How Citibank transformed boring banking sector marketing to an interesting one

Nikhil Rastogi, Head Marketing and Digital Acquisition at the bank, talks about consumer passion points: family and friends, travel, sports, food and money and how the bank leverages it in its marketing strategies

BuzzInContent Bureau
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Nikhil Rastogi, Head Marketing and Digital Acquisition, Citibank, took the centre stage at the recently held Content Marketing Summit Asia to break the myth about the banking sector being boring and only about savings accounts. He said that banking is no more a boring sector and has become consumer-first like any other FMCG company.

“The first thing that needs to be done is to start with the consumers. Till a long while, banking was all about products and services and there was always an insider approach that we have some product and now go and find some customer for it,” said Rastogi.

Citibank’s marketing strategy is hinged around five consumer passion points: family and friends, travel, sports, food and money. Citibank’s marketing strategy is also social-led and mobile-friendly.

Further elaborating on these points, Rastogi went on giving a few examples that the bank implied in their content marketing strategies banking on the consumer passion points.

  1. Food

For Citi Dining offers, Citibank teamed up with two of the top food influencers, Maria Goretti and Kunal Vijaykar, for a digital-led food marathon called ‘#WhatsOnYourPlate’. The idea was to tap into mobile consumers and get them to create their food journey armed with its Citi Dining offers.

A video was shot with Goretti and Vijaykar on Fame Food, in which the two are fighting over Mumbai and Delhi food. While Vijaykar places his bets on Tandoori Chicken, Goretti is all guns for Bombay Duck.

The two then ask viewers to help them decide by suggesting them their favourite restaurant dishes in Mumbai or Delhi. One needed to tweet their suggestions on either Facebook or Twitter using #LuvToDine and #WhatsOnYourPlate. The most liked suggestions won a chance to dine with the two!

The #WhatsOnYourPlateVideo:

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  1. 2. Travel

The idea was to use content to move away from the clutter of giving away offers by banks to involving the customers in a more interesting way.

Rastogi said, “The millenials and young people are not really impressed with the advertisements. They want to follow real people, real stories and different experiences. Nobody wants to travel like a tourist. It is all about experiences which flows back into the social conversations.”

Citi collaborated with top travel bloggers Bruised Passports' duo Savi and Vidit for the campaign #WhatsNewThisVacation. The duo travelled to destinations that were offbeat and had something new and refreshing to offer while exploring the unique side of more well-known destinations like Paris and Seychelles. The traveller couple didn't leave their audience behind in this exciting journey; updating them through the use of Facebook Live, Webisodes and Instagram, sharing travel tips and how they made the best use of their Citi cards.

  1. Cricket

“We are not in the business of paid sponsorship, IPL and the likes. However, there is a big event that happens every year. We wanted to leverage that through content. So we wanted to know from the consumer’s point of view what happens when one goes out to watch an IPL match,” said Rastogi.

People travel city to city to follow IPL. So there is a lot of travel that happens and is enabled on the card. After the match, nobody goes home and sleep. People go out to eat and many a time people stay back in the hotels. During matches, there is also a rise in the sales of mobile phones and TVs. So, there is a rise in the usage of cards again.

Citibank ran a marketing campaign around IPL and had a lot of user-generated content. The bank also tied up with influencers like Harsha Bhogle and Mandira Bedi for the same.

  1. Family, friends and pets

Working professionals are not really there with friends and family when they like to be. A lot of makeup happens through the gifts. Citibank tied up with a few e-commerce players to come up with a few deal offers as well as part of the campaign #WhatsYourDiwaliDelight.

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  1. Money

In this regard, Citi created an app called ‘Hello’ that helps consumers to a lot of transactions through this app only. Citibank partnered with Rajiv Makhni, who is a gadget expert, because the brand wanted to place ‘Hello’ not as a bank app but more of a consumer app. Makhni did a live demo of the app on his show.

Nikhil Rastogi