#AsiaeCommerceAwards spills: OCBC Securities on evergreen qualities to succeed in marketing

Like many companies, it is important for OCBC Securities to offer excellent customer experience. To provide its customers with the "wow" factor, the company embarked on an “eStatements Tranformation” campaign to transform its customer experience. The effort has certainly paid off, for the team bagged bronze for Best eCommerce Customer Service at MARKETING-INTERACTIVE's Asia eCommerce Awards 2020. 

Ng Keng Ling, head, customer value, OCBC Securities shares the secret sauce behind great marketing and how the company is readying employees to prepare for the year ahead.

This interview is done as part of MARKETING-INTERACTIVE’s winners and finalists’ interview series for Asia eCommerce Awards 2020. To find out more about the awards, click here.

What are some of the expectations your consumers now have for your brand?

Ng: The train of digitalisation sped up as our customers have higher expectations to fulfill their needs digitally. May it be the journey before, during or after they make a transaction, customers want a seamless experience. This includes the transition between online and offline experience, such as from putting in a request online to having someone to attend to the complex enquiries.    

Our customers are looking for investment solutions and want them to be delivered to them effectively. The COVID-19 situation made us accelerate the digital solutions and increase accessibility of investments.  

In 2020, the interest in share trading is even more pronounced due to the volatility of the stock market. Coupled with the need to reduce face-to-face contact, we are constantly looking at ways to stay connected with customers through more innovative ways.       

Our customers also want to receive relevant content and this is a continuous area of improvement as we build up analytics capabilities to deliver targeted materials to them. In general, I would say that customers’ senses have become more “acute” with reduced physical interactions. They want more precise and accurate delivery of services in this digital age.

How has your marketing/your clients marketing plans shifted this year?

Ng: We stayed focused on engaging customers and continue to forge close relationships with them through frequent updates. From aligning the interaction model of salesforce to creating new contents to keep customers abreast of investment ideas, we integrated customers touchpoints together to make sure every interaction is an engaging one.  

For instance, we introduced a new series of webinars specialising in helping customers understand market movements and the opportunities available. These were accompanied by follow-up reading materials, to assist them in making investment decisions and navigate through the eventful year of 2020.  

To enable customers to leverage the tech trend, we launched the Lion-OCBC Securities Hang Seng TECH ETF in Dec 2020 – which was a big success with more than SG$100 million in AUM so far. This ETF provides a solution for customers who want to ride on the growth of Chinese tech companies via accessible investment products. This product is particularly meaningful as it is a joint effort between sister companies within the OCBC Group. I believe this is also what customers are looking for – synergies between industry leaders which tap on each other’s strengths.

What are some of the trends you see carrying on post-pandemic, and how are you readying your workforce to be ready with these trends?

Ng: Aside from technology, the ability to adapt to changes has always been a highly valued character trait amongst marketing folks. Other than being multi-skilled and nimble-minded, there are certain qualities that are evergreen – growth mindset, positive attitude, ever ready to take on challenges. It is not just about the skillsets the team has now, but the ability to acquire new ones whenever needed.  

We need to recognise that customers’ behaviours and mindsets are changing faster than ever in today’s world. Regardless of how digitalised the world has become, human touch is always important. However, it may manifest in a different way and be complementary to what technology can deliver. Look at how people yearn for physical events after a period of absence - it affirms the effectiveness of face-to-face engagements and how we cannot afford to neglect that aspect.

I see the line between different specialisations of marketing outreach fusing together. To communicate effectively, the ability to string together immersive experience, both online and offline, is key.  

What do you think makes for great marketing these days?

Ng: Great marketing is something so natural and intuitive that customers do not feel like it is marketing at all. To achieve that, it revolves around human centricity – putting customers at the core of what we do.

At OCBC Securities, we aim to understand customers through data analytics and integrate that into building a meaningful customer journey so that they feel engaged.  We enhance their experience through the seamless service they enjoy. In my view, marketing is about bringing value to customers, which we why we call ourselves customer value – a clear reminder of our team’s goal.

Maintaining a smooth internal operational structure also contributes to achieving our goal. Happiness is an infectious state of mind: Happy employees are more likely to make happy customers. Today’s marketers appreciate the inter-dependencies of all elements within the company that contribute to the success of customers using our products and services. When it comes to marketing, we aim to align these elements as much as possible to form a cohesive story.

The human-centered design of our new eStatement is an example of our mantra in bringing value to customers: Simplifying and digitalising a routine process such as checking one’s monthly statements.  I am proud of my team who delivered this award-winning service to customers.   

 How are you planning for 2021?

Ng: The year 2021 is an exciting one for us as we look forward to further knit technology and the human touch together.  To help our customers take advantage of any possible opportunities within the market, we do have some new and exciting initiatives in the pipeline. They include enhancement of the trading platform, new digital contents, new products, and AI-related initiatives, among others. 

We understand the need to remain nimble, adapt to evolving customer trends and pre-empt it where possible. Having said that, we remain thankful to our customers who went through the market cycles with us and will be showing our appreciation to them through our top-tier programme that extends exclusive privileges.