BFSI VISION | Marketing


Tamanna Khanna

Head Marketing ,
IndiaFirst Life Insurance Company Ltd.

Technology the key player in changing the marketer-customer relationship

Biggest Challenges for Marketing from A Digital Perspective

Digital is no more fighting for its spot in the business strategy. It is in fact defining and shaping the business strategy. The new platforms and technologies have transformed the way we look at the phrase ‘knowing your customer’. Although it helps us peep deeper into the consumers’ minds, digital keeps you on your toes and brings along its own challenges as well.

How to be relevant at all times?
Consumers today have the immense power to choose; to choose between platforms, sources, influencers and brands. While making their choices, what plays an important role is the relevance of the content and communication that they consume. Brands today are in constant conversation with their consumers, especially through various digital platforms. These conversations need to not only be interesting and engaging, but also relevant at all times.

Added to this, there is a tough battle among brands to stake claim on the space in the consumers’ mind or should we say, screen. This battle revolves around creating more buzz about their existence, gaining more engagement with their customers and remaining atop in terms of brand recall.

This emphasizes the marketers’ need to stay more interactive, responsive, innovative and fresh in terms of adding value to the sea of information and knowledge. A brand, thus, can neither afford to get stagnant nor reach the level of saturation in this fast paced digital world.

While this medium does require very thoughtful understanding and planning, it has opened a new world of opportunities and possibilities for marketers.

The Power to ‘interact one-to-many’

One of the greatest opportunities that digital provides brands, is the ability to ‘interact one-to-many’. Digital as a medium enables marketers to interact with its target audience in a much more controlled and cost-effective manner. Data analytics helps marketers build valuable insights. The flexibility to break down the audience into segments, tailor and deliver relevant communication to them provides great economical benefits. And yet it allows you to reach out to large number of customers at the same time. The nature of this medium being ‘real-time’, the interactions with the brands are far more prompt and fruitful

What is most challenging about mobile for marketing?

As a medium, Mobile has already become an important marketing component across industries, but figuring out where exactly does it fit in the overall business strategy and in turn campaign efforts, still comes up as a question to most. While as a vehicle, due to high penetration, mobile marketing does have its place in the sun, but is yet to really gain momentum. One of the biggest challenges around marketing using mobile is to come up with sustainable campaigns wherein ‘mobile’ as a medium would be looked up to as a primary way to break or run a campaign as compared to its most common interpretation of being a tactical support arm. Simply put, when we talk about marketing using mobile as a medium, most people see it as a way to build brand awareness as against actually driving purchases through it and building customer loyalty through value additions.

While exceptions to this rule do exist for e.g. the Kaan Khajura Station Campaign by Unilever that used mobile as a way to reach out to remote parts of the country, this too as a business model is yet to be replicated in other parts of a country, as diverse as India.

Technology platforms have changed the power equation – power has passed from the brand owner to the customer – in marketing? How has this redefined your message?

Technology has definitely played a major role in changing the marketer-customer relationship. It has brought the customer from the focal position to driving position. This is because a lot of interaction between customers and brands today is triggered at the end-user level. So businesses have now begun to accept this transfer of power and are adjusting their strategies and communication accordingly.

From a marketing perspective, the major shift that we see is from ‘what the brand wants to communicate’ to ‘what the customer wants to consume?’ The hero of the message is no longer the product/ service, but the benefit or value that it offers to the end user. Today, technology provides consumers easy access to information and the facility to even compare and get reviews; making sure brands are honest in their communication and claims. This is particularly applicable to the insurance industry in which the entire business value chain is built on trust.

IndiaFirst always attributed this decision making power to its customers. ‘Making Life Easier’ is not just our philosophy, but our commitment to our stakeholders. Our strategies and marketing path have always been based on ‘end-user approach’. Easing the complex processes of insurance, simplifying the jargons, terms and conditions, and enabling our customers in choosing the most suitable plan has always been at the centre of our communication.