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How Sustainability Marketing can elevate Financial Service Institutions brand reputation and revenue

Sustainability, green economy, are not just buzzwords anymore. They hold a deeper value, and in last couple of years especially during and post-pandemic, a large section of population has realized the importance of incorporating sustainability in their day-to-day life rather than just it as a concept buried in textbooks.

People have become sensitive to the environment, and they want to do business with firms who are sustainable at the core and offer sustainable products and services. According to a study Gen Y and Z are ready to pay more to purchase an environmentally sustainable product. This holds true for many industries especially Financial Services. Here are a few numbers to understand the impact.

  • 62%of customers want more information about their carbon footprint so that they can reduce their impact on the planet.
  • 55% of customers wouldn’t use a bank that held assets or investments in companies which are majorly contributing to climate change.
  • 43% of customers would switch to a bank that would allow them to see the environmental impact of purchases on their bank accounts.
  • 70% of customers said they would be more likely to choose a bank that had a positive social and environmental impact.

Financial Services leaders must take a proactive approach; be ready to put green products and services on the table, to sustainable banking-hungry next gen customers. For example, green funds, green indexes, green advisory services etc. They should promote these solutions/services along with building a strong corporate sustainability profile. After all who will believe in an institution which offers sustainable product but do not practice sustainability.

While many Financial Services firms have started these journeys, they need to position themselves to different stakeholders about their sustainability initiatives. And Marketing will play a strategic role to position the financial services institution in the right light to build relationships with consumers while letting them know that they are important and so are future generations. And to do so, the focus will be on

  • Driving Corporate Brand Reputation
  • Design Sustainable Products
  • Devising Sustainable and Greener communications
  • Increasing Digital Footprint
  • Employee Advocacy
  • Consumer Advocacy

All said and done, to take on this giant, Financial Services will need to lean on a mechanism where they are able to communicate effectively and position themselves as Leaders who are taking the right steps to create a greener economy. They will now need to promote a mission, not a product or service.

To help Financial Services achieve their goals and spread the word, they can work on a six-point methodology as outlined below.

  1. Discovery - Make your customers aware about sustainable products through different digital mediums/Channels
  2. Evaluation - Evaluate the discovered products and services vis a vis competing products/services as well as the environmental impacts it creates.
  3. Commit - Reassure consumers and limit friction now of purchase through giving a seamless experience across channels.
  4. Participate - Nudge customers across different channels through innovative messaging to enforce sustainability into their behavior.
  5. Actualize - Once the customer is convinced to buy, Financial Services should not leave the customer at that point rather they should continuously communicate the benefits of their purchase through different ways to keep them engaged.
  6. Advocate - Once the customer starts enjoying your products and gets benefits of different products or services, Financial Services should go a step ahead and make their customers as well as employees their brand advocates for all their sustainability initiatives so that they can start influencing other customers as well.

In the end, we do not see this as the ‘Future’, but rather as the present where it’s just a matter of time we become a part of this culture and contribute to make the planet greener.

 

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Sweta Agarwal

Sweta Agarwal

Digital Marketing Consultant

Tata Consultancy Services

Member since

24 Mar 2023

Location

Bangalore

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This post is from a series of posts in the group:

Marketing in Financial Services

Looking at the unique challenges and opportunities of marketing in Financial Services and Fintech


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