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A beacon for customer engagement

Explore emerging dimensions of marketing metrics with a trio of marketing experts: Azmat Habibulla, Jt GM & CMO at South Indian Bank, Sreekanth C K, Head – Marketing & PR at ESAF Small Finance Bank, and Suneel Yadav, Head – Marketing & Distribution at Ummeed Housing Finance:

In the financial arena, where every institution jostle for attention of prospects and customers, success does not depend solely on interest rates or loan packages. Success calls for crafting a compelling narrative story woven with the threads of data and metrics that encompasses clicks, conversions, and ultimately, customer loyalty.

Today, financial space is a packed market, with every vendor shouting their wares for your attention. But what truly cuts through the noise is a story that resonates with your needs and desires, honed with multiple data points and delivered with precision. That story emerges from data-driven marketing, which converts numbers to a language that connects the institutions and their audience.

Now, throw in Generative AI and the market transforms like a kaleidoscope with each passing day. Relying solely on intuition or gut feeling is the surest way to get lost. Generative AI is taking marketing up several notches from primarily attracting customers to understanding them, anticipating their needs, and building loyalty through impactful stories.

Strategic Unity of Metrics

A report by BAI emphasizes deep understanding of customer behavior, market trends, and competitive dynamics. Today’s marketers wield a plethora of metrics, painting a nuanced portrait of the market landscape. Marketing metrics help turn a rifleman into a sharp shooter.

Azmat emphasizes the importance of understanding the audience and tracking key metrics like brand awareness, sentiment, and engagement across various segments. This data-driven approach empowers marketers to tailor messages effectively and choose appropriate channels, ultimately driving campaign success.

Sreekanth echoes this sentiment, highlighting: “Marketing success doesn’t happen by chance. It demands meticulous planning and analysis, grounded in the right metrics. The importance of choosing the suitable metrics is aligned with specific goals, categorized into the ‘3 Es’: Exposure, Engagement, and Efficacy.” He further emphasizes the significance of Incremental Return on Investment (IROI), which measures the additional business generated specifically due to marketing efforts.

Suneel opines on marketing metrics: “Setting objectives and the KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) is the most important step of any marketing campaign. Metrics for a brand campaign will not be the same for a performance campaign. Similar is the story when you use different mediums to implement the campaign. The campaign is primarily measured on Cost and Effective Delivery of the objectives that were set. Therefore, Payback and ROI related metrics are the ones that are always kept in mind while planning a campaign. This helps in strategic planning as it gives a very clear view on the long-term and short-term delivery and the associated costs.”

Navigating the Digital Deluge

In an era where digital channels reign supreme, banks grapple with a deluge of data. Standard Chartered and Meta’s groundbreaking partnership, as reported by South China Morning Post, exemplifies the synergy between traditional banking prowess and cutting-edge technology. Regional banks doubling down on digital strategies are poised to reap the rewards of this revolution, as highlighted by Banking Exchange.

Azmat emphasizes marketing metrics while planning various campaigns: “At South Indian Bank, we understand that customer acquisition is just the first step. That’s why we focus on measuring the efficiency of our acquisition efforts through metrics like cost per lead and account openings. But even more importantly, we’re committed to building lasting relationships with our customers. We use tools like Net Promoter Score (NPS), satisfaction surveys, and digital transaction data to gauge customer engagement and identify areas for improvement. Ultimately, our goal is to cultivate loyalty and unlock upselling opportunities by providing our customers with an exceptional experience that keeps them coming back for more.”

Sreekanth emphasizes the importance of the Customer Acquisition Cost Payback Period in budget planning. This metric reveals how quickly revenue from new customers recovers the initial acquisition costs. Additionally, an in-depth incrementality assessment acts as a guide for budget decisions by providing a clear understanding of the true impact of marketing activities on revenue, beyond organic growth. In the digital advertising landscape, key metrics like Cost per Click (CPC) and Cost per Mille (CPM) directly influence budget allocation, ensuring spending is optimized based on the cost-effectiveness of clicks or impressions. Finally, the Marketing Efficiency Ratio takes center stage, serving as a benchmark for comparing revenue to costs and guiding adjustments to optimize resource utilization.

These refined metrics collectively offer marketers valuable insights into campaign performance, empowering them to strategically allocate resources, fine-tune strategies, and ensure budget alignment with broader financial objectives.

A Symbiotic Relationship

All three leaders agree that marketing and financial metrics are not isolated entities but rather two sides of the same coin. Habibulla stresses the importance of merging marketing metrics like brand awareness with financial indicators like ROI and CAC to gain a holistic view of marketing endeavors. Yadav highlights the synergy between marketing metrics like customer acquisition cost and financial metrics like gross margins, enabling informed decision-making and efficient budget allocation. This integrated approach ensures that marketing efforts translate into tangible financial outcomes.

“Engaging different customer segments demands distinct approaches. For existing customers, metrics like Customer Retention Rate, CLTV, and Net Promoter Score track loyalty and satisfaction. For prospective customers, Lead Generation Metrics, Cost per Lead, and Conversion Rate assess the effectiveness of campaigns targeting new leads. Social media engagement and conversion funnel metrics provide further insights into different stages of the customer journey,” commented Sreekanth.

Generative AI Revolution

The impact of Generative AI on marketing metrics is a topic of much discussion. Habibulla believes: “Integration of Generative AI won’t replace existing metrics; rather, it will enrich them with deeper insights and granularity. This adaptation necessitates adjusting measurement frameworks and fostering a data-driven culture to fully leverage the AI revolution in the Indian BFSI space.”

What does she foresee: “AI-driven personalization will unveil an array of micro-metrics, including individual engagement scores, sentiment analysis for specific content, and hyper-local campaign performance. Traditional attribution models may face challenges as AI streamlines processes and reshapes customer journeys. A transition towards multi-touch attribution and AI-driven insights for campaign optimization and ROI measurement is anticipated. Proactive engagement and personalized interventions will be enabled by predictive analytics, shifting the focus from measuring past actions to predicting future ones.”

Sreekanth predicts a shift towards metrics that emphasize personalized engagement, real-time adaptation, ethical considerations, algorithm performance, and the direct contribution of AI to revenue. He adds “Generative AI offers exciting opportunities for opportunity identification, idea generation, and real-time marketing, ultimately leading to efficient resource allocation and improved marketing ROI.”

Yadav takes a more cautious approach: “I see Generative AI making an impact on marketing with work related to data, content, and campaign-based intelligence. It helps the existing marketing operations and therefore does not affect the existing marketing metrics. Organized and extracted well, it can help provide real time outputs and comparisons for marketing dashboards. However, I don’t see different metrics emerging because of Gen AI.”

Yadav does not see any new fundamental metrics emerging because of Generative AI but more of Before Gen AI and After Gen AI. “Gen AI will lead to better results in terms of Efficiency, Data Intelligence, Speed to Market, Creative options and results, Campaign testing and management,” he avers.

In Conclusion

Imagine finance marketers peering through a kaleidoscope – each turn reveals a fresh perspective on the data landscape. These metrics aren’t just cold, hard numbers; they’re the vibrant pulse of strategic planning, annual budgeting, and the future marketing. It’s no secret that savvy players who can decipher this data symphony will waltz into the future with confidence, agility, and a strategic swagger.


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