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Comparison of Marketing Strategies in Banking Industry

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Marketing
Wordcount: 3322 words Published: 9th Jan 2018

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1. Introduction

There has been progress and advancement in the field of finance and business due to the widespread use of information technology. Banking Industry has proved that it is far ahead due to the implementation of several technologies and most of its industries and businesses are doing exceedingly well because of this. In today’s times, when one is interacting with banks and other financial institutions there is a gap in services which is felt by the demanding and upmarket consumer. Due to this banks have had to pull up their socks and turn around their operations by introducing sophisticated means of conducting business. They have hence provided ATMs (automatic teller machines), computer and internet banking, phone banking and banking kiosks are proving to be alternative means to benefit from the banking services in a comfortable and convenient manner.

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According to scholars Wong (1998) and Kimball & Frisch (1997), e-channel, also known as innovative distribution channel or online banking, as per Daniel (1999) or technology-intensive delivery system, says Filotto et al. (1997), is interpreted as the approaches used to deliver financial products using electronic media such as personal computer, the telephone and the Internet, say Dannenberg & Kellner (1998). The ATM as a matter of fact is the most commonly used electronic distribution channel that aids the customers of a bank to conduct their banking transactions, which could be deposits, withdrawal or balance enquiry 24-hours a day. All banks in Malaysia provide ATM services coupled with the phone banking option. As the customer service department has been centralized services such as phone banking, account balance enquiry, instruction to issue bankers cheques and giving standing instructions are services which can be executed for all. Though a call will first reach an automated response system, a customer may want to talk directly with a service representative. The phone banking facility is available 24 hours a day. Some examples are Direct Access of Southern Bank, Tele-banking of RHB Bank and Maybank. Phone banking, or also known as remote e-banking, self-service banking, home banking and office banking, is the third type of e-banking. There is internet banking as well which makes use of the Web. This is a comfortable way of finding out the balance in your account, if you need to transfer funds or request for a cheque book, and make the payment of bill, and can be done at home or while you are in office.

Within three years, marketing companies believe that the financial services business over half of the customers will use the Internet to make themselves knowledgeable about the new financial services, products and search for more information, if they do need it. This number can even go higher in a short period of time. LIMRA’s optimizing Opportunities with Online Consumers (2007) came to the conclusion that around out of 10 online customers, 7 say that they expect to check products, prices, grading and details of the company on the internet. These findings show that there is plenty of opportunity for people to make use of the internet to introduce opportunity within a large number of prospective customers.

As the World Wide Web continues to grow, the expectation of the user and his behaviour are also changing. Potential customers now have the skill to develop content online and play a proactive part in creating and sustaining relationships with companies they are able to find online.

This dissertation aims at exploring the effectiveness of e-marketing in banking industry and its impact on the industry.

2. Problem Statement

In order to increase the customer base, the marketing team of a bank uses content and illustrations in direct mail or ad campaigns to attract and draw customers towards it schemes and products. Of late there has been an increase in tele-callers as well who persistently call and promote the various products available. On the Internet, which is fast-paced in form and function, banner ads and smartly written click-to-pay has become a trap to captivate customers. The other level is keyword buying from Google and other search engine providers, and especially the buying of regional keywords. This one is a fresh technique used to bring the surfer to a website, where he or she will find ways to do business with your bank. The use of technology in the marketing of service industry especially banking industry is not such a new concept. Its been used and have been in use for various countries but it should have a key focus which will be discussed in this research.

3. Research Question

“What is the effective e-marketing tool(s) used in bank industry marketing? Evaluate the comparison between UK and Indian Banks?”

4. Research Objectives

The key objectives of the research are:

  • To evaluate the various marketing strategies used by the banking industry.
  • To study the effectiveness of different marketing strategies used.
  • To examine the various e-marketing methods used by the service industry.
  • To study the effective e-marketing tools used by UK Banks.
  • To study the effective e-marketing tools used by Indian Banks.
  • To evaluate the comparative analysis between e-marketing tools used in UK Bank and Indian Banks.

5. Literature Review

The Meaning of Marketing

Marketing has a two-way definition when it talks comes to discussing corporate activities. Firstly, it is used to adjust its resources on a constant scale so as to satisfy its chosen customers and in doing so to offer social and financial benefits. This is being tagged as marketing concept and stresses on the accountability of senior management to keep an eye on the situation and acclimatize oneself to changing situations. The scholar Levitt (1983), is a promoter of this concept. The other definition is to perceive marketing as a subject of demand management, primarily a technology to affect the behaviour of customer groups. This method is tagged as marketing management and it stresses the accountability of operational management to stage-manage demand in support of the business. It handles the selection of target markets, collection of appropriate offerings and stresses on advertising. According to Anderson (1983), it has many advocates as this been in the thoughts of most marketing theorists to date.

Marketing in Banking

The UK clearing banks have a branch network which is similar the field sales force of a production company. It is through these branches that customers are able to make use of the services of the bank. The branches work as outlets through which the bank’s policies are put forth, its relationships with its customers is tackled and the markets are surveyed and intelligence reports are gathered. Hence the branch and its management seem to be pivotal to any marketing exercise and their behaviour towards marketing an essential element in its acceptance.

It may be debated that technical transformations like cash dispensers, credit cards and other electronic modernization is taking the customer further and further from his branch and he is becoming a stranger with the staff of the bank. The branch of the bank is the main crossing point with the customer and these very alterations are likely to increase the value of the branch as a stage for business development and cut down on its role as a performer of money transactions.Whether marketing in the short term has improved the situation of a company by the results achieved in their branches, management is likely to introduce marketing. In the initial days when bank marketing was introduced in the UK, there were some doubts about the capability of a conventional line of work to acknowledge what appeared to be a different method to take up. The procedure and the concerns linked with the application of marketing to financial services is hence special interest to students of marketing and banking.

Indian Banking Scenario

In the 1960s marketing in banks began in its most conventional form of publicity and public relations. Even though they functioned within the stipulation that there can be only small changes among individual banks, the marketing environment of a bank has since then changed to a large extent. Today banks are facing strong opposition from the foreign, private and public sector banks, and there is a pressure from other financial institutions. Financial institutions are not only better placed statutorily, they provide higher returns and a handy product-mix which offer tax rebate benefits as well. A far as the supervision of their marketing function is there, these companies are better supervised and administered. While, it is discouraging to observe that the immense boost received by the banking sector thanks to nationalization has not been factored in in productivity and profitability, on the other hand, its cost of carrying business has gone up, its bottom line has dropped and the disparity between the anticipated and perceived quality of customer service has also become broader. As a result, the banking sector has been under strong criticism by the Government and the public alike.

In order to make their business environment more positive, in the last few years, banks have adopted various steps which are initiating creative schemes; organizing processes to reduce paper work and delays; introducing teller systems; competent enhancements in the look and feel of the bank’s branches; looking up the model, expert and service branches; offering extra boost to their publicity initiatives; creating customer service bodies at the banks’ offices; carrying out customer relations programmes; establishing customer service departments at the head office of banks; making courtesy weeks/fortnights, customer service campaigns and door-to-door surveys; setting up “May I help you?” counters and placing public relations officers in large branches. These reactions of the bank show that may be they have woken up to a logical way of marketing their financial services, and to think beyond the narrow course of marketing as “publicity and public relations” held so close by them.

UK Banking Scenario

In developed countries, though industrial and consumer goods industries have increased their marketing exercises, service companies and the banking businesses seem to be slow in taking up and enforcing the marketing concept, for case studies in various countries, say Watson (1982), Donnelly & Berry (1981), Lewis (1981), Cramer (1968). To the best of the present authors’ knowledge, there are no researches of bank marketing in developing countries, more so in Turkey. As Turkey becomes more liberalized and industrialized, marketing of bank services becomes crucial to its economic development. Also, data about bank marketing is important for foreign bankers, international monetary agencies, domestic policy makers and overseas businesses which deal with Turkish markets.

Technology Marketing in Banks

The banking industry would not have been so sophisticated and evolved had technology not been harnessed to its maximum. There have been a number of factors responsible for its progress and evolution. Broad economic trends and social forces, toned down by government policy and controls, become the environment within which progress occurs, and the level of oppositions largely decides the rapidity of amendments. Technology is a way to prevail over obstacle and expenses, but in recent years it has become all-embracing and advocated change. It has also been accountable for the rise in superiority of marketing in the supervision of banks.

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There are two factors why only providing a gist of a single banking system at the present time would be insufficient to study the influence of technology. The first is that the application of technology is unequal among countries and period of time, and the other is that technology is growing very fast and will continue to do so. There is a time gap before technological developments are implemented and we need to know what decides this gap. The only way to move forward is by way of a historical study, sketching an outline of the parallel progress of technology and banking operations since the 1950s and perhaps into the future.

Technology and Marketing

It is a well-accepted fact that the value of marketing in dependent on the level of opposition in a certain market. Since 1950s, competition has shot up in all banking markets, and it continues to grow with the existing trend of de-control, which focuses on getting rid of structural barriers between types of institutions and market, while escalating the control for prudential objectives. In this environment and period, the growing worth of marketing departments is not alarming.

Even a perfunctory glance at marketing literature reflects that the contribution of bank marketing has undergone a change in this period. Some writers have typified three different stages through which it has progressed – the first stage was the one in which marketing was restricted to advertisements that reiterated the bank’s strong points; the second was one in which the bank was proactive in marketing its new products; and the last stage began when banks tried to find out and match the actual requirements of the customer. In the first stage there was not much that a marketing department could do, however, in the second and third stages marketing had a powerful role to enact in bank management.

In the second stage, technology took on an important role in bank marketing, with the design of new products. One mode that was adopted was to put up accounts for depositors, which often had a layering of interest rates as per the size of balance or a rate that altered daily and weekly with money market rates. Others offered some connection between two different accounts, perhaps a current account and an interest-bearing account; when the latter account was operated by a building society or savings bank that had little influence to offer current accounts, transfers between the accounts included two institutions. It was typical of banks in the second marketing stage to get lazy and so slow down the customers from making the most of the power to minimise their current balances day by day; in the third phase they are expected to meet the customers’ requirements, but it is surprising how few of them have yet to provide “sweep” accounts so that the current account balance is exactly zero by the end of the day. These features of the new accounts would have been impossible without support from the computer.

The third stage is the one in which marketing becomes the superior part in the strategy of the banks, when marketing departments lose their shine as the bank’s management, at the highest levels especially, must comprise of people who have experience of marketing. It is also a stage in which the method is to fractionalize the retail customer base. Banks which provide payment services can easily beat the rivals on the basis of their computer record of the traits and the financial behaviour of their customers. Technology is hence vital for this stage but it would be wise to remember that technological support for new products and segmentation has been in existence since 1980 in the form of mainframe computers; the only new thing is the addition of new software.

6. Research Methodology

Research approach

The researcher took on a case study method to get a detailed understanding of how e-marketing Industry. As per Denscombe (2000) when emphasizing on one or few research units with the objective of obtaining detailed information, the best method is to take up the case study approach. As per Yin, when the researcher has almost no control over happenings and when the stress in on a certain event in real life and to answer ‘how’ or ‘why’ questions, case study is the preferred method approach.

Case selection

By using random sampling techniques, the researcher found 4 banks which include 2 from each country i.e. UK and India. One public and one private sector bank was chosen for both the countries. As per scholars Hunt & Shelley (2004), a qualitative method makes the researcher grasp and construe the qualitative character of the information. The way forward keeping the qualitative aspect of the study in mind will include an in-depth study and assessment of the existing research and techniques applicable to the specific research problems, involving environmental issues within the marketing mix and policies created by the companies. The purpose is to fully grasp the way the companies create marketing strategies to remain in the competitive market.

Data collection

Primary data:

According to Denscombe (2000), for an in depth knowledge and understanding of the importance of e-marketing strategies in in Bank. The researcher used a face-to-face interview as the most apt method. This would not only enable him to seek information, but also give him an opportunity to seek detailed clarifications on the thoughts. Walshman (1995) had stressed on the advantages of personal interviews as one of the best ways to record the views and aspirations of the interviewee. The researcher faced problems such as limitations on the selective thoughts of one person, inconsistencies due to rigid beliefs of the interviewee, collation of voluminous data, transcription by using this methodology.

To gather information from the interviewee, the scholar has suggested to use the semi-structured interview guide as interview questions would differ as cases had very different strategies. According to Walshman (1995) interviews provide the best way to understand the views of the participants regarding the actions and events, which have or are taking place and the views and aspirations of themselves and other participants. In qualitative approach there is the extra benefit of permitting the researcher to go back to the drawing board and assess the understanding provided by the respondent in more detail as compared to other methods. The interviews will be carried among managers of the companies who are accountable for the creation of green marketing strategies. The researcher documented the responses and also simultaneously recorded them to transcribe later. The researcher will be going for 5-10 interviews from each bank.

Secondary data collection

Secondary data is gathered from different sources such as websites, annual reports, books, journals and articles and case studies. The objective this information gathering is to find out the related data regarding strategies adopted by the Trident Solutions.

Pilot study:

A pilot study was carried out among interviewees to ensure that the terms used are correct and suitable. As per Denscombe (2000, p 135), interview will be held using the face to face approach in order to aid the interviewer to ask questions which were not in the interview guide depending on the respondents answers.

Data analysis

The information was studied using content analysis. After the interview got over, information was cut down to recognize the patterns and themes and obtain a clear understanding. As per Ghauri and Gronhaug (2005) information was explored, studied and classified based on the questions in the research questions. If more information was needed or when new questions arose, then another round of data collection would be conducted.


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