Marketing Strategies of Bank Muscat

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Introduction
Bank Muscat in Oman is one of the leading financial services providers in Oman. The company has a strong sense and presence in corporate banking, Islamic Banking, and other investment banking. The bank is operative under the license issues by the Central Bank of Oman. The bank has more than 152 branches and more than 668 automated teller machines. The international operations of the bank comprise of both the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and Kuwait. Thus, it can be held that Bank Muscat is a very successful organization and much of the success of the organization is largely dependent on the marketing strategies that a company undertakes to propagate their business (Khan et al. 2017). The present paper deals with the marketing strategies of the Bank that made the Bank successful and popularised the Bank.

Quality Policy of Bank
Bank Muscat is determined to have the best international practices leader and strives to remain the bank of choice in all the products and services offered by the Bank. The company aims to be the best financial institution in Oman and that is why the goal of the company focuses majorly on the quality policy. The quality policy outlines the important objectives and special attention is paid to the material areas of the business. The same is achieved with the help of management systems to sustain a reputation for quality in both the national and the international markets. In the year 2016, the Bank became the first bank to be certified under the ISO 9001:2015 standards (Belwal and Al Maqbali 2018).

Stakeholder engagement
Undertaking the needs and priorities of the stakeholders is a very important part of building a better business. Since the bank was first formed in the year 1982, the company has worked very hard to develop strong relationships with its stakeholders. The company is continuously developing and searching for new modes of communication channels so that they could reach their stakeholders easily. In the year 2016, the company opened new channels on social media so that they could pay attention to the needs of the stakeholders in a special manner. It is from the input provided by the stakeholders that made judging the stakeholder policy of the company easy for the team. The company has fulfilled all the obligations for the stakeholders and this makes the company successful in this aspect as well (Sharma and Al-Muharrami 2018).

Corporate Governance
A good corporate governance strategy is a key to driving force behind the manner in which the Bank operates as it supports the delivery of ethical, sustainable, responsible and fair business outcomes. The Board of Directors of the company is considered as the highest governing body that is responsible for the strategic oversight and decision making with the Bank. Inclusive of other responsibilities, the Board plays an important role in the policy formulation, major initiatives, policy implementation, supervision and ensuring compliance with the laws and regulations of the company. At the head of the Bank, the chairperson of the Board and CEO of the company are separated in respect of their responsibilities.  The Bank follows the corporate governance rules that are laid in the Capital Market Authority (CMA) and the regulations for corporate governance of banking and financial institutions that are issued by the Central Bank of Oman. The code of corporate governance and the CBO has laid that banks are to act in compliance with strict corporate governance rules in Oman. The Bank Muscat has ensured that they follow all the laws in proper compliance.

The company strives to work for accountability, ethical business practices, and transparency, the Board plays a special role in the strategic management of the Bank with the help of formal executive committees. All the investments are screened as per the Islamic financial institutions that promote socially responsible investing by stopping investment that is unethical and promotes crime and other anti-social behaviors, gambling and other weapons.

Sustainability Governance
The sustainability committee directs sustainability at Bank Muscat. The committee comprises of members belonging to the senior management from different professional backgrounds and there is a demonstration of their commitment to companywide integration of sustainability. The committee is the main governing body for all types of sustainability activities and they take initiatives as part of the Bank. In connection with the CSR department and the support of the employees, the Sustainability committee is working to make sure that their approach is holistic so that they could incorporate sustainable practices in their core business services and form a proper corporate culture (Al-Muharrami and Murthy 2017).

Enhancing financial performance
The Bank Muscat focus is very cleat that is to create a sustainable financial platform for the society and business thereby contributing to the economic growth of the sultanate. The bank is committed to sustainable development and they use the opportunity to strengthen partnerships to build relationships by creating opportunities for people and business so that they can grow and prosper by aligning themselves to the Oman Vision of 2020. The fall in the oil prices has been a very challenging situation and it is expected that the same shall impose a big threat to the financial performance of the company. Despite the tough operating environment, the Bank was able to sustain earnings and maintain the quality of its assets in the year 2017. The net income of the Bank in the same year was RO 175 approximately. This means that the company has faced tough and difficult situations with ease by accepting the challenge and overcoming the same.

Improvement in the access of services
In the Bank Muscat, the company understands that the banking services should be made accessible to their customers no matter wherever they are, and it is for this reason that the company has offered a wide range of banking channels to make sure that the needs of the customers are fulfilled. As part of their commitment to innovation in the banking service, they ensure that excellence in all their spheres of operation.

Customer experience
The Bank Muscat aspires to offer their customer the best experience possible so that they could constantly search for the new means to improve their customer service. in the year 2016, the bank conducted some meeting with the customers and the outcome of the meeting was positive. Demonstrating the innovative approach to their customers, the Bank was the first Bank in Oman that launched social media account in Twitter for the customers and to train their employees (Ananda and Devesh 2017).

Conclusion
Based on the discussion above, it can be held that the Bank has worked a lot on their marketing strategies to become popular within the people. Bank Muscat is determined to have the best international practices leader and strives to remain the bank of choice in all the products and services offered by the Bank. The company aims to be the best financial institution in Oman and that is why the goal of the company focuses majorly on the quality policy. The quality policy outlines the important objectives and special attention is paid to the material areas of the business. The same is achieved with the help of management systems to sustain a reputation for quality in both the national and the international markets.

References:

Al-Muharrami, S. and Murthy, Y.S.R., 2017. Interest banking spreads in Oman and Arab GCC. International Journal of Emerging Markets12(3), pp.532-549.

Ananda, S. and Devesh, S., 2017. Service quality dimensions and customer satisfaction: empirical evidence from retail banking sector in Oman. Total Quality Management & Business Excellence.

Belwal, R. and Al Maqbali, A., 2018. A study of customers’ perception of Islamic banking in Oman. Journal of Islamic Marketing.

Khan, D., Rahman, F., Al-balushi, H., Algaithi, A. and Al-Shihi, A., 2017. Impact of Social Media on Customers Satisfaction: Bank Muscat–A Case Study.

Sharma, S.K. and Al-Muharrami, S., 2018. Mobile Banking Adoption: Key Challenges and Opportunities and Implications for a Developing Country. In Emerging Markets from a Multidisciplinary Perspective (pp. 75-86). Springer, Cham.