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The finance sector will see a watershed year in terms of spends: Karthi Marshan

Adgully is back with a new edition of its annual feature – TRENDING NOW – where we present the strategies and views of a cross-section of industry leaders as they go about reclaiming lost time and market opportunities and build for a stronger future, armed with the lessons of the pandemic period.

Over the next few weeks, Trending Now will bring insights from industry leaders on how their organisations are gearing up to seize the opportunities in 2022, break through the Covid disruptions and find growth and remain resilient.

In conversation with Adgully, Karthi Marshan, President & Chief Marketing Officer, Kotak Mahindra Group speaks about his expectations for the finance sector in 2022, as well as the challenges and opportunities in the year ahead.

Also Read : The battle for customers’ attention has never been more fierce: Divya Karani

What are the trends that you expect to dominate in your sector in 2022?

I expect a lot of foolish players attempt to chase the key impact properties and price out the traditional bidders in the year ahead. So, I expect to see a slew of new and unheard of brand names to be launched with huge fanfare. I also expect a large number of them to fizzle out after just one outing, when they either run out of money before they gain market traction, or when they find they have to pivot because the market wasn’t where they thought it was.

What are the challenges and new opportunities that you see emerging in the year ahead?

The financial sector is abuzz with hundreds of start-ups jostling for mind space. I think the key challenge will be differentiation and hence, sustainable share of mind that leads to trial and market share. The key benefit promised by most financial brands is just one of the three – ease, growth or savings. Differentiating on these core category attributes with hundreds of competitors will prove a lot more difficult than it felt while drawing up plans on the proverbial paper napkins.

Conversely, I think the brands that are able to raise the conversations one level higher from these category attributes, and truly bring behavioural economics insights into product design as well as communication, will stand out, and win.

How strong will this sector’s growth be compared to the last two years as well as the pre-COVID period?

The finance sector will see a watershed year in terms of spends. Like I said before, new brands flush with VC money will spend like there’s no tomorrow. The previous two years were relatively subdued because the key spenders were seasoned players who were conservative in response to the impact of COVID on the economy. What will surely change this year is that the new kids on the block will define the spend levels.


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