#TheSocialCMO: Going beyond insurance with Jitin Paul, Bharti AXA Life Insurance

Social Samosa
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Speaking to Jitin Paul, Chief Marketing Officer, Bharti AXA Life Insurance Company, Social Samosa discusses how the brand leveraged social media to set themselves apart in the industry with their newest campaign #GoBeyond.

Shattering existing the status quo, Bharti AXA has established a deeper relationship with their consumers through their efforts and the brand continues to labour in order to exhume the transactional perception, building a social media strategy that is not about them, but about their consumers.

Find out more about how social media and Bharti AXA Life Insurance put relationships first and transactions second.

1. As a CMO of the social age, what does social media mean to you?

Social media offers a platform for real, two way conversations. For a brand, there can’t be a better platform than social media to have authentic, balanced and daily contact with its Target Group. Digital will gain more power as a media in the years to come. There are pure nos. too that support this view.

Today, on average Indians spend over 2.5 hours on social media daily. It has become an integral part of the consumers lives and hence of the media mix as well. It helps amplify marketing efforts so you can be visible and engage actively with a wider audience to grow your business.

For a brand, it is paramount to be present where the consumer is. Social media has become an indispensable part of any marketing activity. Be it TV, outdoor or activations, social media helps amplify the message across all mediums. It helps in striking a conversation between the brand and the user and provides a foot in the door of the consumer. Not only this, for brands it provides a platform to understand the consumers better and provide solutions as per their evolving needs.

2. How does #GoBeyond contribute in achieving your objective from social media?

#GoBeyond is a universal thought that in our case brings out our philosophy as an organization. We want to create stories, start conversations and involve our audience in discussions around a theme that strongly sits at the core of our brand.

It is under this theme that we have launched an integrated marketing campaign for our new service - Grief Support Program. It is an initiative where-in we as insurance providers go beyond our call of duty and provide solutions to manage distress beyond just financial distress, during the time of loss. While we introduce consumers with the new service on mainline media, we want to drive conversations around the topic of #GoBeyond on social.

On social media, our underlying theme has been to provide #FreshPerspective on insurance. We aim to differentiate ourselves by talking about who we are rather than what we do. With the proposition of #GoBeyond we aim at creating a niche for the brand where-in we offer consumers what they need the most at the time of loss. We believe, with this initiative and campaign, our relationship with consumers will #GoBeyond just the traditional transactional relation between an insurer-policyholder.

3. How would you describe your brand voice on social media and what is underlying strategy of maintaining that tone?

Our brand voice is that of a challenger brand. We question status quo and bring something new to this category of protection. The underlying strategy for us is to establish this thought strongly and in an engaging manner.

This has been the driving thought for us on social platforms. Having established the brand offline through powerful mass media campaigns about products & services that provided a Naya Nazariya of insurance to our customers, the aim was to establish a niche position for the brand online.

While preserving the brand essence, we needed to carve out a new identity for the brand in the online space. “Fresh Perspectives” was born out of this thought. “Fresh Perspectives” added a new dimension to the brand by bringing in what is essential to social media – new ideas, thoughts and opinions and fusing them with the brand essence of Naya Nazariya. Staying true to the category was also essential for this approach to be enriching for the consumer.

4. BFSI is known to be a dry genre, what kind of engagement hooks do you use to rise above this barrier and connect with your audience on social media?

When you meet someone on social media, the first thing you tend to do is to view their profile and understand the person. When people choose brands to follow, the modus operandi is no different. They want to know who you are before they want to know what you do. Our focus all through has been to create this “Who” for us on digital media. So we feel that a brand is as interesting, intriguing and engaging as the stories it tells , people it celebrates and causes it discusses, and we have worked on this strategy for digital as a whole and social media in particular.

We have moved away from static content educating or advertising about our products and services on social media. We keep experimenting and evolving on content to ensure that the consumer is hooked to us. Trends on social media keep evolving continuously, over the last year there has been a shift towards audio visual content.

The key is to keep innovating and staying current with the upcoming trends. The content that started in the form of pure video content; now has moved to subtitled content and long format gifs taking over the social media content landscape. Apart from select memes, 2D content has all but disappeared. Constant innovation and technology enabled ideas are essential to create engagement and constant two way dialogue.

5. How big is the BIG idea for Bharti AXA Life Insurance? Please take us through insights and rationale of some of the most successful campaigns by the brand

The Big idea is category redefining idea. It Goes Beyond Insurance and moves from transaction to relationship. #GoBeyond

Our most successful campaigns have been around the area of claims management – 48 hours Fund Release campaign followed by the longest running Dedicated Claims Handler campaign. This time the Big Idea of our brand campaign is to ‘Go Beyond’ our call of duty and support our customers and their families through the ‘Grief Support Program’. We provide emotional counselling, financial advice and second opinion on will to the claimant and his/her family.

The first big campaign that we launched on social was under the theme of “Fresh Perspectives”. We launched the YouTube channel with this campaign. The channel was launched with a showcase of real life stories that had the brand essence “Fresh Perspective” at the heart of their narrative. We launched with a Fresh Perspective on health, environment & safety. The campaign was promoted across YouTube and Facebook and established firmly the brand essence of Fresh Perspectives in the minds of our consumers.

The next campaign we launched was Confusion Ka End for the launch of our product Bharti AXA Life Invest Once. There are various product categories to choose from, and plethora of advice from multiple sources. We presented Bharti AXA Life Invest Once as a simple, targeted and compelling solution that puts an end to this confusion around savings and investment. So the very thought of “Confusion Ka End” was the bedrock of our positioning for this campaign, and worked as a strong creative handle across all traditional and digital platforms. We created a dedicated FB page and a twitter handle on Confusion Ka End. We launched interactive AR banners, viral videos and engaging content on social media. It created the maximum conversations on social for our brand.

Last year, we launched the #GoToFriend campaign. It was on our service where-in we provide a Dedicated Claims Handlers to claimants to help them throughout the claims process. We launched a digital film which talks about how Bharti AXA Life provides a #GoToFriend to assist claimants during the claims process. This was the most engaged campaign among our competitors on Facebook as well as Twitter.

6. Bharti AXA Life Insurance follows a rounded approach in terms of the media mix. Where does social media stand in the scheme of things? How much per cent of your marketing budgets are saved for social?

Our media mix includes TV, outdoor, print, digital, etc. Overall around 10-15% of our total spend is on digital and social media which forms a huge part of it. Social media basically helps us amplify our efforts across media and provides an opportunity to reach out to a wider audience in a more effective and targeted manner.

7. What kind of a measurement metrics do you have to calculate RoI on your social media initiatives?

On social media, our objective is to drive engagement. And thus, the metrics we track is Engagement rates across our social handles. It is a good reflection of how receptive consumers are of our content. With a good engagement rate, we can be sure that our content strategy is working fine.

On LinkedIn, we measure the talent brand index. We have consistently been the most engaged brand among competitors on Facebook and on Linkedin, we have the highest TBI among life insurers in India.

While we have launched some lead gen campaigns on social, we believe there is still time for consumers to become receptive of them and to start transacting on social. We plan to drive business from social but the pace of its progress will be decided by the consumers.

8. Please share 5 tips for brands and marketers trying to make it on social media

Have a distinct and unique identity

It is important to own a space on digital. And this space is established by defining and communicating what the brand stands for. The brand should create a unique space for itself in a way that the overarching theme of the page is established, campaigns are structured and the tone and manner of the content is defined. The content strategy thereon should only reinforce the brand identity by various means.

Go Outside in

Sometimes brands get inclined to talking more about their products and services, even on social media. Engagement then becomes a challenge as the approach should be outside in and not inside out. The brand should mirror the consumer expectations and the communication should not be centered on the brand. Once a dialogue is established, business goals can be driven through the community that has been earned.

Audio-visual works

The storytelling format and audio-visual content are here to stay for long. Consumers prefer content that is vivid and tells a story, they engage with such content and hence is a great way to create conversations organically.

Keep it anchored

While the content on social, should not be limited to a single genre, it is important to keep it anchored. When we launched the theme of Fresh Perspectives which is a rich area to explore, we ensured to operate in the area of protection. This ensures the content hits the right spot where it remains relevant for both the consumer and the brand.

Review and contemporize

There are some compelling tools that can aid brands to assess which content is working and which needs to be relooked at. It is important to keep reviewing and contemporizing content to meet the changing consumer trends.

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