The Age of Brand-Bank Marketing: Major Brands Leveraging Banks to Widen Reach

In August 2023, Godrej and Amazon campaigned on two of India’s top banks and the results clearly point to the benefits of brands promoting on banks with maximum reach.
January 10, 2024

Earlier this month, consumer brands Godrej and Amazon marketed on two of India’s top banking platforms. The display banners, which ran on the banks’ mobile applications, garnered up to 10x the expected impressions. This raises the question if partnership between banks and brands is the next big thing. In this story, we discuss this trend and look at the possible reasons and outcomes of such an alliance.

A study by Statista revealed that the number of digital bank users in India is significantly ahead of other countries with 295.5 million users in 2022. Attributing this figure solely to India’s population of nearly 1.42 billion would be an understatement. Especially with the government’s active digitization policies and the technological boom around it.

 In the face of reforms calling for digitization, and customers’ growing expectations, banks could not afford to be lackadaisical. Moreover, the growing competition from NBFCs and neo-banks actively capitalizing on the underserved market segment pushed banks to digitize faster- primarily to onboard new customers while retaining the age-old ones. On top of that, India has achieved internet penetration of nearly 50% recently. Banks saw this opportunity to maximize their digital presence and recalibrate their digital spending.  

What it means for brands and merchants

Brands are aware of these developments and see a great opportunity in leveraging the existing reach of banks and their channels. Yet, when it comes to forming a partnership between banks and brands, it is seldom perceived as hassle-free. With Cheggout, it is exactly that we intend to change.

Besides their reach, there are multiple layers to the relationship that banks have with their customers. These layers are dynamic and are continuously affected by internal and external factors. However, brands considering teaming up with banks to amplify their reach primarily do so because of the reasons we delve into in the following sections.  

 It begins with trust

The relationship between banks and their customers is built upon the foundations of trust. An Ernst & Young survey on the banking industry in 2022 explored how banks are preparing for the future. The study claims that traditional banks and banking systems foster better trust. It lists three primary reasons for this.

1.     All respondents said they are confident that banks will protect their data.

2.     They said banks empowered them

3.     They believed banks helped them achieve their financial goals

 The report also revealed that Indian consumers trust their primary financial relationships (banks) more than the global average, which is especially prominent in the age group 45+. As per the report, the consumers’ long-term relationship with the established players could be the major reason forth is.  

 Traditionally, banking customers looked up to their bank’s branch managers for financial advice. Translating that level of trust to the digital sphere would mean them trusting products and services featured on their bank’s channels. So for brands, campaigning on banking apps can positively influence the consumer’s perception of it.

Driven by intent, willing to keep coming back

The banking audience is largely captive. All their interactions with the bank and its services are intent-driven. This can largely help brands garner undivided attention from these consumers, who are willing to return, engage and transact. With banks going the extra mile to deliver value added services and more accepting of sharing space with brands to deliver those, a partnership of the two is a win-win for all three stakeholders: the consumer, the banks and the brands. Offering solutions prioritizing user experience best practices can actually serve customer requirements and drive engagement sustainably.

Sanitized ecosystem with verified users

Bots and click frauds engaging with online campaigns is a serious issue bugging advertisers and brands. It severely impacts the ad-spend capacity of the brand. According to Cheq, a go-to-market security service provider, nearly 4% of all ad clicks and impressions on Facebook are from bots or non-genuine accounts. It also results in distorted data from such campaigns with potential to derail it completely. So, brands are always looking for an marketing ecosystem devoid of bots and non-genuine users. Banks with their closed systems are shielded from such bot traffic making them the perfect fit for targeted campaigns.

Big data for bigger impact

The scale at which customers interact with banks generates large volumes of data. It was just a matter of time before they capitalized on these infinite streams of information to offer personalized banking experiences. Although in its adolescence, with the increasing adoption of digital banking methods, the data produced by banks is unrivaled in the truest sense.

 Banks collect transaction records, credit scores and have multiple channels to profile its customers based on their earnings and spending habits. While these are instrumental in assessing risks, avoiding frauds, upselling and cross-selling their own products and services, many brands are eager to partner with banks to utilize this pool of data. They seek to provide timely information about products and services to the most relevant section of customers instead of bombarding them. This has always proven potential to accomplish better return-on-investments (ROI) if done right.

How Cheggout fits in this narrative?

Cheggout is a platform connecting brands to India’s most trusted banks. It facilitates brands to marketing campaigns within the bank’s official digital channels by integrating a suite of marketing-tech tool kits. It transforms banking apps into super apps and empowers its customers to access market places, conduct non-banking and banking operations from a single window. Cheggout’s non-intrusive, user experience-prioritized approach is designed for conversion and it is evident from their recent association with Godrej and Amazon.

Delivering results

Godrej Appliances partnered with Cheggout to run a campaign promoting their new range of products. The campaign was targeted towards a partnered bank customers and the offers were displayed on the mobile app. While the estimated impression of the campaign was set at 10 million, it delivered 118.33 million impressions. The clicks were highly intent-driven and the campaign delivered 52,000 new users to the Godrej Website.

Similarly, Amazon partnered with Cheggout to promote their Great Freedom Festival by displaying their banners on the apps of the partner banks. During the two-day campaign, the estimated impression was 4 times the expected number and it delivered 2 times the expected impressions with a high click-through rate (CTR). Amazon received 3 times the expected clicks with the banners displaying on the Bank’s homepage in the forms of banners, story and a dedicated catalog of products within the banking apps.

Looking ahead

Cheggout heavily banks on the fact that personalisation is the key to delivering a top-of-the-class experience for the intent-driven captive audience on the bank channels. To amplify this, Cheggout presently enables brands to reach bank customers in eight Indian languages and plans to add a few more in the coming quarters.

The digital banking ecosystem is rapidly maturing. And the marketing landscape has drastically evolved. It only makes sense for brands to leverage the market reach and penetration of banks to grab more eyeballs. And since banks’ reach is driven by the trust factor which it still enjoys among its majority customers, marketing on banking platforms seamlessly looks like the next big step for brands, big or small.  

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