‘We have maintained 95% customer retention & seen a spike in our NPS’

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Manu Prasad, CMO, Scripbox, discussed the company’s altered marketing strategy, advertising spend, brand messaging, and more

Investment app-Scripbox last year announced that it will soon enter the UAE and Singapore markets, marking its first international ventures. Founded in 2012, the company now has over 1 million subscribers and allows users to invest in mutual funds and equities by offering various investment schemes.

Despite various challenges posed by Covid, the company has continued to engage consumers through it all. exchange4media catches up with Manu Prasad, CMO, Scripbox to understand how the brand has altered its marketing strategy through the past couple of months, its spends on advertising and more. Prasad shared that the company is focused more on its brand messaging and customising it based on where the customer is in the purchase journey. He also opened up on how the company is staying on top of the digital game.

Edited excerpts below:

How has Scripbox altered its marketing strategy and reached out to consumers in such volatile times? How has it affected market sentiment?

While the pandemic is by definition a health crisis, it also has an impact on the economy at large, and personal finance. All of this resulted in fear and uncertainty, which was reflected in the volatility seen in the stock market. As our customers’ trusted wealth managers, our approach was to find different ways in which we could reassure customers.

We created multiple digital tools (e.g. Financial Health Checkup, “Am I Doing Ok?”) that helped customers determine their level of preparedness and take action where required. The aim was to restore some sense of calm, and instill confidence so that they would take the right financial decisions and not jeopardise their long-term plans. In addition, we also conducted webinars with experts from the industry like Raamdeo Agrawal and Monika Halan whose experience offered excellent perspectives to our customers.

Our recent marketing campaigns have focused on being empathetic, helping assuage customer worries, and not using fear as a driver. For instance: #FreedomFromWorry (around Independence Day) was based on the positive things that were helping people cope – time with family, hobbies and interests, etc.

All of these efforts have resulted in upward trends in brand search volumes, and higher preference scores in the brand track studies we conduct periodically.

What has the impact of the altered landscape and company strategy been on business so far?

If we go by business financials, our customers have appreciated the initiatives we undertook and now trust us even more. While the markets have been choppy, and the industry has largely seen outflows of investments, we’ve not just maintained our retention rate of 95%, but have also seen a spike in our NPS, as well as recorded highs in both Assets Under Management (AUM) and revenue.

What are the marketing mediums that the company has been most bullish on leveraging?

YouTube has been an area of focus for us. In addition to the webinars, we have quite a few series that help investors make the right decisions in wealth creation and management. For instance, “Investing Biases” focuses on the different biases that skew investment decisions. “A Better Tomorrow” highlights the different aspects to keep in mind when planning for long-term goals like retirement and education. “Frequently Unasked Questions” uses a storytelling approach to bring out the often unasked questions that have an impact on one’s investments.

In terms of owned media, our blog has been quite popular with our customers – existing and potential. It currently has thousands of posts on personal finance and wealth management. We use Facebook extensively for marketing this content. We also revamped our monthly newsletter to our customers to add a storytelling layer to the market commentary.

Another initiative that has really rocketed recently is our Money Skills programme, which we run for corporates to improve financial literacy at the workplace. This has now shifted completely to a digital format and in the last year, we have conducted over 200 sessions across 100 corporates, attended by more than 30,000 employees.

How has the media strategy changed over the past couple of months?

Our brand is a digital native, and our choice of media also reflects that. Within digital paid media, though we frequently try out new channels, we’ve focused more on the messaging – customising it based on where the customer is in the purchase journey.

A big focus area for us has been marketing automation. Creating different iterations of customer journeys with multiple variables, and measuring their success, is very important to us since investments are a considered decision that takes a few weeks, if not months. And since the business is built on lasting relationships, this is not just for new business, we do this for existing customers too.

Overall, would you say that the amount you are spending on advertising has stayed the same?

Yes. We took a conscious decision to avoid large format campaigns given the circumstances, but have been continuing our spends on digital media.

What according to you should brands be doing at this moment?

​Each brand operates in its unique context, so generic answers are always difficult. Having said that, there are a few things that brands could think about.

In terms of brand planning, there have been clear changes in consumption patterns, stemming from customers re-evaluating their needs and wants. It is important to understand if and how the pandemic has affected the consumer’s relationship with one’s category and brand. This could play across multiple levels of interaction – from discovery to information-gathering to decision-making and transaction. Are there new intermediaries like a digital aggregator or an influencer? Is the brand prepared for these new journeys?

Exploring this might lead to a requirement for new capabilities and understanding. For instance, digital media options are exploding, should these find a place in your media mix? Now that the internet at large is moving towards “no cookies for you”, do you have a first-party data strategy?

Does this also herald a change in how communication is delivered? Say, a focus on effectiveness over efficiency, empathy over virtue signalling, and signal over noise? Essentially a good time to re-evaluate one’s overall perspectives and approach to brand building.

About the author / 

Misbaah Mansuri

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