Growth Strategies for BFSI Success ft. Luisa Mazinter

Luisa Mazinter, Chief Growth Officer at Mesh. Trade and 42Markets Group, is a transformative force in global finance. With leadership roles at MMA South Africa, Cube Square Advisory, and TYME, she orchestrates innovation in digital marketing, strategy, and business development. Her extensive experience shapes smarter, more accessible financial markets while her wisdom fuels educational endeavors. In

Growth Strategies for BFSI Success ft. Luisa Mazinter

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    In this podcast episode, Luisa Mazinter discusses the growth strategy for the BFSI (Banking, Financial Services, and Insurance) sector. She emphasizes the importance of understanding customer needs and preferences to drive growth in this industry. Mazinter highlights the significance of data-driven decision-making and the role of technology in implementing effective growth strategies. She also emphasizes the need for collaboration and partnerships to leverage expertise and resources. By focusing on customer-centricity, data analysis, and strategic collaborations, BFSI companies can develop successful growth strategies in a competitive market. Tune in to this podcast episode to gain insights into the BFSI growth strategy and learn how to drive growth in this sector.

    Key Take Aways

    1. Understand the target audience: Digital marketers should have a deep understanding of the BFSI (Banking, Financial Services, and Insurance) sector and its target audience to create effective marketing strategies.
    2. Leverage data analytics: Utilize data analytics tools to gather insights about customer behavior, preferences, and trends. This data can help in creating personalized marketing campaigns and improving customer experience.
    3. Focus on mobile optimization: With the increasing use of smartphones, digital marketers should prioritize mobile optimization to ensure a seamless user experience across devices.
    4. Embrace social media: Social media platforms provide an excellent opportunity for digital marketers to engage with customers, build brand awareness, and drive conversions.
    5. Invest in content marketing: Creating high-quality and relevant content can help establish thought leadership, attract and retain customers, and improve search engine rankings.
    6. Implement SEO strategies: Optimizing websites and content for search engines is crucial for increasing organic traffic and visibility in search engine results pages.
    7. Utilize marketing automation: Automation tools can streamline marketing processes, improve efficiency, and enable personalized communication with customers.
    8. Stay updated with industry trends: Digital marketers should continuously stay updated with the latest trends, technologies, and regulations in the BFSI sector to adapt their strategies accordingly and stay ahead of the competition.

    Read Transcript

    Luisa Mazinter: – One of the key learnings for me was that digital channel when they’re fully integrated in a multi-channel campaign can truly help you amplify, we found this by loving our customers we’ve got brand love and return and that has been consistent AI is going to be a very-very powerful Trend and we really need to get on that train.

    Shelly Singh:- Welcome to the growth genius series brought to you by DMA Asia and infidigit my name is Shelly and I’m your host today our guest speaker is Luisa Mazinter, Luisa is an accomplished executive with 28 years’ experience in formulating and executing marketing brand strategies and delivering bottom line growth for Brands she’s currently group Chief growth officer of the 42 markets group a Specialist fintech Group operating in the financial and Capital Market sector Luisa maintains oversight over the growth strategy for the group’s four subsidiary businesses with a predominant focus on leading the global growth strategy for mesh PV the jewel in the 42 markets crown as a former Chief marketing officer of time bank Luisa developed a disruptive Challenger banking brand and launched it to Market through a series of award-winning campaigns helping the bank acquire 1 million customers in first nine months a world record-breaking time frame for a new digital band a very warm welcome Luisa.

    Luisa: – Thank you Shelly it is lovely to be with you today.

    Shelly: – Great so you have a very interesting career path can you please tell us a little bit about you your background and your current role and your current company?

    Luisa: – Yes of course it’s a long story Shelly um I actually started as a child in the theatre instead of doing musical theatre from a very young age and I think the thing that really compelled me about that was that it was all about authentic storytelling that resonates emotionally with an audience and for me that’s really where I started understanding what makes an audience laugh and cry and feel connected with a story I moved from there my first other job as I called it was for one of the top ad agencies in South Africa which is into a division of theirs called the business Theater Company where really I started to translate some of my performance skills into experiential marketing help to build their experiential marketing Division and a couple of years later I actually branched out into to become an entrepreneur I ran my own marketing consultancy for 24 years and the focus there was direct marketing digital marketing and helping big corporates to create a go-to-market or marketing strategy and all of it was about telling compelling stories while I was running my business I did my MBA and was invited a year or two later to become an adjunct faculty member at my alma mater which was the University of Pretorius Gordon Institute of business science one of the leading business schools in the country and I lectured there for 10 years I lectured on the MBA course a series of electives as well as many executive education courses all on marketing digital marketing customer centricity and innovation I co-authored a couple of academic case studies with my colleagues that I’ve been published across leading Global academic journals throughout the world so I really loved the teaching but then quite a few years later I was headhunted to work with a couple of agencies to help them establish their digital and their Innovation divisions so I was seconded into those agencies for a couple of years and then finally head hunted as the chief marketing officer of time back South Africa’s first digital Bank to launch and the first bank to receive a full license in 19 years it developed a disruptive Challenger banking brand launched it into the market through a series of award-winning campaigns and helped the bank acquire a million customers in its first nine months of operation which was absolutely a world-beating time frame I’m currently as you said a chief growth officer for the 42 markets group and really diving into mesh dot trade which is the group’s blockchain business really about building this institution grade cross asset decentralized financial markets infrastructure platform absolutely amazing business that is going to disrupt the financial markets into the future and I guess surely I’m still giving back I still I learn and I give so I’m very involved with a couple of Industry associations I sit on and chair emeritus of the MMA uh in southern Africa I sit on mirror Mia board and I’m always called on to speak or to moderate panels and workshops and seminars that are focused on Market education I’m also the judge chair for the MMA Smarties Awards in southern Africa so it keeps me going keeps me out of Mischief.

    Shelly: – Wow great great journey so my next question is that you have been working in the banking and finance sector for a long time now can you please tell our viewers that what are the key drivers to bring growth to this sector?

    Luisa: – Oh you know Shelly it’s such an amazing sector to work in I mean if you think about it money is both a very personal and the very public issue for all of us everyone needs it be needed in order to live our lives we need it in order to provide for our families in the best way we can so there’s this huge responsibility for businesses in the financial services sector to provide a trusted and secure place for people to put their money to gain access to their money whenever they need it so that they can buy whatever they need and then very importantly is to enable people to use their money to make money so either through savings or Investments or other forms of services so it all comes back to this very important concept of financial inclusion and belief that economies countries’ economies have a much better chance to thrive and grow when more people are able to participate in it so in the financial services industry generally a bad product or service design has been unfortunately part of consumers reality for so long and we tend to put up with it because we don’t have any other options so my passion is to work with businesses that design and structure Financial products and services that solve customers’ real problems and I’ve been very lucky in my career to be able to do that with a couple of incredible businesses.

    Shelly: – Wow great so you also launched like you know South Africa’s first fully digital Bank in the role of Chief marketing officer we would like to know about how it panned out what was your go-to Market strategy?

    Luisa: – Absolutely so this is the story uh shitty I think the thing that really attracted me to time back and it’s amazing founder is the fact that the mission of the business was and still is to drive Financial inclusion and to broaden the economic participation of all the people in this country by making banking a whole lot more accessible and the underlying point of view of the business is that we really had a unique position that we could unlock the human potential of those who previously hadn’t really had tree access to financial services I think the one the key thing about time is this financial inclusion really was about overcoming this lack of access because there really were challenges in this country for underserved markets and I think that’s consistently felt across most emerging market economies there’s a physical component to it you know you don’t have physical access either because of antiquated KYC or no your customer legislation which actually requires verification of identity physical Presence at a bank to say this is who I am this is proof of residence where I live and a lot of customers in rural areas found it in credit I’m consuming and expensive just to get to a bank branch to prove all of that the other thing is that Financial assets you know the South Africa because banking Market was one of the most expensive in the world at the time that time babe launched and there were a number of reasons for that in markets that are they took worth they don’t have mature credit bureaus the cost of that increased credit risk obviously needs to be passed on by the Banks to their markets and a number of other factors that both you know from a security and logistical challenges that really increased the costs that Banks live with but I think the thing that for me was the most important and got the most of my focus was about emotional access there is when you don’t understand financial services this General distrust of the sector and there were a whole lot of reasons for the market to distrust Banks the high costs the bad service experiences amongst them but we’re were unfortunately the norm so how do we solve this is by actually taking a whole lot of the processes and systems that Banks had normally done manually and digitizing them we designed a digital banking platform and operating model that was actually focused on meeting the unique needs to solve those three major pain points the physical access we introduced a partnership model in terms of retail distribution we parted with one of the biggest retail businesses in the country and put out proprietary kiosks in those distribute in their stores in order to give people physical access to actually open an account which was right there where they shot so we made banking more convenient that way we took out all the complexity that normally goes into opening account improving your identity by integrating with some of the national databases the department of Home affairs to verify your identity Etc which made banking more affordable it took all those traditional manual costs out of the system and then from an emotional access perspective we built a brand that was inspiring and that was trustworthy and that was the job I was tasked to lead I mean we had a very big job to do in variable time we had to introduce us completely a new brand into the market established sufficient credibility as a newcomer in the market to make people feel they could trust us with their partner and money that’s a tough ask when you’re dealing with competitors who’ve been in the market for over a hundred years and suddenly this new Young upstart who’s coming in and saying well yes you can trust us so we had to disrupt the market we had to create this differentiated and refreshing identity and brand voice that would stand out from the Clutter so yes that was the big challenge that faced us we also wanted to create a brand that was worth talking about and that would really deliver on the promise of recognizing people’s potential and supporting them in achieving their potential so we knew that we needed to demonstrate our passion and we needed to demonstrate our commitment to supporting people because you know as I said money is an emotional thing we’re all human and a brand that has the ability to make a real Financial difference is one that would lean into this emotional connection and building true brand love and that’s what we set out to do.

    Shelly: – Yeah that was great to know all those steps you took to build that brand, but I also wanted to know that what were the key challenges and how did you overcome them to roll out a successful digital brand?

    Luisa: – Actually obviously when you’re building something from scratch they love the challenges but the one that will never forget is that we had literally we planned we were ready to do a phase brand launch into the market we’re going to start with our credit score app and financial literacy app and it’s established the brand and then introduced our banking services and two months before our scheduled launch date our majority shareholder Commonwealth Bank of Australia made the decision to exit from most of its emerging market operations that included us so the founders of dove into negotiations to secure new shareholders and we were given three months to Rebrand the business revise our go to market strategy and of course to do that with like a dramatically smaller budget than we’d had before so we created new brand new positioning entirely new corporate identity we produced a new set of branded assets we conceptualized and produced a new launch campaign we developed a full range of collateral and campaign assets and we basically launched the business into Market within the time frame that was available and not only did we have to launch the brand we had to drive customer acquisition at scale so the business had very ambitious growth targets for its first year and you know there was no turning back we were in we had a go and at the same time as we had to get customers we also had to keep the customers we had so we needed to make sure that we retained the customers we were on boarding get them to activate their accounts uh and even more importantly getting them to use their accounts sort of frequently in order for the bank to start generating income so it was yeah with very limited resources and I think our Media budget was equated to about three percent share a voice in our category we put our heads down had this incredibly coordinated Focus between the marketing team our in-field operations team our agencies we had very little sleep we were absolutely determined that we were going to be the first digital Bank to launch in South Africa and we managed to get it done the way we went to Market was quite scientific in nature so prior to that launch date or applied to the public launched it they about the landlord State we started with a soft launch and it was very much a launched driven around test learn adjust and scale so we really needed to understand very early on which of the elements of our value proposition would resonate the most deeply with our target market and we used our partners in our distribution channel to really test carefully to try and get a sort of a representative sample of the entire population to see which messages would resonate effectively with which audiences so we had all the geo coordinates of all the stores in the network they’re about a 720 stores which equated to about a 28 million customer retail products and we chose 25 and we said let’s start with those were our centrals we launched in a very targeted geographic location we try to drive people to store with the proposition we tested I think it was 189 different creative variations across different digital channels to the prospects living and working within a five kilometre radius of our first 25 stores and in that pre-launch period of three months we radiated out geographically so as we were installing kiosks into new stores we did that in a very defined geographic area so that we could expand and expand the communication broader and broader from their first store up to a group of Stores and it was an incredible an incredible learning experience he understood exactly which messages resonated some we expected some which were quite surprising thing which combination of images and copy lines and executions were the most popular and attracted people to our kiosks to onboard and so by the time we launched our national brand launch a cup three months later we knew that we had honed down our message and that what we reached the market was going to attract and appeal to our Market we launched above the line Big Brand TV theme Amplified it with a substantial PR push public relations was a very powerful tool for us to really expand our message Beyond just in terms of earned media so not just paid we had a lot of Rich video content that that was pushed out and promoted in the social channels to support the above the line campaign not just replicating the campaign but telling the stories behind the stories of the people who we featured in our brand campaign and we had a huge digital push really with display mobile social media platforms we use very Innovative creative assets we cut through all this clutter in the market with a very unique challenge of brand voice with people to highly engage brand community and or while we were building the brand we were aggressively driving performance objectives so our acquisition numbers really started to climb and yes so it continued to grow from there we ran a couple of really great acquisition campaigns after that first three months the interesting thing about what we did is it was a very holistic omni-channel approach to marketing he didn’t have the same media budgets as the rest of the industry as I said it was about three percent share a voice so we really needed to make all the media work extremely hard for us we made a multi-channel storytelling really Central for all our campaigns we told real stories about real people and we use this wide variety of rich media to tell different aspects of those stories on different channels so it really appealed I think did everything that we did both to the heart and the head and that really was a very powerful strategy for us.

    Shelly: – That’s very interesting so another question which I want to ask you that like 1 million customers in nine months so when you go to a bank right, so you have to open an account it’s a very tedious process so how did you overcome that what was the strategy to onboard the customers quickly?

    Luisa: – So this was uh times Amazing unique selling proposition is that they were able to digitize the entire onboarding process so a lot of the recognition of identity was done through Biometrics we were linked into our home Affairs database people used their fingerprints uh in order to verify and validate their identity and that happened in seconds rather than going through the traditional manual processes as I said it really did simplify and streamline the operations everything was digital those kiosks that did the identity verification those kiosks sitting in the retail stores with our partners our distribution Partners were then able to spit out a debit card a personalized debit card with the customer’s name on it that literally they could pick up from the kiosks within under five minutes and walked to a retail till and put cash in to fund their account and start standing on the card so it streamlined a process that with some banks could take over a week down to five minutes and you literally have an active account there an amazing business.

    Shelly: – Great so looking back now do you think you would have done anything differently?

    Luisa: – Oh you know Shelly I think that um that in hindsight you can always see things that you could have done differently for me it’s all about the learnings I don’t look back and regret anything I learn from past from the past from the challenges in particular uh to better inform how I tackle similar challenges uh in the future I think that overall I was incredibly proud of how the team of cross-functional team in the business and I really believe this is the essence of it is getting a cross-functional team people throughout the business who can all work together to the same shared objective work together to integrate both from a marketing a sales and operations and a technology perspective so that at the end of the day you give the customer exceptional experience I think that’s what it’s all about and I think that it’s also I mean one of the key learnings for me was that digital all channels when they’re fully integrated in a multi-channel campaign can truly help you amplify the impact of your traditional marketing approach but you do need to find and Recent research has really supported this finding is that it’s this finding the balance between making sure you communicate the essence and the emotional truth of a brand while still driving performance objectives and performance campaigns you can do them both simultaneously and that really will help you to achieve your objectives I mean we had such an interesting experience you know we had it wasn’t just what we said in the market in terms of our marketing the business had also appointed  what we called our in-store ambassadors these are brand ambassadors we stood next to the kiosks in the retail stores to be needed to help customers open their accounts to educate them about the bank’s value proposition and these were young people who had not previously been employed they were we partnered with an incredible organization called the harambee youth employment accelerator uh they’re a not-for-profit social Enterprise that specializes in finding screening training and placing first-time job Seekers and they were recruited from the local communities where the stores were and they were selected based on their friendliness their compassionate personality and their customer service potential and they were given intensive training product knowledge all the work Readiness skills so when customers were driven to the store because they were intrigued by the marketing they had a very very consistent experience by engaging with a young motivated brand ambassador and when they tweeted about it or posted on Facebook how incredible the experience was we had a social Community management team who were there with a consistent voice supportive engaging really a human voice who really supported our customers through the process and celebrated their success and we found this by loving our customers we got brand love in return and that has been consistent throughout I mean our during the launch campaign our average conversion rate for digital and social channels was substantially above industry benchmarks and I do believe it’s because it was a fully integrated Cuba campaign.

    Shelly: – Wow that’s great very interesting points you have shared our next segment is on campaign so can you please share a couple of examples of any campus which you have done, or you admire done by somebody else?

    Luisa: – Actually I’m going to talk about a campaign that I actually judged at the end of last year or last year um as part of the MMA Smarties this was a campaign by an agency called Yonder media which is a leading digital agency in South Africa for its client KFC and I found really excited about this campaign was it is because I’m pretty passionately might have picked up about the use of digital tools and technology in marketing I think it really is a way for us to amplify everything that we do and what they pioneered Beyond it was the first large-scale NFT project in South Africa so they integrated this Cutting Edge with free technology in a very rich engaging and really successful campaign that drove massive product purchase and built a substantial database of KFC customers who now have active digital wallets so they created a gamified mobile experience for KFC it was really to celebrate KFC’s 50th anniversary and the plant wanted a unique something really unique something that would not only be free sort of a gamified experience that wouldn’t only be free to play but also would push sale and they’ve created something called the KFC gold hunt which really drove consumers to seek out these virtual KFC golden buckets and these were augmented reality almost like Pokémon I don’t know if you remember the Pokémon go again where you would go and with your phone to two near a KFC outlet and you didn’t need an app it was just a web interface and you would scan with augmented reality and you would see these spinning buckets and you would capture that bucket and that would either result in some kind of spot Prize or a voucher or a call to action that will drive you into the KFC store just around the corner to go and get your product so it was an amazing platform once they actually managed to capture the bucket they actually used the accelerometer in the in the phone they shook their phone and immediately the funds were redeemed and the interest in the campaign just escalated it was incredible through word of mouth and through the buzz and through the digital media that they bought so in the first week they had a six percent pickup rate which basically escalated to 77 in the final week of the campaign and 84 of those buckets over 102,000 buckets that were captured this way were collected um by 263,000 consumers who actually had opened a wallet and were engaging in this gold rush so what they built for KFC was a database of customers who are motivated to participate in positions who already have a mechanism on their phone to be able to receive coupons and to receive special offers and, and various NFT prizes and I just think it’s an incredible example of using web free technology not a Earthly but enables those Brands to really engage further in the future.

    Shelly: – Yeah very interesting campaign so next is transporting so can you share any top three Trends which you see maybe in the banking and finance sector?

    Luisa: – I’ve got a few more than three I think there’s some very exciting things happening uh in this space I think the key thing and I spoke about it in the learning from the time bank example is that and all my experience before and since is that effective branding is absolutely critical for long-term success of a business and if a brand has a clear purpose and a strong Viewpoint and an Innovative creative and emotionally connected Communications they will win over the long term and ultimately that will drive more sales so it becomes a self-fulfilling property so excellent brand marketing is not just a nice to have and it’s never an either or it’s never a brand versus performance it’s about being able to integrate create integrated campaigns that deliver on both objectives that truly is it’s being borne out by research but it has been a reality I think and the best brand marketing know this then the other really interesting trends that we’re picking up in the market today and all of you would have seen this is that there are disruptive technologies that have been emerging for quite a number of years that are now starting to really become a reality in our lives and starting to influence what marketing is going to look like over the next few years so we all know that AI is the flavor of the month and all of that kind of thing but it’s about the effective use of Ai and machine learning I think that is going to be what really plays an increasingly simple role in our lives as marketers because it’s going to help us analyze customer data understand customer Behaviour into the argue help us automate tasks to deliver really personal life experiences to customers in real time and that’s what you want to do you want to be able to do one-to-one marketing at scale it’s the thing we’ve been talking about since the 60s right so yes AI is going to be a very very powerful Trend and we really need to get on that aim link to that are things like the internet of things so you know the ability to embed census into everyday physical objects there’s a wealth of data that is generated today by IoT to help us better understand customer preferences Behaviour usage context and actually to look acts very talkative communication around post-purchase activities based on the nation we gained so a very very important I’ve spoken a bit about VR virtual reality the measures and augmented reality which I think is going to be the use case that really precedes the metaverse into our day-to-day lives  I think that brands are finding are starting to find really Innovative new ways to use those Technologies to create this completely immersive interactive experiences for their customers um and then there’s you know the everything else that web 3 brings and the two that everybody talks about at the moment is NFTs and I’ve given you an example of how powerful NFTs can be in marketing and it’s really about creating the sense of scarcity and exclusivity in campaigns which becomes very very attractive to Consumers the ability to personalize and create very unique digital assets or experiences for customers and to create a layer of Engagement that truly can be unique and then the next Evolution I think is going to be Brands creating these immersive digital experiences in these Virtual Worlds all the messages and there are there are lots of stories of Brands who are doing it really successfully today technology and access speeds vary across the world and different markets have different access to really really fast connectivity which this technology requires but there’s certainly areas that we can look at for marketing and advertising Our Brands in Virtual Worlds in gaming environments in these very high traffic areas that exist today in virtual reality so we need to look at it from a customer engagement perspective and see whether the opportunities available for us to engage with our customers and showcase our products or services in a very unique and memorable immersive way are relevant to Our Brands today and can we start experimenting with a Nar because they are going to be part of our reality tomorrow.

    Shelly: – Great thank you so much for sharing very interesting points you have shared so this brings us to the last segment of the show so tell us about any one passion you follow and how it elevates your profession?

    Luisa: – Oh Shelly I think that um if I had to and that was this was the most difficult question to answer because I have so many passions but I think I’m passionate about customers I’m passionate about understanding what drives them and about helping them achieve you know their objectives while at the same time you know growing the business and I think it all the essence of it all boils down to the fact that I’m a learner I love to be constantly learning particularly about how powerful technology is and how it can be used to change people’s lives but for me the world is this incredible sort of place where I can understand and learn more and more every day I will never know everything I’m on a constant journey and the other side of that is I don’t only want to learn so that I know I want to learn so that I can share and I think sharing my knowledge is one of my biggest passions so the more I teach the more I learn the more I can share with young people coming up through the organization the more enriched I feel as a human so for me it’s about learning and sharing those are the two things that I’m very passionate about.

    Shelly: – Great so where can our viewers find you and connect with you?

    Luisa: – Well the easiest way is just search for me on LinkedIn and findable there I have my Twitter handle is at Lumaz l-u-m-a-z and my email address is Louisa at get hold of me love to chat.

    Shelly: – Great thank you so much Luisa for the time today I know we have been like chasing you for this interview for so long now and I’m so happy that we did it and I really enjoyed the conversation with you thank you so much.

    Luisa: – Thank you, Shelly love, sharing here.

    Shelly: – To all our viewers thanks for listening if you enjoyed this show, please leave a rating and review I’ll see you next time with a new speaker till then peace.

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    Growth Strategies for BFSI Success ft. Luisa Mazinter

    Growth Strategies for BFSI Success ft. Luisa Mazinter