Engagement through 'meaningful' value propositions: Sanjay Tripathi, HDFC Life
Life insurance is complex and largely a push category. For brand managers, it becomes more of a challenge to engage with prospects and build a long term relationship with them. In a category like this, which is a fundamental need for everyone, HDFC Life has believed in building meaningful value propositions to engage with customers. Sanjay Tripathi, Senior Executive Vice President, HDFC Life, in an exclusive interaction with EE talks about ways to forge an emotional and engaging bond with customers.
Q- What is your marketing mix and what are your spends towards experiential marketing?
At HDFC Life we are committed to marketing as a function that drives customer awareness and consideration for our brand. The marketing mix - depends entirely on the objective of the particular campaign and defined target audience. Our recent brand campaign, Memories for life, used a mix of TV and digital for driving awareness and print, radio, social media campaigns, outdoor activations and direct marketing to create trials and also serve as reminder media.
‘Memories for Life’ as a platform was aimed at creating to create a unique customer experience and a strong differentiator in the Life Insurance space. The objective was based on the simple customer insight that the bread winner adds far more value than just financial independence for his family. To take this unique experience to our audience, we conducted on ground activations in malls, theatres and offices across India to demonstrate and hand hold the customer through the entire video recording process. In the 2nd phase, we tied up with IPL’s Rising Pune Supergiants, where we got players like Kevin Pietersen and R Ashwin to record messages for their loved ones. These testimonial videos gave the audience another reason to record a message on the platform. Further, our BTL leg spurred them to record now!
Q- How is that you attract new customers?
A few months ago, we launched Memories for Life, a unique digital platform where people can record messages for their loves ones and schedule it up to 10 years in the future because a there’s a lot in life that is unsaid. The idea was to offer a platform where once can leave behind messages, life lessons, memories and much more, enabling them to leave behind more than just money. Further, recently we launched HDFC Life YoungStars, India's first digital talent hunt that gives a platform to children in the genres of singing, musical instruments, comedy and dance. The idea came from the understanding that parents (our customers and prospects) are the first to spot a child’s potential or talent. Parents are always looking for ways to help nurture their child’s talent. HDFC Life has always partnered with parents through financial planning to help children realize their full potential and capitalize on their talents. However, as a brand we have always believed in being more than just a financial enabler. Hence, with HDFC Life YoungStars we have gone a step further and created a platform where parents can help their kids to showcase, and nurture their talents under the guidance of expert celebrity mentors. Children selected in this nation-wide hunt will got a chance to be groomed by celebrity mentors and masters of their respective domains- Cyrus Sahukar for Comedy, Siddharth Mahadevan for Singing, Lauren Gottlieb for Dancing and Raghav Sachar for Musical Instruments.
Q- Please share with us the recent experiential campaigns that have worked best for HDFC Life Insurance?
On Feb 10, 2016 HDFC Life launched a unique value added video service in the form of a microsite - Memories.hdfclife.com. The idea was to enable a person to leave behind not just a financial legacy, but a cache of life lessons that could act as a guiding light on his/her family. For using the platform, a user has to simply log on, record a video message and set a date up to 10 years in the future, on which they would like their loved ones to receive their messages. The site offers several customizable options like a host of background and music options to add a personal touch. Imagine receiving a message recorded by your parents ten years ago specifically for your graduation day! Memories are priceless.
To take this new offering to the audience, BTL activations were conducted across cities where not only demonstrations of the platform were provided, but occasions to use the platform, emotional benefits and other softer aspects were also struck upon to spur repeat trials. In the immediate months following its launch, people recorded about 5000+ videos amounting to 1 lakh+ video seconds during the campaign. The spontaneous awareness and consideration for the brand significantly increased because of the campaign.
Q- With more and more women becoming aspirational and youth becoming more responsible, how do you tap and cater to this segment?
HDFC Life has always recognized women and the youth as important segments, both as buyers and influencers. In 2008, the woman took centre stage in our ‘Big car’ campaign where the daughter expresses her wish to buy her dad a big car thanks to her financial planning. Similarly, our 2010 campaign represented the youth as a responsible individual. Last year, we launched HDFC Life Cancer Care, a special cancer insurance using a real life cancer survivor, actor and model Lisa Ray as the spokesperson. This was based on research which showed the increasing occurrences of cancer in India, especially amongst women.
Q- What are your future experiential marketing plans?
In the future, we plan to continue adding value to our customer’s life and offer him solutions for all his needs. The endeavor has always been to innovate in terms of technology, product offering and creating meaningful propositions.
Q- What does HDFC Life look for in an event agency?
BTL is essentially a medium for carrying the brand message. It entirely depends on the kind of campaign and its objectives. HDFC Life engages with event agencies – from time to time based on our requirements. Some of the core capabilities like understanding of the brand, pan India presence, innovation in planning and executing events, good tie-ups and dedicated reporting are some of the parameters we consider before choosing an agency.
Q-How relevant is technology for your brand? If there was no technology, what would have been your strategy?
Digital strategies in the insurance sector are not only about incorporating technologies into the organization, but it’s also about reinventing the organizational culture. This eventually leads to drive in innovation, change, process enhancement and better customer service. As an organization, we always encourage forward thinking in the insurance landscape to redefine our roles and to fundamentally change the way we create and deliver products and services. One of the key areas that we are currently focusing on is strengthening customer relationships through the use of technology. Through technology it is possible to provide meaningful and customized experience at every stage of their buying journey.
Every organization has to pass through developmental phases as they grow, at the beginning there is always stability and growth. It ends up with an evolutionary phase of change which decides the future of the organization. The way an organization adapts those changes and makes necessary adjustments and decides whether or not a company will move into the next phase of growth and sustenance. Technology is a part of that evolutionary change which the insurance industry is going through right now. If not technology, then there must have been some other change that would disrupt the sector. Our focus is on building flexibility in our system that could help us grow through every phase of evolution.
Q- What are the new features added in your app to enhance the customer experience?
We believe in evolving with the customer. Improving the customer experience and making his life simple at every step is at the core of our philosophy. The New Mobile App offers five products- HDFC Life Click 2 Protect Plus, HDFC Life Click 2 Invest, HDFC Life Cancer Care, HDFC Life Easy Health, and HDFC Life Click 2 Retire. An enhanced ‘My Account’ section is the servicing module to view and monitor policies. We have also introduced ‘My Funds’ which allows ULIP customers to check the performance of their invested amount in different funds. There has been a new provision introduced where the customers can aggregate non HDFC Life policies to keep a track of all their insurance instruments. Quick pay option for the customers to renew their policies on the go and a robust response management system to enable the customer to connect with the HDFC Life helpdesk for pre sales and post sales queries is what we have newly included in our app.
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