WhatsApp is the new digital marketing tool: Puneet Gupta, Edelweiss Wealth Management

The wealth management platform Edelweiss Wealth Management (EWM) is 61.5% owned by PAG, one of the world’s largest Asia-focused investment groups, and 38.5% by the Edelweiss Group .

EWM, whose clientele includes business owners and high net worth individuals, has consistently outpaced the market. The firm’s client assets under advisement stand at 1.45 trillion rupees and are growing with a CAGR of 43% from just 185 billion rupees around 6 years ago in 2015.

The company reported revenue of Rs 880 crore and after-tax profit of Rs 180 crore for 9MFY21.

Puneet Gupta, Digital Business & Marketing Head – Personal Wealth, the wealth management arm of EWM, spoke extensively to exchange4media on topics ranging from emerging marketing trends in the BFSI sector to his own marketing strategy.

You’ve launched a new digital campaign – “Don’t Waste”. Invest’. Consumer market companies need to be turned upside down. Do you think your campaign will be able to distract people from offers and discounts?

When we did this campaign, our target was not FMCG companies. These are giant numbers in comparison with finance companies. Our target was ordinary people who are often afraid of investing, mainly for two reasons – they think it’s risky and often give excuses that they don’t have enough money. When we looked at this idea, we realized that most people end up buying more than they need. For example, a man will buy five shirts instead of two, thanks to market offers. With offers and discounts, many people tend to spend more and therefore have no money to invest. Our campaign has highlighted the same to promote investment habits among Indians.

You launched your campaigns on digital platforms, including OTT. This shift of wealth management from traditional to digital platforms is remarkable. Is it meant to broaden the reach among the younger population or is it to create better impact and return on investment than digital offers, or both?

In part, it’s both. We need to look at how the consumer market is changing. Previously, pink papers were the medium. Then people started relying on digital media. Now people spend two to three hours on social media. Digital marketing makes it possible to speak to different cohorts of consumers.

While TV ads would be generic, in digital we can take a targeted approach and build these offering cohorts on an individual basis.

In the recently concluded auction of IPL’s media rights, we saw that TV and digital rights are being sold at roughly the same price. Do you think that digital will continue to develop to the detriment of TV?

Digital platforms will grow faster than other mediums due to increasing internet penetration and cheaper data. In Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities, people usually have two to three hours in the evening to watch TV. However, they are connected to the internet through their mobile all day long when they are at work or working in a store or anywhere. They will be connected to cell phones even in the evening.

IPL still has its own attraction, people watch the games on TV at home, go to restaurants to watch the games on the big screen, and watch in stores and offices. For target marketing, digital media would always be better than television.

What are the new marketing trends in the BFSI space, which is supposed to be challenging from a sales and marketing perspective compared to consumer marketing?

Financial services are largely about educating people. It’s easy to get someone to buy a shirt, but not a financial product. We used to organize a lot of events, but we didn’t know if people would attend or not. Thanks to COVID, which has pushed digital transformation, we can now host webinars that people can easily attend. We can invite a cohort of 10,000 people with specific wealth management needs.

Another big trend is WhatsApp, which is becoming a new digital marketing tool. WhatsApp bots are used to educate customers, offer them services and help them enjoy the services. Calling customers and making them angry won’t work now. Webinars and WhatsApp are the new trends.

Additionally, a new Automated Mobile Pages (AMP) tool has arrived. It works like an email and can encapsulate long emails and save your interests. Many innovations help us reach customers without invading privacy.

We provide omnichannel experience ranging from WhatsApp services, notifications, mobile app and email communication. Instead of spamming and irritating people, we communicate with them through their selected platform choice using data. Digital marketing is getting sharper day by day.

How do you leverage these tools for HNI consumers?

We believe in hybrid services, digital platforms and promise to help through personal encounters. It becomes more and more clear. Many HNIs tell us to contact them via WhatsApp only on weekends. Ultra HNIs and High Net Worth Individuals are very specific about timing and platform.

What is your strategy to further develop your brand, especially with women?

Three years ago we launched a “Blue Bindi” program for women. It aimed to give women confidence in managing their personal wealth. Due to COVID-19, the program was low key but we will focus more on the program.

When it comes to brand building, EWM believes in the interests of the customer first. There is a lot of communication with clients, especially when a portfolio is doing well or not.

We are increasing our digital presence. A lot of investments are made in creating digital content for people to understand how to manage their wealth in an easy way.

We also use influencers with a large following base to market certain products.

What is your media mix?

Much of our strength is digital – solely because we are able to speak to specific people and curate content to approach cohorts. Seepage is less.

Within digital, which platform is becoming more important?

We are moving from email to WhatsApp because consumers prefer WhatsApp. New product launches are moving to Instagram. General insurance products for young people are also promoted on Instagram while educational series on structured products are promoted on LinkedIn and Twitter. Thus, our selection of media depends on the type of product and user behavior on that particular platform.

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Cathy W. Howerton