Communications and Marketing
MFIN’s communication and marketing strategy has focused primarily on building a positive perception and image of the sector by engaging proactively with external stakeholders. This has included visioning and positioning efforts with relevant stakeholders and establishing MFIN as a knowledge hub. The vertical was initialised in the year 2014. It was with the understanding that the nature of the sector is so that it requires constant external stakeholder facing engagement.
Socialising MFIN and the Industry with the media
MFIN has systematically over the past year socialised with the media at the national, state and district level to build a positive and informed perception about the industry. MFIN regularly organises media interfaces across the country to socialise the sector with the press. This has resulted in the vernacular press publishing articles about the positive role that the sector is playing in providing access to finance to the vulnerable low-income populations. At the national level, MFIN has been engaging with leading financial dailies as a source of information and opinion on varied industry issues. In addition to this, the vertical supports the State Initiatives team in addressing perception issues faced by the NBFC-MFIs in the field.
MFIN has been associated with the two leading media channels NDTV and CNBC-TV 18 as an official spokesperson on the MFI sector. This has been done through panel discussions and interviews. The enhanced visibility of MFIN has resulted in the organization being positioned as a thought leader of the sector. MFIN has also consistently engaged with the vernacular press to help build a positive perception around the sector at the field level. We have initiated placement of client-centric stories at the state level. As a part of this initiative, the first case study was shared by Svatantra Microfin on their Mediclaim Initiative.
The story was carried out in leading publications of the state of Madhya Pradesh namely Dainik Bhaskar & Hari Bhoomi. Mediclaim, as offered by Svatantra, has conceptualized a unique technology led solution with help of an insurance provider wherein they offer tailor-made the low cost to an entire family of 5, including parents, of the rural household. It has successfully closed medical claims of more than INR 60 lakhs. MFIN’s opinion on the budget as well as RBI’s policy directive was published in vernacular publications such as Dainik Bhaskar, Pudhari, Hindustan etc. The vertical has been constantly engaging with the press to stem negative coverage and case in point was with two leading publications – Lokmat & Pudhari. The purpose of the meeting was to socialize both the papers about the sector. The editors were receptive and have assured the delegation that further news will be verified with MFIN before being published.
MFIN also coordinated the media interactions for the Odisha State Association of Financial Inclusion Institutions launch event and that of the 10th year celebrations of AKMI. Media Activities carried out in 2017-18 :
- Total coverages generated - 892+ coverages with editions.
- Publications covered - 139+ publications.
Strengthening of Regional Networks through events and Public Relations
MFIN engages actively with forums and networks including SAMN, Banking with the Poor, Afghanistan Microfinance Association, African Microfinance Association etc. to promote an exchange of knowledge and best practices. The annual flagship MFIN International Conclave is one such platform that has over the years brought together various practitioners, policymakers, and relevant stakeholders to brainstorm policy issues and exchange best practices. As first of the series MFIN in association with the South Asia Microfinance Network (SAMN) organized a South Asia level Conclave in Delhi, India. The Conclave “Financial Inclusion to Sustainable Development: The Road Travelled” brought together participants from five South Asian countries of Pakistan, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka.
The second edition of the International Conclave for the year 2017 Microfinance in Asia: A Mosaic focussed to bring practitioners and stakeholders to discuss and deliberate on key subjects such as regulations, governance, perception management, informing the microfinance sector across the world. It included participation from South Asian and South East Asian countries of Vietnam, Myanmar, Philippines, Indonesia, China, Cambodia, Russia, Bangladesh, Laos, and Pakistan.
This year we constituted the first bespoke microfinance awards that were presented in the country titled “MFIN Microfinance Awards 2018: In Pursuit of Excellence!”. Dun & Bradstreet was associated as a knowledge partner for organizing the awards.
MFIN Associateship Programme
MFIN rolled out its Associateship programme in January 2014. This was done with the understanding that stakeholders other than NBFC-MFIs who have a lasting bearing on the financial inclusion dialogue and are of immense value to the sector need to interact and work with each other to fuel the larger goal of financial inclusion. The Associates are a valuable part of MFIN’s construct and there is a constant dialogue with them at various forums including at the state and district levels. MFIN includes the following institutions in its Associateship programme – Banks, NBFCs, Housing Finance Companies, Insurance Companies, Business Correspondents, Private Equity, Social Investors, Think Tanks and Foundation. The Associates are invited to different platforms and are part of MFIN’s construct with reference to advocacy and policy discussions with different stakeholders. As on date, MFIN has 39 associates on board. In addition to the industry news and updates, MFIN has introduced a calendar which captures the profile of MFIN Members and Associates as a part of social media platforms.
Communication Collaterals for visibility and knowledge dissemination
To stay relevant in the public eye, MFIN has been building on various communication collaterals. The corporate brochure was one of the collaterals that was released.
The proceedings of the event “Microfinance Awards 2018: In Pursuit of Excellence!” will be documented and a report will be published. To stay relevant within the public domain, MFIN consistently has been engaging with audiences over social media platforms through focussed activities. The objective of the activities is to create conversations and apprise about the banking and financial sector. As a part of this approach the key activities carried out are as follows :
- Industry /Sector News & Updates across platforms on day to day basis.
- Highlights of Micrometer with the parameters defined.
- Overview of the Microfinance industry with relevant posts.
- One of the key activities introduced this year was customized posts about MFIN Members & Associates on a weekly basis. Below is the highlight observed over social media platforms.
- Facebook followers/ likes - The average before focussed activities was at 45 whereas the average post campaign has been recorded at 80.8 with an increase of 79.56 percentage.
- Twitter Followers - The average before focussed activities were at 19 whereas the average post campaign has been recorded at 31.2 with an increase of 64.21 percentage.
- There has been an increase of 7.58 in the tweet impressions.