Table of Contents
Digital Marketing for Mutual Funds in India. 2 Understanding the Customer Segments of Millennials in Metros and T-1 Cities: 3 Avenues of Investment for the Urban Millennials. 3 Winning Customers using Digital Marketing – The AIDA Model 4 How can Mutual Fund Houses Leverage Digital to drive Awareness and Interest about Mutual Fund products? 5
- Using Social Media. 5
- Search Engine Optimisation. 5
- Blogs. 6
- Online Reputation Management. 6
- Sign up for Emails. 6
- Display Campaigns and Retargeting. 6
- Webinars. 6
- Bridging the online and offline world. 6
According to a survey of fund houses by SEBI, the biggest challenge faced by mutual fund houses in selling MF products is: Lack of information and financial literacy among investors The traditional route to selling MF has been through distributors in different regions. However, lack of quality distributors has been an impediment. What are the typical challenges faced by a potential investor:
- Lack of financial literacy
- Too many fund houses and schemes
- Fear of losing money due to stock market movements
- Lack of 1-1 connect with fund houses/distributors which do not help build trust
- Forceful selling by distributors vs education
- Financial Services are intangible which poses a challenge for an investor to understand and grasp the benefits
Largely, retail investors in India, especially the boomers prefer investing in LIC, PPF, FD, RD and Post Offices. The “false” sense of security given through assured returns is one of the reasons why people tend to choose these financial instruments. And this “financial wisdom” is passed onto next generation, the millennials, who end up investing and saving money on these instruments. This poses a big challenge for MF houses – How do you educate millennials (between ages of 18-40) to invest in MF products and unlearn the financial knowledge that they have grown up with? This brings us to the use of digital marketing effectively to connect and educate the masses who in turn will influence their network. The fact that millennials are online and are using social channels for day to day lifestyle is well established. From finding restaurants, recharging mobile/DTH connections to purchasing electronics, books and apparels, millennials are using mobiles and social media to trust and engage with brands and making a purchase. Then how can we use digital marketing channels effectively to educate the customers?
Understanding the Customer Segments of Millennials in Metros and T-1 Cities:
|? Young Bachelors ? Smallest Families to Support ? New jobs (<2-3 years) ? Indifferent to various social and political issues ? Does not Save much ? Active on social media channels such as Whatsapp, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and Twitter||? Well-established jobs ? Expenses more than income ? Lifestyle-driven ? Social ? Opinionated ? Spends more using credit cards ? Active on Snapchat, Whatsapp, Instagram and Facebook||? Well established jobs ? Savings mind-set ? Strong opinion on social and political issues ? Practical in nature ? Mostly married/divorced ? Active on Facebook and Whatsapp||? Well established jobs/business ? Mostly married ? Very high monthly household income ? Willing to take risks ? Adopters of modern technology ? Believe in consumer rights ? Active on Facebook and Whatsapp|
|Fixed Deposit (very high)||Fixed Deposit (very high)||Fixed Deposit (very high)||Fixed Deposit (very high)|
|NSC KVP||NSC KVP||NSC KVP||NSC KVP|
|Stocks and Shares (low)||Stocks and Shares (very low)||Stocks and Shares||Stocks and Shares (low)|
|Post Office||Post Office||Post Office|
Figure 2 - Avenues of Investment for Urban Millennials Based on research – Journal of Asia Pacific Economy titled “Psychographic segmentation of Indian urban consumers” Based on the data, we can see that the highest proportion of savings is still in Fixed Deposits and the lowest proportion is in Equity Related Instruments.
From the customer segmentation and behaviour data in Image 1 and image 2, we see that almost everybody is on social media platforms and using online channels and mostly saving in Fixed Deposits and other Debt instruments. This presents us with a golden opportunity to educate customers on the benefits of investing in MF products. We will discuss a 4 Step Model that a Mutual Fund house should follow for this purpose: Figure 3 - The AIDA Model of Marketing Through effective use of digital marketing techniques, Mutual Fund Houses can generate awareness and interest which is currently the biggest challenge – Customer Literacy.
How can Mutual Fund Houses Leverage Digital to drive Awareness and Interest about Mutual Fund products?
Every mutual fund brand has an active social media page where they are regularly putting out content. But how much is it really adding to the overall goal of generating awareness and interest? If we have to nail down 2 sets of customers for a Mutual Fund, they are:
- Aware of the concept of Mutual Fund but not sure which fund/product to invest in
- Aware of mutual fund as an investment mode, but not sure why to invest in them
The way to address this situation is to un-complicate the financial jargons that seem to be the norm in the mutual fund industry. A fixed deposit simply says – Get 6% Fixed Interest rate for an FD on maturity. Nothing complicated to understand. But when it comes to selling a mutual fund product, fund houses resort to phrases such as “beating the benchmark index”. How many of the customers understand what a benchmark index is? Simplifying the communication so that it is easy to understand and grasp within 7 seconds is the key to good messaging. Social Media should be used to communicate in a manner which is easy for people to understand. Also, mutual funds need to create content that is fun and engaging. They should do away with longer videos or complicated charts and graphs. The key is – think like a customer does when he/she decides to invest or save. How does she select an investment product and why? And speak in the language that he/she prefers. Segregate the pain points of each customer segment and attack them in a fun engaging and meaningful way that is easily understood.
Discovery happens on Google, and engagement happens on Facebook. This is the norm of online behaviour over the last few years. There are multiple websites who are reaping the benefits of customer acquisition because of a well thought-through SEO strategy. Unfortunately, most big Mutual Fund brands do not concentrate on SEO at all. A careful combination of keyword research, a business focussed website structure and optimised content can really double the traffic for mutual fund companies.
Corporate blogs are one of the best sources of inbound marketing. Blogs help to educate the customers and make informed choices. Every mutual fund company should invest in content marketing as a channel for awareness and interest generation. Blogs also help in content discovery because of the informational nature of content which people search on Google. Plan out 6 weeks’ worth of content in advance and maintain consistency and regularity.
According to Google data, more than 60% of the people look at what is spoken about a brand online before they make a purchase decision. This data shows how important it is for brands to manage not only their online reputation, but to proactively engage with people even when they are not in the purchase mode. How about using Twitter, Facebook and Quora to discover what people are discussing about on Mutual Funds, and providing a helpful relevant answer to them? It will win their trust.
When you are actively putting out content on a weekly basis and you are able to drive visitors online to your content, should you let them go? Invite them to sign-up for your weekly newsletters on Mutual Fund Education. People love to explore and read stuff for free when there is no obligation. Through consistent blogs and email newsletters, you will get repeat visitors to your blog who will then proceed to step 3 and 4 of AIDA which is about desire and action.
If you are able to drive people to explore your website and your blogs, this means you have succeeded in generating awareness. How about remarketing your products using Display Campaigns on Google Display Network and Facebook? It will drive a strong brand recall and will often get those people to come back to your website. When a person starts engaging with your content regularly, it is a strong signal that you can drive desire and action.
The art of marketing and selling lies in communicating. And what better way to do it than to use webinars to interact with people. It will generate more trust in mutual funds. Webinars are a great way to understand customer challenges and address them. Become a trusted financial advisor to your customer and he will buy from you. If you can do that regularly, do you think customers will prefer buying from another company?
This is missed out by brands as they treat digital marketing and traditional offline marketing as separate entities. When your customer is 1 person, why will you have 2 disconnected strategies to target the same person? Several new age distributors have found tremendous success in conducting roadshows and seminars on financial planning. You can invite people who have subscribed to your email list to attend your seminars. This will be more targeted; you will have a chance to interact 1-1 with your prospect and the chances of sale increase significantly.
Digital marketing is like an SIP. The value is exponential in the long term. It is a marathon where the most consistent and engaging brand wins. Unlike the quick win strategy one uses in Trading, investing in Digital is your sure shot way to beat the benchmark index of marketing success. Happy Marketing! Table of Figures Figure 1 - Customer Segmentation in Urban India_ 3 Figure 2 - Avenues of Investment for Urban Millennials 3 Figure 3 - The AIDA Model of Marketing_ 4 Figure 4 - Communication Strategy Using Digital Channels 5