Insurance Industry takes a leap of faith towards Digital Experiential Marketing: Anjali Malhotra, Aviva India

Companies utilizing experiential marketing strategy will find ways to help customers form memorable, emotional connections with a brand to foster customer trust and a long-term value relationship with the brand writes Anjali Malhotra, Chief Customer, Marketing, Digital and IT Officer, Aviva India.


A lot has already been said and written about the way Covid-19 has changed our lives and businesses. As we try to come back to our earlier routines, the world will still never be the same. We need to understand the new normal and weave our lives around it. Brands and marketers are also witnessing various changes in their marketing strategies. The momentum of digital adoption among consumers is unlikely to reverse, and marketers should strategize using multiple channels to match consumer expectations in the new environment. Marketing will be redefined, and brands will invest in the right places to ensure the mediums are more effective, relevant and collaborative in these difficult times.

For decades, marketers were focused on revolving their ads and campaigns around their products, branding and marketing their wares, in innovative ways. People are now less driven by material things, and instead are investing their time and money into experiences that are meaningful to them. Experiential marketing is redefining itself and has completely changed how companies interact with their customers.

Due to the constraints such as social distancing and limited outdoor movements imposed due to the pandemic; marketers are forced to find alternative ways of giving a personalized experience to the user. The true magic is when brands adopt immersive branded experience to their set of customers. Instead of just selling, companies can engage in relevant and meaningful interactions that add value to the customers and enhance the trust quotient of the brand.

Before the outbreak of pandemic, experiential marketing strategies had a common thread for ‘people interface’ for example event marketing, on- ground activations, sampling installations etc.. Now, marketers are combining digital technology with a human touch - experiences to reinvent their strategies. They are now making interactions even more personalized through one-on- one interactions through telephonic -advice, use of video & bots, conferencing solutions – informing customers, imparting product knowledge, answering customer queries and so on. New age solutions such as Cloud Telephony, AI Powered Chat & Audio bots, Interactive Voice Response etc are being adopted to offer digital experiences to the customers.

At Aviva, our chatbot, ALISHA (acronym for Aviva Life Insurance Self Help assistant) is amongst India’s first few NLP (Natural Language Processor) powered Conversational Computing Solutions. It allows existing and prospective customers of Aviva Life Insurance to have easy access to information about various insurance policies 24X7 and round the clock instant response to their queries. It also promotes Financial Literacy, across all ages and geographies, with Insurance Made Simple, a skill taught to Alexa’s voice bot. With Alexa, Aviva is de-Jargonizing complex Insurance terms through the latest digital innovation. Such tools and technologies can help companies create memorable interactions that effectively strengthen trust, brand awareness, encourage trial and facilitate dialogue with current and prospective customers.

Digital experiences are impacting a lot in consumers’ purchasing decisions, especially when it comes to financial instruments. We can say, in person meetings have been replaced by offering relevant and sometimes even educative experiences online with new tools. Aviva has enhanced digital experiential tools that provide customers with a seamless, relevant, and meaningful experience to help them navigate through these tough times. These tools focus on assisting consumers to understand the very need for financial instruments & provide allied and complementing solutions along with mere plans for security. These differentiated digital tools not only educate customers, but also give them levers to manage their life better. For example, the Will Writing Service helps customers generate a Will online in 15 min securely, Aviva Kid-O-Scope helps parents identify their child’s inherent talents & plan their child’s career by securing their financial future and the Aviva SME Assist Tool enables business owners to evaluate their financial needs and risk profile to help them build a secure future for their businesses.

When it comes to customer journeys, creating mobile tours to performing virtual logins to offering a visual experience are methods of experiential marketing. Service providers can use educational videos to demonstrate what the product or service may look like. Instead of communicating through the traditional call centre system, they can also give the option of a live video call. Similarly, Aviva Mobile Sales Tool is an enhanced informative interface to interact with customers and transparently share information such as needs analysis of the customer, the right fit plan for them, key benefits of a plan, illustrations of premium and the payment process. It also offers our customers a hassle-free buying experience without any physical documentation.

This new approach is also important because in the post Covid-19 world, consumers will remember bands for their empathy, how they created happy memories, and were ‘there’ to support them. Consumers would like to see a brand being more considerate with purpose- driven actions and human centric messages. People are reacting and absorbing positive and inspiring content which calls for acknowledging the social, financial and other realities of this pandemic, empathizing with people's concerns and offering practical solutions.

Additionally, omnichannel is set to usher in a new era and would not be optional anymore. It has becoming increasingly important for brands to understand each customer and create experiences that are relevant to them, irrespective of the medium. One can say consumers are Omnipresent and marketers should not leave any stone unturned. A more focused digital adoption, distribution strategy and grinded content will offer an integrated omnichannel experience to the consumers.

The pandemic is teaching us a great deal about customer interactions and relationship building. Ultimately, companies utilizing experiential marketing strategy will find ways to help customers form memorable, emotional connections with a brand to foster customer trust and a long-term value relationship with the brand.

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