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Digitally insuring HDFC Life as a brand

As Narendra Modi-led National Democratic Alliance’s government had completed a year at the centre, market pundits boast of improved economic state of the country and the impact of Mr Modi’s reformist policies in the financial sector. While the impact of his financial policies is still debatable, one innovation that has transformed financial services marketing in India in the last one year is – digital.

BFSI (Banking, Financial Services and Industry) companies are increasingly embracing the digital revolution in the country and making it an integral part of the marketing mix. Sanjay Tripathy, Senior Executive Vice President of Marketing, Product, Digital, and ecommerce at HDFC Life in conversation with Digital Market Asia, highlights his key insights into the marketing environment and its bearing on the financial sector.

According to Mr Tripathy building the right marketing mix between different media is like building a plan for a balanced diet. Tracking largely the marketing objectives of the company and the message it wants to convey, the marketer picks the apt platform for communication.

Mr Tripathy highlighted HDFC Life’s strong social media presence and explained how they are using it to build customer engagement. HDFC Life boasts of extensive fan following on social media with 137,000 followers on its official Twitter account and over 3.6 million likes on Facebook. According to Mr Tripathy, HDFC Life also enjoys largest number of followers in the BFSI segment.

Besides engaging on popular platforms such as Twitter, Facebook and YouTube, it is also looking closely at programmatic advertising. “In programmatic advertising, you try to create a profile of the consumer you are trying to get in touch with. Initially, the consumer will be shown a generic ad but as he builds his profile, the advertising will get more targeted and relevant for the consumer,” he added.

HDFC Life is keen on contextual advertising for its brand and other areas that it is exploring in digital media marketing include – social commerce, given its strong social media and SEM (search engine marketing).  “We are looking comprehensively at the entire digital marketing place,” Mr Tripathy said.

Furthermore, “Digital marketing is not only about digital selling but creating a wholesome digital experience for the consumer,” said Mr Tripathy. He emphasised that companies should not be focussed on juts selling their product on a digital platform but the consumer should also be in position to enjoy all the services on digital. It is crucial to make the buying experience more digitally optimised, he added.

However, despite all the buzz around the digital and almost 35 per cent HDFC Life’s ad spending resting in digital marketing avenues, television will continue to be its core medium given its wide reach. Meanwhile, it is planning to lower its presence on print and OOH.

Going forward, marketers need to keep a close eye on technology and need to upgrade their backend to keep it in sync with the latest technological trends in the market. In 2015, SMAC (Social, mobile, analytics and cloud) and IOT (Internet of Things) were the biggest buzzwords in the digital marketing arena, as they are expected to redefine digital marketing for India, Mr Tripathy concluded.