New Delhi Bajaj Allianz Life Insurance’s chief marketing officer said the growth rate of Bajaj Allianz Life Insurance exceeded 50% in FY22 even as the private life class grew by 26-27%. In an interview, Mehra shared his views on the life insurance company’s changing communication strategy to target young consumers, and the value of blending performance marketing and storytelling. Edited excerpts:
How difficult is it to market a category like insurance?
We embarked on a journey of brand transformation about four years ago based on what the competition was doing and how consumers’ expectations and aspirations had evolved in the new era. The competition has been making a lot of noise about uncertainty, unfortunate events and how life insurance products will address these concerns. When we talked to consumers, we realized that New Age customers were expressing expectations about life goals, such as building a second home by age 40, starting a business by age 35, giving parents a tour of Europe by age 30, and so forth. . And we said we wanted to be an enabler for their life goal. Earlier, we had a spell called Super Agent, someone in their late forties. It has become irrelevant in the context of new and emerging consumer sentiment. The reorganization exercise resonates well with the public and internal stakeholders. It’s not just positioning, but the entire sales narrative – the approaches, products, and tools needed to start understanding customers’ life goals.
What media do you use the most?
Banking, financial services, and insurance, especially insurance, are comprehensively leveraging their marketing mix. Marketing is a powerful combination of branding, as well as performance marketing – leveraging data, generating leads for networking, the right messaging and product suggestion. Data is a powerful component of marketing.
By performing marketing do you mean conversion?
Performance marketing is anything that can be clearly measured – it’s just a measure of ROI in terms of the amount invested and the revenue it generates. It measures your reach, permissions, click-through rate, number of conversions, and the value of each transaction. We publish performance marketing tools such as search engine optimization.
What is your annual ad budget and per media quota?
I can’t share the exact number. But the ratio is leaning more and more towards digital. However, we believe that combining digital and offline media is just the right mix. Offline we use TV, print and outdoor. Television continues to have the lowest cost per thousand accesses and is one of the best and most effective drivers for building emotional connection. Then we take advantage of printing because it gives you the ability to tailor the exact technical details of the products in the insurance. Brand marketing digitally uses YouTube, Google, social media, and now OTT platforms.
Has social media made life difficult for brands?
First of all, brands should have a clear view. They must have a purpose. This depends on three things: your work environment, the societal attitude and the belief system of your leadership team and employees. Social media is a great platform to take a stand, express it, and connect with it. It’s also a great listening platform. Consumers will communicate and express their feelings or grievances on social media platforms and brands must be quick to respond and resolve these issues. Listening also allows you to monitor customer voices which can be a very powerful feed for your operations, product development, services, and even marketing messages. However, not all responses on social media are reasonable. This does not mean that the brand should get involved in some random and unreasonable response. Your core audience will see through it anyway.
How has the COVID-19 pandemic changed the marketing rulebook?
First, there is massive digital adoption across the chain. For the marketer, this has changed the effect that he/she can have in making this entire journey frictionless. The more you simplify the journey, the customer will reward you with loyalty. Second, customers reward trustworthy, transparent, and purposeful brands. These attributes are the drivers of new customer value. Third, the power of personalization comes from digital adoption. You can fully track their behavior inside and outside your systems. We are biased towards performance because it can be easily measured. But marketing will still be a mixture of data-driven science, analytics, technology, and the art of storytelling. The combination of these two types will help brands establish a meaningful connection with customers.
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