THOUGHTS

Market mapping: The slaying trend in the banking game  

Feb 7, 2024

Written By: Vishesh Kumar

When it comes to settling the question of where they stand within a specific market in relation to competitors, a lot of banks are increasingly tuning into to market mapping. By now, this has become the go-to marketing tool for banks seeking to visually determine where their business fits the prevailing banking jigsaw in terms of service quality and the quantum of services customers are ready to buy at a certain price point. Another parameter is what customers think about their banking brand. Based on the visual display of key competitor information generated by this tool, banks can carefully reconfigure products to match the greatest number of customer palates. 

 

Furthermore, market mapping presents banks with a never-before opportunity to build stronger connections with their customers by actively collecting their feedback and focusing on the likes, motivations, and inclinations that nudge them toward a certain service. Many banks are discovering the perks flowing from such deepened relationships with their customer base. More than ever before, bankers are successfully migrating their basic “checking account” customers to supplementary (cross-selling) and higher-end products (upselling) such as investment products, insurance plans, credit cards, private banking, and wealth management. These practices significantly improve the bank’s ability to retain customers and generate more money out of them over the longer term. The entry of cloud-based and “as you need” subscription-based tools (e.g., Miro, Branch Analytics, SNL Mapping, MapBusinessOnline) means market mapping is going to be more or less plain sailing. At the same time, traditional market mapping tools like spreadsheets, PowerPoint, and Federal statistical codes look almost like things from the past. Let’s now get moving to the different approaches to market mapping.  Challenges/Importance of the Service.

Challenges of the Market Mapping 

Situation-based  

Traditional market mapping is not just static but also takes a rather standardized and cast-iron approach. Situation-based market mapping, by contrast, is more “made to order” and, therefore, more specific to the bank’s unique set of circumstances. After all, no two banks are alike or born equal. This school of market mapping factors key elements, both internal to the bank and outside of it, that might impact the business’s performance in the market. Key parameters in this exercise include the number of bank branches, public perception of the bank, and its marketing efforts, including on social media. The depth and breadth of expertise in banking is also a key consideration. Situation-based market mapping helps uncover the bank’s strengths and weaknesses and where it stands in relation to key competitors. This understanding serves as a baseline for the bank to make more thoughtful decisions around developing a loyal customer base and inflation-proof products with competitive interest rates. Furthermore, banks can also set foot in new markets leveraging the triad of cutting-edge technology, strategic partnerships, and innovative products.  

Workflow-based  

For instance, tasks in the   accounting process typically occur in the following sequence: Know your customer, KYC > electronic signature of the customer > account activation > welcome kit. By visualizing this and other workflows in a bank, identifying areas for optimization, axing redundancies, and automating processing, market mapping can energize productivity, trim costs, and improve customer experience.  

Private debt/equity mapping  

There is an entire universe of startups out there whose bootstrapped founders are struggling to find opportunities for mergers and buyouts. However, seen from the desk of the investment banker, this galaxy of businesses might appear hazy oftentimes. No doubt, these are an important asset class that hold significant growth promises. But because they are private entities (not traded on stock exchanges), information on them is hard to find and string together. Not anymore. With market mapping tools, like Miro, previously mentioned, investment banks can go full throttle and get a fuller picture of such private/bootstrapped entities.   

How Infiniti Research can help you

Experts at Infiniti Research enable businesses across sectors to conduct detailed market mapping exercises with a laser focus on key factors like market potential, investment environment, and market developments. Mapping out key industry trends and industry growth rates are elements dovetailed into our market studies. Over the past more than two decades, businesses large, medium, and small alike have vetted the market readiness of their “bleeding edge” offerings – thanks to our depth and breadth of expertise in market mapping. These include several fintech firms as well. Many of these fintech clients were able to come to grips with market challenges early in the day and take appropriate steps to defuse these potentially risky scenarios. Moreover, our experts are grounded in the very latest regulatory mandates, apart from being well-versed in industry developments at a regional level, and this is benefiting the clients in no small way.  

A one-of-its kind market mapping for a European investment bank’s US foray  

Our client is a leading bank of European pedigree that has moved up in the world of investment banking by making available much-needed funds and highly relevant expertise to sustainable ventures. By 2022, the investment bank was looking to spread wings in the US. However, post the 2008 financial meltdown, regulatory stringency is at its peak in the country, and complying with an expanding suite of regulatory mandates is certainly an uphill task, especially for non-US businesses. The client had been scouting around for a research firm capable of conducting an incisive analysis of regulatory changes in the US, as well as the overall investment environment in the US. In early 2023, our prior expertise in this area caught the client’s attention.  

After a thorough due diligence, our experts set to work with the client in March 2023.  

Our teams proceeded to conduct a methodical and detailed study of the US investment banking industry. Key points covered by the research included the market potential and shaping trends, investment environment, and growth rate. Our experts helped the client make sense of the macro and micro-economic environment while mapping out potential roadblocks (e.g., regulatory developments) to market entry. Further, with assistance from our team, the client was able to outline the most optimal entry route into the US investment banking circuit.  

By leveraging our market mapping expertise, the client succeeded in gaining deep, accurate, and timely insights into the latest crop of regulatory changes impacting the US investment banking market. Besides, on the technology front, with support from our teams, the client has future-proofed its infrastructure to stay on top of dynamically evolving regulatory changes and improve productivity. Armed with such granular understanding of the US investment banking landscape, the client has expanded its foothold in the American market and is planning a future that blends growth with distinctiveness.  

For a while it looked like the newly clamped regulatory mandates and biting competition in the US market might dampen our European client’s foray into the American investment banking circuit. However, the investment bank hit all the right notes to keep pace with regulatory shifts and learned to recalibrate its business strategy on the fly with encouraging results. Dive into a special case study on the dividends flowing from thoughtful market mapping.  

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