Raffy Semerdjian: “Banks are lacking creativity in their messages”

23.12.2013 | 11:01 Home / News / Articles /

Interview of Management Mix Consulting and Training Company CEO Raffy Semerdjian to Mediamax and Banks.am portal

- The advertising provided by about 20 Armenian banks actually presents almost the same proposals and conditions. This implies additional efforts on part of each bank for conducting an original advertising campaign. Are our banks original in this regard?

- Times are changing and money makes the world go round. Banks need to differentiate and renew the “value proposition” with innovative services and products.

The banks should make customers and their needs the focal point of their business by implementing an innovative communication model that makes them focused on a new and simplified relationship to enhance customer experience and magnetize new prospects.

For most banks in Armenia advertising is still considered a cost rather than a long-term investment for actively communicating with different stakeholders.

The advertising in the banking sector is related to some specific promotions and it lacks a real long-term vision of the main decision makers.

Most of the banks consider themselves product providers and not solution providers to customers.

Proceeding from the advertising policy, Armenian banks can be classified into 4 groups:

- conducting some tactical advertising campaigns;
- making some sponsoring initiatives;
- initiating some occasional promotions;
- developing a real advertising road map, supporting the corporate strategies and vision, communication and marketing policy.

Unfortunately, banks following the last policy are very few in Armenia.

- What are the peculiarities of the bank advertising in general, and shall it also involve elements for enhancing the financial literacy of the population? At the same time, what message should the advertising targeting corporate customers communicate?

- To gain customers’ confidence, banks should communicate such messages as sustainability, growth, confidence, trust, customer service, etc.

At the same time, the tactical message cannot be generic to all the population. Thus, the bank should make a segmentation of target customers and communicate the customized message to the specific categories.

For example the communication between rural and urban customers should be different. Communication between customers receiving different types of services is different.

Banks targeting corporate customers and SME’s should communicate a message that they provide business solution and not only the idea of proposing credits or loans.

Those banks should also provide specific services for corporate directors, where the decision-makers should see their own interest; the communication can focus on the speed of service, quality of service, proactive approach and friendly and professional communication.

- Image advertising also plays a significant role in enhancing confidence in banks. How justified is this approach? Does it contribute to the growth of the bank’s sales volumes?

- In today's competitive marketplace, branding can be the final factor that affects the consumer's decision of where to bank. Whether you are just starting out or an established bank with many branches, branding should be an important part of the business strategy.

Brand building and image building are major challenges for most of the banks in Armenia. Brand advertising helps the bank occupy a space in the mind of people.

For example, HSBC in Armenia is associated with the west, ACBA Credit Agricole Bank is associated with France and Europe and VTB is associated with Russia.

Some of the banks, including the above mentioned ones, have an image of targeting corporate customers, agricultural organizations or businessmen dealing with European, U.S. or Russian markets.  

When branding is done by professionals, it should help increase the business of the bank and attract customers from the target markets. No matter what size the bank is, the ability to influence the brand will help attract and retain customers and build valuable relationships and provide sustainable growth.

- What do you think, do the Armenian banks proportionally use TV, Internet and outdoor advertising? Are there cases when the banks prefer only one of these types of advertising?

- Consumers are more interested in what banks are going to do for them tomorrow, not what they did in the past. More importantly, customers want to know how the change of the brand and which part of their self-identification will resonate with the brand. Hence, the banks’ message has to be actually compelling enough to turn consumers’ expectations into real action.

Banks in Armenia are mainly targeting the TV and what is lacking in their communication message is “creativity”, as most of the banks are trying to generate ideas internally and minimize the cost of professional agencies and even the important role of media production companies.

Other media such as outdoor, radio and especially digital media, along with occasional events, should be used more intensively by banks for transmitting specific messages. Marketing and advertising agencies should initiate events for specific target customers and attract banks with their creative messages.

- How productive are the banks’ marketing solutions in terms of sending advertising messages to the customers?

- The advertising messages sent to target customers should be built on the bank’s long-term vision. It should communicate the values of the bank such as confidentiality, sustainability and trust. Corporate messages have a long-term impact on brand building.

The bank can also initiate some products for specific target customers, and the advertising message should target these specific customers.

For example, there should be specific messages addressed to newly formed families, as they are the target population to get loans for small apartments. Or the loans addressed to plastic surgery patients should target young ladies.

Thus, in different cases, one should identify how to reach the target population.

- Mr. Semerdjian, do the local banks have professional experts whose marketing solutions can give new impetus to the perception of banking services and enhance the quality and taste of provision of business processes?

- Some banks in Armenia have a marketing department supported by an advertising unit, however most of the banks lack professional experts and managers in marketing and advertising.

In this global world, innovative advertising can be exported.

Local agencies need international experts to learn from the global advertising world. In addition, I strongly recommend that specialized courses and degrees should be included in the curriculum of universities even if this implies attracting international experts.  

Raffy Semerdjian was interviewed by Khoren Ormanyan.

Views 8734
Կարծիքներ

Հարգելի այցելուներ, այստեղ դուք կարող եք տեղադրել ձեր կարծիքը տվյալ նյութի վերաբերյալ` օգտագործելուվ Facebook-ի ձեր account-ը: Խնդրում ենք լինել կոռեկտ եւ հետեւել մեր պարզ կանոներին. արգելվում է տեղադրել թեմային չվերաբերող մեկնաբանություններ, գովազդային նյութեր, վիրավորանքներ եւ հայհոյանքներ: Խմբագրությունն իրավունք է վերապահում ջնջել մեկնաբանությունները` նշված կանոնները խախտելու դեպքում:



Smartclick.ai