Hence, our marketing strategy must be dynamic and flexible to meet the changing scenario. Nepali banking has experienced a deposit crisis since the beginning of the fiscal year 2078/79. So, emphasis should be given to mobilising more deposits as they are the primary source of profit for the bank. E-delivery/digital delivery channels are constructive in enhancing the marketing of various products and services. By embracing digitalisation, banks can provide enhanced customer services. Products can be effectively branded with customers in mind to sound catchy and appealing. There is a need to educate the customers on bank products.

Efforts should be made to widen and deepen the information flow process for customers’ benefit and education. Today, customers do not know how much time is required for any banking service. The rural customers are not aware for what purpose the loans are available and how they can be availed. Customers do not know the bank’s complete rules, regulations and procedures, and bankers preserve it for themselves and do not take an interest in educating the customers. There is a need to inform the customers from the grassroots of banking. Advertisement is an eminent part of the marketing of bank products. The advertisement should be such that it appeals to people.

Catering to customers’ needs

It should not follow the habitual pattern of narrating a product. For effective advertisement, the bank should understand people’s tastes and choices. To enhance the marketing of their product, a bank should sell its products in rural areas. It’s time to invest and expand digital infrastructure rather than physical outlets. The bank should embark upon aggressive marketing of its products, particularly at the time of launching a new product, which will inform the prospective customers regarding the product and at the same time relieve staff at the branch level from explaining the product to all customers. The bank employees must render services to the customer’s satisfaction, not as per their convenience or whims. It is a fact that its employees cannot rise up to its customers’ expectations. They lack in their behaviour, attitude and efficiency.

The phenomenon is glaring in urban centres. Therefore, it calls for immediate attention, which is the missing link in the entire process of marketing. Social media has become essential for banks to gauge meaningful customer experience. Social media offers an ideal opportunity for them to boost those connections so that customers can interact with their banks more flexibly, conveniently and frequently. This is the fastest method for the outreach of banking products and services to various market segments.

Banks cannot exist without customers. And the purpose of the bank is to create, win and keep a customer. Organisational design should be oriented to the customer, and the bank should ensure that the services are performed and delivered most effectively. Banks must invest in fintech to improve their performance in the new normal. The ultimate aim of a bank is to provide total customer satisfaction. There is greater customer demand for digital, cross-channel solutions that enable banks to offer their clients holistic advice to suit individual needs. Banks should now adjust to the new normal and prepare themselves accordingly. Bank marketing in the new normal should target different demographics by adopting new and better technologies, pushing digital apps and financial services and thus concentrating on customer outreach.

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