Trend Spotting: Top 10 Digital Trends for the BFSI Sector in 2019
Paurush Sonkar pens down his views on what would be some of the most relevant digital trends for the BFSI sector for the next calendar year.
Sonkar has stayed away from the super futuristic and thus, at times unrealistic and expensive trends such as Blockchain, Artificial Intelligence, and sticks to the basics.
Following are the 10 trends basis an understanding of where a vast majority of BFSI brands are on the digital spectrum.
- BFSI Brands saying less of ‘Whats Up’ and more of ‘WhatsApp’ – The dominance of Whatsapp in our daily lives needs no explanation. BFSI brands shall move from SMS communication to consent based and process driven messaging via Whatsapp
- ‘Change may not be the only constant’ – Some things never change, the best examples of this are e-Mail and SEO. These 2 pillars of digital have been the heroes since the inception of the digital era and are going nowhere. Their importance remains unchanged with changing times
- Vernacular Content – With the advent of 4G and data getting cheaper than a glass of Cutting Chai, the digital user has changed from the Hi Dude category to the Namaste and Vanakkam category. Just like data the next big user base for BFSI brands are in smaller towns and thus investment in vernacular content would be a top priority for most brands
- Facebook versus Quora – BFSI brands shall slowly yet surely begin to reduce their dependence on Facebook and move to other platforms. A platform of choice for a lot of BFSI brands would be Quora where a structured communication is possible in an intellectually stimulating environment
- Fersonalization (Personalization in the Financial services sector) – Digital in BFSI sector will finally become all about personalization. What e-commerce sites have done will now be replicated by BFSI Brands; make an offer basis customer profile. Technology companies like Adobe and Oracle shall lead Fersonalization efforts
- The death of Lead Generation – Most BFSI Brands have moved to online selling, yet many brands generate a huge volume of leads. The trend will now be to either ‘Inform’ or ‘Direct Online Selling’. Leads shall loose relevance as better customer experience has made it easier to transact
- Chatbots – Till a few years ago the website was called the 24x7 branch but now the Chatbot is your 24x7 salesman & customer service representative. Brands shall invest not just in Chatbots, but smart chatbots that with time learn what the user’s needs are and tailor responses accordingly
- Earned Media (User reviews) – While this concept has been in existence since years, brands have not really harnessed the power of earned media, after all people trust other people more than they trust brands; sad but true. Just for the record MouthShut.com was founded in the year 2000
- It’s all about Micro Moments ‘Google Terminology’ – Google says there are 4 micro moments; I want to know moment, I want to go moment, I want to do moment, I want to buy moment. Considering that user attention spans are going down BFSI brands shall have to tailor their marketing messages to suit these moments and keep it short and simple
- Voice Search – Welcome Alexa. We love to talk and Alexa and other devices like Google Home allow us to do just that. Could we speak to Alex and know what is a term plan or why should a person invest in a mutual fund? Why not?
(The author is a seasoned Marketing and Digital Marketing Executive with 15 years of work experience in the Financial Services Sector. He is a Senior Digital thought leader who helps Financial Services brands in taking their digital presence and online business to the next level.)