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Marketing Initiative

Social Media is the real-life barometer of customer sentiment, Axis Bank’s Anoop Manohar

The marketing head opens up the ethos of the bank, the importance of authenticity, why digital media is unique, why Quora is interesting and much more.

The final guest on our series Marketing Thought Leaders features Anoop Manohar, the man spearheading marketing for one of India’s largest banks, Axis Bank. With over 2 decades of experience across The Coca-Cola Company, Hindustan Unilever and PepsiCo, Anoop in a conversation with afaqs! opens up the ethos of the bank, the importance of authenticity, why digital media is unique, why Quora is interesting and much more.

The thought leadership initiative aims to highlight a marketer’s mindset to reach a high-intent audience and the dynamics of consumer behaviour. The series is supported by Quora for Business.

Edited excerpts:

One of the biggest marketing/business goals today is to ‘find buyers who are ready to buy’. What’s your thought and strategy to leverage intent marketing?

Today we are dealing with a customer who is bombarded with information across platforms, 24x7. Therefore, as a bank, establishing credibility before the intent is Important. We need to drive mental availability because that’s when you are able to convert the consumer's intent into purchase.

At Axis, we’re not just about our products and technologies but an indispensable human element is involved, which is our ethos. We’ve coined it as Dil Se Open - which is more than a marketing idea but a part of our DNA.

Our USP is that we bring warmth, care, kindness, openness and intuitiveness to the table. This is what nurtures the consumers’ long-term trust in our brand. Then at the right point, when the intent happens for different products, we appropriately leverage the relevant marketing approach.

Now that the ‘new normal’ trend has settled, what is a shift in consumer behaviour that you have observed with your TG?

The customer today has become a lot more discerning. They evaluate brands not just based on features, price and services. Authenticity is the biggest thing a brand needs today, and there are a lot more tools to evaluate it numerically. It comes from recommendations, experience ratings, reviews, etc. The Indian consumer is intelligent, research-oriented, and is now able to use digital tools in a savvy manner to navigate the marketplace.

Today digital has become a marketer’s favourite in the media mix. What are your thoughts on social media marketing? How can brands drive maximum ROI?

Social media gives you the ability to measure a consumer’s perception. It gives the opportunity to build community and measure the return on engagement. It creates a conversation of the consumers with the brand that was one-sided, but today consumers are part of the conversation And can talk back to brands. It is a real-life barometer of their sentiment, a reason why it’s the favourite part of my media mix.

Lately, platforms like Quora (for business) have gained traction among marketers for its high-intent audience. What are your thoughts on brands leveraging such new-age platforms?

Quora is a platform where consumers come with intent and to gain knowledge and information, and with our category, it is really important to equip them with the right set of data so that they can make a considered choice. It’s a platform where search meets social. It helps us to present our point of view authentically and we use it in an empathetic manner. Along with others, Quora is part of our media mix when we evaluate engagement.

What are the consumer trends that can impact marketing in 2023?

It will be critical for brands to engage with consumers because of the high number of distractions in terms of advertising mediums. Brands that have a purpose and resonate well with the customer will last the course.

Another trend is blending the communication and content as per the customer’s wants. The future is more equitable with more power moving consumers from the brand.

How can brands take a thought leadership position on Quora to communicate their objective in a more integrated and one-on-one approach?

Every chance a brand gets to interact with the consumer is a golden opportunity. Quora gives you that opportunity to build your brand. Any brand can provide an answer but the strategy behind the communication and assisting the consumers with their queries or problems will be the differentiating factor.

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