White Paper: Emergence of Digital Marketing Officer in BFSI sector

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This white paper aims at driving the point of how Digital Advertising is fast growing and reaching a peak in the BFSI Segment and how BFSI players need to join the bandwagon before it’s late. It also aims at creating the need to not just consider Digital Marketing as a part of Marketing but give it an independent status and have a DMO – Digital Marketing Officer and a team to assist him.

Let us begin quickly by going through a few data points to establish the importance of Digital Marketing in the BFSI space:

  1. The total internet users in India has crossed the 100 Million mark
  2. Of all Internet users 45 Million (45 per cent users) are from the rural areas
  3. The biggest social media network Facebook now has in excess of 50 million users in India
  4. As of March 2012 the spends on Digital Marketing were Rs 2,850 crore, the same is expected to rise to Rs 4,391 crore by March 2013 i.e. A rise of 54 per cent, which no other Marketing medium has seen
  5. Mobile advertising will grow from Rs 105 crore to Rs 144 crore during the same period
  6. Given below is a table that allows us to understand on what medium is money spent within digital marketing
  7. The key take away from the above are:

a. BFSI is the 4th largest spender on Display ads after Travel, Auto and Telecom as an industry.
b. BFSI is the 2nd largest spender on Search Advertising after Travel.

Data Source : Digital advertising in India 2012 published by IAMAI – Internet and Mobile association of India (Reference – www.iamai.in)

Needless to mention that if we were to add the numbers of mobile subscribers in India and those who use Internet on their Mobile (IOM) or 3G then the above numbers grow by leaps and bounds.

Let us dwell into Marketing as a function:

The marketing team headed by a CMO (Chief Marketing Officer) works towards activities such as campaign launch, maintaining brand, media buying, public relations, market research, etc keeping in mind the relevant target audience.
In quite a few BFSI companies the Direct Marketing team also is a part of the marketing team and their core job would be to garner leads and business for the organization.

Paurush Sonkar

Paurush Sonkar, Digital Evangelist

Changing Buzz words of marketing:
Till a few years back and since decades the buzz words of a Marketer would be print, outdoor, radio, television advertising, etc
However since the last few years and more so in the last 4 to 6 years the new buzz words have changed to online marketing, e-PR, search engine, mobile, social media, etc the list is endless.

Few points to be kept in mind:
• Large conventional marketing teams have always had specialists such as a Brand Head, BTL Head, Media head, etc Rarely do BFSI companies recruit a Digital specialist and in most cases the brand person would be given the task of handling digital which might not be the best practice.
• Digital Marketing specialists across BFSI with the exception of a few have been treated as a single man army who can do it all while the offline teams would be well stocked.
• Allocating budgets to online marketing has been the last priority and most of the times the money poured into online marketing is a last minute thought.
• Conventional marketing has got fragmented over the years. Single DTH players talk of 400+ channels imagine if we made a list of all the Television channels in India, it would be a never ending list.
• Financial Times: The reputed Financial Times has officially declared that their Digital Subscribers now outnumber their print readers and that Digital accounts for half of their revenue.

DMO – Digital Marketing Officer is the need of the hour:

The CMO of tomorrow would need to create a position in his team for a DMO who would report to him / her to stay in tune with the fast changes in media consumption.

The DMO would be given the task of handling all the digital marketing tasks of a BFSI Sector.

Just like the CMO the DMO too would lead a team of not more than 4 to 6 highly skilled people from a Digital Marketing background.

The composition of his team could be as below:
• Webmaster – Handle the website and ensure seamless experience both for information seeking and business
• Digital branding manager – Work towards building the brand online, sponsorships, exclusive tie-ups, etc
• Search engine manager – Manage the SEO, SEM, PPC Campaigns for the brand
• Social media manager – Put in place the entire strategy for the brand across social media platforms such as FB, Twitter, LinkedIn, You Tube and Google Plus
• Media manager – Evaluate all the deals being done from a cost and return perspective
• Digital business manager – Responsible for getting business from the website; transactional role

While the benefits of online marketing do not need any introduction let us quickly go through the same:
1. Reach – The reach of the internet has grown by leaps and bounds so finding people and that too your exact target audience is easy
2. A 2 way medium – The internet is known for being an engaging medium and allowing a brand to interact with their users
3. Measurable – The internet is a measurable medium and an activity done online can be tracked effectively. However owing to this benefit the expectations from the medium are far too many thereby at times defeating the purpose
4. Cost – The costs involved in running an online marketing campaign are far lower than running an offline campaign on mediums such as television, print, outdoor, etc. A typical conventional marketing plan for 4 to 6 weeks would entail a spend of 6 to 8 crores or more but a online campaign of a similar nature can be done in 50 to 70 lakhs

The above online campaign would be far more effective than the offline campaign on multiple parameters such as reach achieved, targeting, engagement, etc.

Critical points worth mentioning:
• It is critical for the CMO’s of today to not just understand but also appreciate the role of your Digital Partners be it the agency, portals and others who are a part of the digital eco-system
• Do not dwell to deep into the measurability factor of digital marketing only because everything on digital is measurable
• Keep the digital agency in loop from the day the campaign is being thought through the impact would be very meaningful and digital would then be an integral part of the campaign and not an after thought

About the Author: Paurush Sonkar is a Digital Evangelist for the BFSI space with over 9 years of experience across all facets of Digital Marketing. His digital knowledge and domain understanding of the entire BFSI Sector (Life & General Insurance, Mutual Funds & Broking) is impeccable.

He is empanelled with AFAQ’s Campus an initiative by AFAQ’s as a trainer on Digital Marketing and regularly teaches and preaches Digital Marketing at B-Schools. He regularly writes white papers on varied aspects of Digital Marketing keeping the BFSI Sector in mind.

He is a strong believer in the fact that BFSI Sector can scale new heights if they embrace Digital Marketing

He can be reached at paurush.sonkar@gmail.com

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