From Circuit Boards To Storyboards

By | December 21, 2016

From Circuit Boards To Storyboards

Pursue your passion and success will come chasing after you.

A quick chat with Prince Jacob Thomas, Head of Brand Marketing at BankBazaar, and your faith in the adage will be reinforced. Though an engineer and an MBA graduate by education, Prince has pulled off many great feats in the brand marketing and advertising verticals. He’s clearly the prince of the game (pun intended).

Mind you, our claim is not unfounded! BankBazaar recently won the Digital Marketer of the Year award at the Digital Marketers’ Awards – 2016. Kudos to all the delightful, catchy and unforgettable campaigns created by Prince and his team of creative ninjas. Prince humbly attributed the success to the collective efforts of the PR, content, and all the other teams that help further the brand value of the company.

Curious to know how he’s killin’ it in his field of work—which is a great way away from his engineering background—we asked Prince to share his secret mantra with us. And voila, he gave it away without a pause. In a soft-spoken, unpretentious manner, Prince attributed his success to passion for his work.

Passion – a tactical word all successful people use to guard their secret and temporarily quell our curiosity. Absolutely wrong. Passion is indeed the magical ingredient that has drawn success to the deserving. And Prince’s story validates this theory!

“I am an engineer; not supposed to be a marketer. I am supposed to make electronic circuit boards.”

By the time the third year of engineering rolled by, Prince realised that his fondness for sketching overpowered his love (if any) for engineering. Though Prince couldn’t sketch, it didn’t stop him from finding a vent for his creativity.

“I used to take cuttings of various cartoon strips, and since I could not draw myself, I used to piece together different frames to make an entirely new story.”

The episode can perhaps be called Prince’s first attempt at storyboarding. Imagine Calvin and Asterix coming together in Prince’s scrapbooks. Quite a riot!

Along with passion, it was also perseverance to achieve his goals that took Prince to great heights! Though no ad agencies visited the institute from where Prince completed his MBA, he went on to intern with the creative powerhouse Ogilvy & Mather. Three years later he returned to the company in the capacity of Group Head, Planning, and took charge of the mammoth sized Unilever account. From the coffee brand, Bru to brands like Asian Paints and Audi, Prince has worked with them all.

This is not all. Prince has also had a stint as an entrepreneur. Before joining BankBazaar he founded a company that helped clients market their brand. We know the experience prepared him mightily for his current role. His work is a testament to it.

“When you plan your digital calendar, it’s a blank slate. You don’t know where to begin. When we realised that we (BankBazaar) wouldn’t be doing TV campaigns this year, our challenge was to create digital videos that were so share-worthy that we would get the same bang for our buck that other brands get out of a TV campaign.”

“We needed our communication to be heart-warming; something that people could relate to.”

Prince points out BankBazaar’s the Father’s Day and Play Your Part campaigns as particularly close to his heart.

“Insight wise, the #playyourpart campaign was very progressive. I am very proud of the insight that went behind the campaign. To see that as an opportunity was worth it. It was one of our best performing campaigns.”

Additional Reading: A Leap Of Faith That Paid Off

Now, brand marketing for a banking and financial products company is far trickier than that of, let’s say, a consumer durable company. Finance is a challenging subject and people, in general, are intimidated by it. So, how do you convince them to apply for Loans, Credit Cards, and Insurance online?

Let’s find out how Prince and his team best utilise the social space to win customers and soothe their nerves when it comes to purchasing financial products online.

Talking about online purchase habits, Prince says that people are looking for the best product in the shortest time possible. One way to satiate this need is by creating bite-sized, entertaining and engaging content for social media platforms. Everybody is on one or the other social media platform all the time. The trick is in creating content that can be consumed on the go – in metros, buses, or while sitting lazily in an Uber.

Creating content for social media is the best way to simplify finance and encourage people to purchase financial products online. Not just make the purchase, but also make the right purchase. Being online gives you the facility to compare products and pick the best. Through social channels, people are encouraged to do so.

Next, we asked Prince to share the strategy for 2017.

“2017 is going to be very exciting because we’ll start talking about the paperless initiative. That is going to be a big winner for us. We’ll look for thematic campaigns again.”

He says the plan is to fuel brand awareness for BankBazaar. When people are comfortable with a brand they are quicker to trust it for all their needs. Our goal is to make BankBazaar that brand where people come to purchase financial products without inhibitions. And, our way to go about it is to create relevant content with which customers can connect. This, in the long-term, will have a domino effect. Organic growth is the best kind of growth.

When it comes to brand marketing and advertising, the debate rests on relying on Google Adwords and Facebook ads in the right proportions. These proportions differ for each company. How do we decide this for a start-up like ours, we asked Prince.

Prince tells us that Google has a wider reach, poses lesser creative challenges and helps people push out content based on customer intent. Hence, it works out really well for a start-up like ours. Facebook, on the other hand, works well for companies with a well thought out advertising and brand marketing strategy. Facebook ads are a playground for people to try different formats and to get creative. If a company knows its target audience really well then Facebook can weave its magic ad wand for the desired results.

Prince says that for a startup to carve a place for itself in this cut-throat competitive market, the company must create relevant content using different formats, all the while focusing on organic growth. He adds that planning is equally important along with content creation. Bombarding customers will not bring you to the top. You need a well-tested strategy in place. From the total number of posts to the timing of the post – everything is important.

Additional Reading: BankBazaar Wins At The CMO Asia Awards 2016!

With this, dear readers, we wrap up our interview with our very talented Prince Jacob Thomas. Want to check out some of our work? Visit our Facebook page and our website to see the magic we create at work.

Bonus Video: Happy Father’s Day 


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