Influencer marketing done right


When the SC Mobile app started making waves, several other banks had launched their apps and had made plenty of a hullabaloo. However, SC Mobile was the only app to offer end-to-end digital onboarding and in no time made its way into the devices of many Ghanaians.

The discussion here is not the SC Mobile app and digital banking. Rather, how did it get to be the most recognised and talked about banking app in the country?

Enter fireball marketer Mariam Agyeman-Buahin (then Head of Digital Banking & financial inclusion at Standard Chartered Bank Limited), and power brand ambassadors Joycelyn Dumas and Sarkodie.

In the beginning, it seemed like just another brand getting themselves the best influencers that money could buy. We all know how that goes. Influencer posts about an app – two or three posts later that app is soon quiet on the influencer’s page. Soon, other products (maybe even competing apps) appear on the same influencer’s page.

Not with SC Mobile. Mariam, Joselyn, and Sarkodie worked with boardroom precision, to embed this app in people’s lives starting with Josely and Sarkodie themselves. From concerts to garden parties and business breakfasts, the app was them and they were the app.

You could tell that this was a master strategy that surpassed superficial posts and billboards. Joselyn and Sarkodie used the app, promoted the app, engaged with users of the app, and pulled in those who would otherwise have not considered such a bank, let alone an app. At each stage and behind the scenes, you would always see the three checking in with each other, like a sports team during a big game. There was no room for error. An unmatched brand experience had to be delivered.

While Joselyn, and Sarkodie executed one of the best influencer marketing strategies in Ghana, the back-end corporate and technical teams did not disappoint. It is one thing to have a great influencer strategy, and another to ensure that your product lives up to the promise.

“I chose SC Mobile because unlike most other banking apps, it is really well-built and simple enough for anyone to use. It was not cluttered with everything the bank does, it is well laid out, organized, and very straightforward. It has a really beautiful and functional user interface.”, says Kwaku, the CEO of Medium-Sized Fintech company in Ghana.

“My experience using the SC app and the whole customer service is nothing short of phenomenal. I’d give them a 95% if I have to rate their service. I literally opened a bank account without stepping foot in the banking hall, got my debit card delivered to me free of charge, could transfer from multiple channels to the newly opened bank account, and a whole lot more at no cost. This would have been a VIP service in other banks I transacted with in the past. Their support and customer service is also stellar.”, he added.

In 2019, Standard Chartered Bank emerged as winners of three prestigious awards at the Ghana Information Technology and Telecom Awards. The Best Mobile Banking App of the Year, Digital Bank of the Year, and Digital Bank Team of the Year.

The team buckled down and kept pushing a beautiful blend of experiential and influencer marketing tactics. If one did not know better, they would have thought Sarkodie and Joselyn were full time employees of Standard Chartered. That was the level of dedication these two brought to the table. No surprise, in 2020 at the same awards, Standard Chartered Bank again won Mobile Banking App of the Year and Digital Bank of the Year.

The takeaway here is that with influencers, companies must build a long-term integrated marketing strategy (by long term think more than a year). Choose great influencers who will brainstorm with you, take ownership, and stay committed to executing till the end. Lastly, work with the entire team to deliver what you promise. Today, companies must offer an all-encompassing brand experience, with staying power that leaves customers satisfied, trusting and loyal.

The writer is an SME Growth Advisor and a Communications Expert with over 10 years experience working with corporates and SMEs in Brand Building and Sales.

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