Neha Kulwal is the Country Manager of Admitad India and a well-known women entrepreneur. During her professional journey of over 9 years, the major big step that has transformed her career was taking over the responsibility of establishing one of the largest international affiliate network Admitad in India.
Tap, tap, done – that, for a growing percentage of Indians, is becoming the preferred way of accessing banking and financial services today. Gone are the long queues, the dependence on paper-based documentation, and the unnecessary and utterly avoidable delays. The ever-increasing integration of digital technologies has drastically transformed processes and workflows in the BFSI sector.
The greater digital influence reflects in the way in which players in the BFSI sector are approaching their marketing strategies. Many BFSI companies, particularly those delivering new-age financial services, are adopting innovative digital marketing tools to reach out to their consumers.
There, however, is a challenge. With smartphone penetration increasing at a rapid pace, consumers are inundated with content on all sides. The sheer volume and choice of content available lead to a sort of content fatigue – which is the end-consumers’ reluctance to engage with any new piece of information – a major hurdle for BFSI marketers promoting niche content and specialised services.
Then, there is the big issue of trust. BFSI products, from credit cards and digital payments solutions to insurance services and personal loans, revolve around financial matters. This creates a growing need for building trust through the BFSI marketing value chain. To drive maximum engagement and favourable marketing results, information has to be communicated for easy consumption and understanding by the relevant audience through targeted content.
How can BFSI brands break through the marketing white noise to reach their preferred audiences? Finding an answer to this conundrum requires marketers in this space to look through a relatively suitable segment: Affiliate Marketing.
Affiliate Marketing: A key growth driver for the BFSI industry
BFSI brands can reap multiple benefits by bringing financial services-focused publishers on board as affiliates. For eg., a finance-based company can sign up with a platform offering various affiliate marketing solutions to promote the BFSI-based company’s services and products, through tailor-made SMS promotions, promotions through telegram, and with specialised content sites and blog portals, owners of which work as ‘affiliates’ to promote the company’s services on their sites. This creates a trust-based, intent-driven ecosystem communicating only the desirable and relevant information to the consumers.
Websites that offer loan comparison services to visitors allow consumers to zero in on the loan product that best suits their specific requirements. Similarly, mailer inventories can be leveraged to gain access to a quality database of transacting customers, who regularly opt for insurance and loan offerings, travel insurance, etc. Since users typically visit such online publishers with an intent in mind, there is a ‘contextual’ element involved with such an endeavour. As one might want to apply for a loan, a relevant and useful insight on which digital payments app to choose for overdraft services, or sign up for which insurance policy or bank account becomes very important. Affiliate channels complement user decision-making by delivering relevant information and drive users to the desired action.
Financial brands have the flexibility to design custom KPIs for their affiliate campaigns, such as quality-assured leads, audience targeting, geo-targeting, and genuine databases of convertible customers. They are also only required to release affiliate pay-outs once these KPIs have been met, making affiliate marketing a low-risk, highly-rewarding proposition for them. It is because of such end-to-end value addition that affiliate marketing delivers a significantly better cost per acquisition than other digital marketing channels, such as biddable platforms, and currently accounts for around 15% of the sector’s total digital spending in the BFSI sector.
‘Affiliating’ in the BFSI sector: How partnering with affiliate networks can drive better outcomes
Like any other marketing channel, affiliate marketing operations require specialised skill sets and domain-specific expertise backed by a cutting-edge technological infrastructure and a strong talent pool. This is exactly where leading affiliate networks step into the picture to help BFSI companies to tap into the massive – and growing – opportunity that India’s digital consumer base represents.
Armed with advanced tech capabilities, deep market insights, and strong teams of domain experts, these affiliate networks streamline the process of onboarding and managing affiliate partnerships for financial brands. An affiliate platform shares useful insights with its clients on what can be the best CPA rates for them and how they can optimise their campaigns. Using affiliate platforms, BFSI marketers can track affiliate performance in real-time and across multiple devices and browsers. Not only does it enhance a campaign’s success rate, but an affiliate platform also addresses issues related to ad attribution, performance analysis, and transparency. Constant feedback from the target audiences streamlines marketing processes and drives agile campaigns that quickly deliver better results.
In the BFSI domain, an informed consumer is an empowered customer. They are more inclined to browse through different offerings, make purchase decisions, consume services, and talk about them to others. Given this backdrop, it is little wonder that affiliate marketing is emerging as one of the most valuable and cost-effective avenues for Indian BFSI companies to tap into the massive digital opportunity on the horizon. Most players in the space are already using various affiliate channels to complement their larger digital marketing strategies.
Insights delivered by affiliate platforms ensure that BFSI brands can improve conversion rates by targeting the right customer at the right time, with the right message and through the right channel. As more new-age channels get added to the affiliate marketing value chain, partnering with the right affiliate network will not just become a key business differentiator – but a non-negotiable requirement.