In an era where technology and data reign supreme, the landscape of the Banking, Financial Services, and Insurance (BFSI) sector has undergone a radical transformation. The boom in digitization and the surge in MarTech have reshaped the way financial institutions engage with customers, driving innovation and setting new standards of customer-centricity.
To know more about these advancements, exchange4media spoke to Ruchika Malhan Varma, Chief Marketing Officer, Future Generali India Insurance, who shared how technology-based decision-making has been one of the most significant changes in the sector. “Digitization and MarTech, powered by data-driven strategies across the entire customer journey, play a key role in shaping marketing strategies. This is applicable across the entire customer lifecycle - pre, during and post-purchase,” she said.
Varma also spoke on the company’s digital strategies, upcoming initiatives, reaching different demographics and more.
Where does hyper-personalisation stand in the BFSI MarTech stack today?
It is a significant aspect, in terms of offerings and content, and is made possible by advanced data analytics and AI. Each customer is unique, and so are their needs. With these tools, customization can enhance customer experience, making it more tailored and efficient.
This has also impacted marketers' storytelling abilities. It allows messaging to be more impactful and engaging to leave a lasting impression. It helps in cutting through the clutter in a market that has numerous products or services vying for audience attention.
In this context, engaging influencers has played a vital role in BFSI marketing. They establish personalized connections and effectively convey messages.
In this era of personalisation, what impact do you think the Digital Personal Data Protection Bill will have on marketing in the BFSI space?
The BFSI sector will have transformative changes as a large amount of customer data is recorded by banks and insurance companies, and we will have to reassess data practices to ensure enhanced security.
Marketers will have to align with applicable data protection requirements and recalibrate digital marketing strategies. Caution is needed before choosing digital channels for communication to ensure customer trust and privacy. This will certainly impact the overall cost of doing business.
What would you say is an ideal digital strategy for insurance marketers in the current marketing landscape?
One that delivers results across the marketing funnel, and fetches results in terms of business, brand equity and improved customer satisfaction.
One side of the coin is the customer acquisition strategy. Data-driven human insights are the core here.
The modus operandi is to then leverage these insights to develop propositions, run top-of-the-funnel campaigns that build salience and deliver on brand values, create clutter-breaking storytelling, use influencers to drive engagement, and then run targeted campaigns to drive bottom-of-the-funnel metrics and remarket to those who showed interest.
The other side of the coin is keeping the customers not just satisfied but delighted. To achieve this (retention), it’s important to use a mix of human touch and technology to deliver a world-class customer experience.
How have digital channels played out for you?
It is an undeniable fact that India’s internet consumption skyrocketed during the pandemic and continues to rise. The average Indian spends around 7.3 hours per day on their smartphone —one of the highest in the world. As a brand, we focus on reaching out to our customers wherever they are - on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram or YouTube.
Moreover, we are constantly striving to drive awareness and consideration for protection products amongst a younger demographic to expand the market, which again makes social media and influencers a crucial part of our media campaigns.
Many of our campaigns, launched on YouTube, sparked conversations online and offline. For instance, FGII’s social experiment videos on diversity and bias against members of the LGBTQIA+ community garnered more than 1 million views each. Our OhMyDog campaign (where we took over cricketer Rohit Sharma’s Twitter handle) was one of the hit campaigns on the internet.
The total digital social reach of the OOH campaign featuring LGBTQIA+ couples for the very first time in India was over 15 crores and we had over 8 crore impressions. Overall, we have seen a 59% increase in website traffic and 24% growth in social media followers in FY 2022-23.
How do you woo the youth, and not lose touch with the older cohort of consumers?
The strategy is based on three key pillars: Content, Culture, and Channel.
In terms of content, the company focuses on messaging that is based on relevant needs that cut across demographics. For example, Future Generali was among the first insurance brands to talk about mental health, an issue that affects people of all ages. Similarly, the company bridged a gap for pet parents by offering medical coverage for pet dogs, filling a need that was not demographically driven.
In terms of culture, we utilize universal cultural cues to connect with customers. We used music as a cultural currency to launch one of our propositions, featuring a rap song sung by Indian rapper Slow Cheetah and Anil Kapoor. The choice of rap was driven by the younger demographic but was enhanced by a popular face that resonated with all demographics.
Finally, coming to channels, we have a strong focus on digital channels, which work well for both younger and older customers. We subsequently differentiate by platforms.
For example, on Instagram, where there are younger audiences, we use reel-based, image-based, quick content backed by a strong influencer strategy. On other platforms such as Facebook and LinkedIn, which help the company engage slightly aged audiences, we use a mix of educational and informational content to drive our messages.
Regardless of age, today’s consumer wants to engage with brands which have a purpose and are not just transactional.