Kranti Ranjan on heading the marketing division at Yes Bank
Marketing is an essential function for any organization looking to drive growth and build a strong brand presence in today's competitive marketplace. As digital channels continue to proliferate and consumer behaviors evolve, marketers face new challenges and opportunities to connect with audiences and drive meaningful engagement.
To gain insights into the latest trends and best practices in marketing, Rishabhh Shekhar, CEO, and Co-founder at Pepper Content talks to Kranti Ranjan, Senior Vice President- Marketing at Yes Bank. Whether you're a seasoned marketer or just starting in the field, there's plenty of valuable knowledge and advice to be gained from this conversation.
1. Please tell us about your journey.
I began my career in 2006, right after completing my MBA. Initially, I started in sales and then transitioned into marketing. Back then, search engine optimization (SEO) was the key focus. Nowadays, the landscape has changed, and we are seeing content in a new light. There are new challenges and tasks to tackle.
I believe that the marketing journey and the content journey are merging, which presents a lot of exciting opportunities. There is still much to be done, but I'm enjoying the journey so far.
2. Can you please tell us more about the major responsibilities that fall under your purview at Yes Bank?
I am responsible for marketing retail assets at YesBank, which primarily involves loans. My role encompasses both online and offline marketing of our retail loan products. I handle both online and offline marketing efforts. I started my career in 2000 as a traditional marketer before branching out into other areas of marketing.
As I mentioned earlier, there's a thin line between advertising and content in today's world. Consumers are looking for good content that they can relate to, which makes it essential to ensure that our marketing efforts have relevant and relatable content. After all, as a marketer, my goal is to communicate with potential customers and ultimately drive their behavior. Content plays a crucial role in this process. If we are unable to drive consumer behavior through our content, then our efforts are ineffective.
3. What strategies does Yes Bank employ to manage its brand perception while utilizing content marketing, especially given the common perception of the BFSI sector as being boring?
Without being too specific about a particular brand, I can share my perspective on how things are changing in the marketing landscape. In the past, there were only a few mediums, such as TV, radio, newspapers, and magazines, which were all mass-focused. Advertisers would bombard consumers with different types of content, I think we all have seen those iconic NIRMA soap ads.
Today, however, marketing has become more personalized and targeted toward what the consumer wants. Rather than bombarding them with irrelevant ads, brands are now creating content that is tailored to their interests and needs. This has led to an increase in spending on content marketing. Social media has also played a role in the evolution of marketing. Rather than directly pushing products, brands are now using passive content to educate consumers on the different aspects of their products, such as how to use them or their benefits. This approach allows consumers to make informed decisions, and if they are interested, they can consider purchasing the product.
Whether it's an FMCG brand, BFSI brand, or any other brand, we are ultimately talking to the same set of customers with different objectives. The key is to find that match, and if we do, we are successful. At the end of the day, it’s the product that matters more than the industry it belongs to.
For example, let's consider an organic clothing brand. If they were to create long-format content like an ebook, it may not be the most effective way to engage their audience . Instead, they need engaging video content and partnerships with influencers. The type of content and marketing strategy that will work depends on the product and target audience. As marketers, we need to tailor our approach accordingly to achieve success.
3. There are two parts of content marketing - quantity and quality. What's your opinion on this? Can a business's SEO rankings suffer if they focus too much on creating high-quality, niche-focused content at the expense of quantity?
I believe it's essential to focus on what customers are looking for rather than constantly chasing Google's ever-changing algorithm. While it's important to understand how Google ranks websites, keywords, and ranking are important, relying solely on keywords won't guarantee long-term success. Instead, creating content that satisfies the customer's actual concerns and interests is the key to effective marketing.
The challenge now is that every brand is focusing on creating content, making it harder to stand out from the crowd. To differentiate yourself, finding a niche segment is crucial. However, entering a niche segment is easier said than done.
For instance, in my previous organization, we sold insurance products that customers often found confusing. But by creating content that simplifies the product's features and benefits, you can help customers understand the product and buy it for the right reasons. Therefore, while the products themselves are very similar, talking about how the product satisfies the needs of the customer is more important than anything else.
4. What are your thoughts on the debate between outsourcing content creation and using in-house services, and how does Yes Bank approach this?
I believe there needs to be a balance between outsourcing content creation and working with an in-house team. The marketing team may not have the same level of expertise as professional content creators, and similarly, product teams may not have the skills of content writers. Therefore, outsourcing to experts may be necessary for better results.
However, brand checks and balances should always be in place to ensure the content aligns with the brand's vision and values. Ultimately, the briefing has to be right to ensure that the outsourcing process runs smoothly. While tech may play a big role in the future, I still believe outsourcing to experts is necessary for quality content creation.
5. How do you see the marketing landscape evolving over the next five years, and what emerging trends do you believe will have the greatest impact?
It's interesting to see how consumer behavior has changed over the years. In the past, brands would go to the consumers, but now, consumers are taking charge by searching for products online. The shift is largely due to technology, and it's making consumers more informed about their choices. When I'm in the market for a new phone, I’ll do hundreds of Google searches to find the right product that fits my requirements.
This behavior change has also led to a shift in the way people consume information. While people used to read content, now videos are becoming increasingly popular, and influencers are playing a significant role in influencing buying decisions.
The consumer is more informed than ever before, and only those brands that can capture what their customers are willing to pay for and why they want to buy their product will survive in this new era.
There's a lot of buzz around AI and its potential to replace normal writing. While AI may not be able to replace humans in the short run, it could be the future in the long run. However, it's crucial to note that AI needs to have EI (Emotional Intelligence) to be truly effective. Moreover, in today's fast-paced world, speed is everything. There are many trending topics relevant to your industry and product that you need to keep up with, or else you risk missing out on opportunities. I believe that AI is working closely with marketers to meet their needs. However, it remains to be seen how successful these efforts will be.
Currently, many AI tools are scraping content from other web pages to create content, which is not a win-win situation in the long run. But if a path-breaking AI tool is developed, it could revolutionize the content creation industry.
6. What final piece of advice would you give to someone just starting in marketing?
I believe that the content team should not solely focus on pleasing Google's algorithm. Instead, they should prioritize understanding what the customers want and write content accordingly. I always suggest the same to my team as well.
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