At L&T Insurance, budgets for Digital Media are based on relevance
While many organizations look at Digital Marketing budgets as a fixed percentage of the overall marketing budget, L&T Insurance Company takes a radically different approach. To understand how budgets for technology are planned and allocatedat the company,
Digital media offers a marketer the flexibility to sell the same product to different target groups in a manner and context relevant to them”
Deepali Nair, Country Head - Brand, Corporate Communications & Customer Service, L&T General Insurance Company
Can you give us a brief overview of your digital media strategy? At L&T Insurance, digital media is integral to the overall marketing strategy. The digital marketing budget is not a percentage of the marketing budget, but each marketing program is evaluated for the “optimal” budget allocations to Digital versus ATL (Above The Line) versus BTL (Below The Line).
For example, media allocations for a cause related CSR program are evaluated on the basis of the best/ cheapest way to engage with the target audience. It may happen that the program is only meant for digital audiences in which case the allocation for digital media is 100 percent. We use this approach for both brand building and for lead generation marketing programs.
Similarly, use of a social media vehicle in our marketing strategy will depend on its relevance in reaching the customer or the suitability of the message to the social media in consideration. We launched our ‘Likh Ke Doge Kya’ campaign with a Facebook app for it, called the ‘Like Ke Doge Kya’ App. Aimed at allowing a user to experience the very ethos of ‘Like Ke Doge Kya’, the app enables any Facebook user to make a promise to a friend, colleague, family member and give it to them in writing (through the post). This was a 6-week contest where the person making the most number of promises to the most number of people and getting the most number of likes, comments and shares stands to win a prize. How do you use the Mobile channel for marketing? The mobile channel is integral to all the initiatives that we undertake at L&T Insurance. It is not just a marketing channel. It is a channel for communication with our intermediaries and our customers. For instance, during our internal and external events, we use the SMS service to send out personalized invitations to all the invitees. We also use mobile as a key criteria for the sales and CRM programs.
Let me explain -- the Indian population is close to 122 crore and today we have 75 crore mobile phones in this country. That means we have more than half the households/ population in this country using mobile phones. Reports also suggest that the penetration of mobile phones in urban areas is already close to 100 per cent. Therefore when we are talking about a new company like ours which targets adults, chances are 100 percent of our target audience have mobile phones. Given this premise, we have developed database principles to manage our CRM platform keeping the phone number as the key dedupe logic.
However, like all channels of digital marketing, mobile too has its own set of challenges. The mobile platform is evolving very fast. Apps which are relevant today may not be in around six months. Therefore, it is imperative to use basic technology like SMS to the full. What trends are you observing in the world of marketing and how is digital bringing about a
change in the general insurance industry? In the service industry, there is a skew towards high usage of digital media for lead generation, given it is ROI driven. Digital media offers you the flexibility to measure your campaign and scale it or fine-tune it based on analytics, which traditional media does not.
In the service industry, sales through web is here to stay. Recent trends indicate that the service industry is acknowledging this valuable connect and therefore, aligning their e-channels towards CMOs and marketing teams.
Having a digital presence becomes mandatory for a brand when one finds that its customers are using digital platforms to seeking information. A strong digital presence also enables a brand to extend its presence across geographies, cost effectively.
Additionally, from a customer segmentation perspective, there is no restriction on the number of segments one can choose. For instance, if a product is being pitched to a 35 yearold individual, the messaging would focus on his family and his children; as against, the product being pitched to a 25 year-old where the focus might be on health insurance for his parents. How should brands go about choosing digital media channels, especially social networks? Choosing a digital media channel should be a long-term strategic decision. A successful digital media strategy is not about having a presence across all platforms and to be seen everywhere. While there may be a large number of vehicles available, the choice should be made carefully based on its interactiveness and connect with the target customer.
A popular vehicle which works for one product category need not give best results for another. For example, Pinterest.com is more suited for retail, food and fashion brands and femaleoriented brands. Also, marketers need to answer certain long time strategic questions while choosing Facebook, such as ‘What will you do with all the fans you acquire on Facebook?’ ‘Where is the content coming from?’ Any strategy delivers best results when decisions are based on strategic intent. What are the limitations faced in the Financial industry? What restricts you from doing the things you want to do? The biggest challenge a BFSI marketer faces today is content. Operating in a highly regulated industry brings about restrictions on what all can be communicated. For instance, an entertainment brand need not be cautious about their messaging and content on social networks.