Ruchika Jha

We use emotive storytelling largely for the digital channel: Sachin Vashishtha, CMO, Paisabazaar

From 'finfluencer' partnerships to ROI metrics, Paisabazaar's CMO sheds light on the intricacies of the brand's financial marketing strategies.

Paisabazaar, the consumer lending marketplace, knows a thing or two about good old storytelling and how to use it across multiple mediums. The brand is currently running a digital campaign on the ongoing ICC Cricket World Cup.

In a conversation with afaqs!, Sachin Vashishtha, chief marketing officer, Paisabazaar, explains why the brand chose emotive storytelling and how Paisabazaar stands out among competitors, lists the marketing strategies for the upcoming festive season, and how it is using its marketing tools to keep the brand’s services reliable among others.

Emotive storytelling vs Alternate approaches

While applying for loans and policies seems transactional, these acts make the consumers feel vulnerable. “Usually, there are aspirations behind taking a loan whether you want to buy a house or car, any emergency, pursue higher education, or business expansion.

Therefore, the emotive storytelling style has served us and other brands quite well. Our emotive story is in line with the brand philosophy - #PaisonSeBadhkar - which highlights that there are few things in life that are more valuable,” says Vashishtha.

With regards to taking an alternate approach to communication, he states that there have been several short-form videos on television where they have also adopted a funny take on the entire process of getting a loan.

To explain it, Vashishtha describes a recent campaign ‘Loan Lene Ka Sahi Tareeka’ featuring actor Aparshakti Khurana. He elucidates, “With the actor, we used a funny approach showing the traditional process of acquiring loans and how Paisabazaar, is helping consumers.”

Today, the battle for garnering consumers’ attention is fierce. With the festive season coming up, brands are opting to devise their campaigns with compelling narratives. Vashishtha says, “Our emotive storytelling approach is largely for the digital channel whereas the short-form and funny ads are for the television.

Our recent long video campaigns highlight human relationships and how, as humans, we help each other. The core is always humanising the brand. We take cues from real-life customer stories, talk about who they are and how they manage their finances which makes it relatable for viewers and target audience.”

Do good campaigns result in ROI?

A campaign that is backed by a strong push on media channels generates high ROI. “It can be calculated during the immediate time window,” Vashishtha explains.

The brand is able to correlate website visits to its TVC viewing.“It is evident that people usually have mobile phones in their hands and once they come across a commercial, they tend to check about the product they are attracted to.

Apart from that, there is a consistent shift and growth in our brand searches on Google and traffic that comes directly to the platform through free channels. This is largely because of the advertising and the brand we are running.”

The festive season is a good time for the entire lending industry, observes Vashishtha. Talking about Paisabazaar’s marketing plans for the upcoming festive season, he notes, “As a brand, we are and will be active across all channels. We have taken up sports. We will also be marking presence in impact events in December and January.”

As the festive season collides with the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2023, Vashishtha notes that the brand is allocating a substantial budget to advertising during the event, recognising cricket as an effective vehicle for promotion. “We have released our ad campaign on Disney+ Hotstar as we believe that the platform is a good fit when it comes to our target audience.

It is difficult for a person to glue himself/herself to the television during a 50-over match but watching the same on mobile is feasible. I believe people in tier-1 cities are watching Hotstar through connected TVs.”

Dealing with emerging competition

With the surge in spam messages and calls related to issuing credit cards and loans, people have developed a tendency to overlook such communications.

There is also a prevalent inclination to ignore or dismiss financial advice, fueled by concerns about potential risks. Vashshitha comments, “Brands like ours try to educate and make people aware of the risks involved and also how to identify a spam message versus a genuine one. We always try to communicate our best practices in all forms of content.”

Onboarding influencers and ‘finfluencers’

When it comes to selecting influencers, credibility is paramount. Discussing influencers in the financial domain, commonly referred to as ‘finfluencers’ and their reliability, Vashishtha states, “There are qualified creators who are CA or have adequate education in the financial field and I believe they would be a good medium to communicate with our audience.

However, those in search of financial support are often confused when they come across content creators endorsing financial services despite their lack of relevant knowledge or experience in the domain.

These creators source information from the internet and make a video, contributing to the dissemination of misinformation. We try to judge such people before collaborating with them on the basis of their credibility and the content they are creating.”

The process of engaging influencers or celebrities is a deliberate and thoughtful one. Opting for a Bollywood celebrity is a strategic move aimed at garnering immediate attention and leveraging their substantial fan base for the brand's benefit.

Conversely, in scenarios necessitating a more professional and expert perspective, the brand consistently seeks out financial influencers.

“When you do not have the in-house capability of bringing out content, you rely on those influencers who have the in-depth knowledge of financial vertical,” he adds.

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