Marketing is being upended. Textbooks which were relevant five years ago, aren’t anymore. “Gone are the days of big-bang marketing campaigns on TV, radio and print. Consumers are demanding personalised products, and we have to recognise that with the marketing campaigns,” says Hasrath Munasinghe. Munasinghe is responsible for marketing at Commercial Bank, which is Sri Lanka’s largest private sector bank and is a member of its corporate management team.
“Gone are the days of big-bang marketing campaigns on TV, radio and print. Consumers are demanding personalised products, and we have to recognise that with the marketing campaigns.”
He joined the bank in 2011 as its youngest corporate management member. He has an MSc in IT from the University of Moratuwa, an MBA from the University of Southern Queensland and a post-graduate diploma in marketing from the Chartered Institute of Marketing.
He says that with changing tastes, banks too have to offer personalised products; and that cannot mean just a different coloured credit card. “For instance, we offer four to five different types of loan repayment plans, depending on the customer’s preference and his cashflows for someone to choose from. I see lending becoming even more personalised in how they are structured. This will extend to deposits as well.
“Marketing strategies too must become personalized to reach consumers; especially millennials, many of whom do not consume traditional media. The world has evolved to a point where tech-savvy persons don’t ever have to leave their home. They could work, socialize, shop and find entertainment online. They know what they want and use ad-blockers to filter out the rest. Then, marketing becomes really challenging,” Munasinghe says
Some of the new mediums like digital, social media and home media now account for significant portions of marketing budgets. This fragmentation of media and audiences are challenging marketers because campaigns now have to be tailored for each medium, channel and platform while maintaining consistent positioning and messaging.
However, Munasinghe has an advantage, as everyone needs banking services, giving banks a touchpoint through their apps. Munasinghe is developing digital marketing strategies and new product developments for Commercial Bank to continue breaking through to the modern consumer. He is using big data analytics to target consumers with personalised products. Munasinghe’s track record at the bank has seen him being vested with the responsibilities of handling marketing for the bank’s products and services and overseeing the cards business; as well as retail lending and deposits.