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,

InformationWeek - - Interview - BY BRIAN PEREIRA tweet @bri­an9p

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.

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