Impact from digital on the minds of the consumers is almost 90-95%: Karthik Raman, IDBI Federal Life Insurance

Karthik Raman
Superwomen 2019

Karthik Raman, CMO, and Head – Products & Strategy, IDBI Federal Life Insurance reveal insights on the recently launched #KeepIndia movement and IDBI Federal Life Insurance’s digital marketing strategy driving its growth. 

The BFSI sector in India has evolved from just being a dry industry to smartly integrating innovative and new age marketing techniques in their communication. According to India Brand Equity Foundation, the overall insurance industry is expected to reach US$ 280 billion by 2020 while the Life insurance industry in the country is expected to grow by 12-15 percent annually for the next three to five years.

With an aim to redefine the idea of fitness for India, IDBI Federal Life Insurance teamed up with its brand ambassador, Sachin Tendulkar to kickstart the#KeepMoving movement. The company, through the digital led campaign, seeks to drive home the message that in order to create and lead a healthy lifestyle, it is important to focus on both – Physical Fitness & Financial Fitness.

The #KeepMoving campaign was launched with short films featuring Sachin Tendulkar encouraging Indians to log onto the #KeepMoving microsite –www.keepmovingindia.com. Once on the microsite, they can then do an audit of their Physical Fitness and Financial Fitness levels by taking a short assessment test.

In conversation with Social Samosa, Karthik Raman, CMO, and Head – Products & Strategy, IDBI Federal Life Insurance shares some insights on the #KeepMoving movement, the power of storytelling through digital, growth in BFSI and much more.

Excerpts: 

What was the objective behind the #KeepMoving movement? Please take us through the campaign journey.

Through the #KeepMoving movement, we want to redefine the idea of fitness for India to drive home the message that in order to create and lead a healthy lifestyle, it is important to focus on both – Physical Fitness & Financial Fitness. We want people to understand that it is not a choice. For total fitness, one needs to place equal importance on both financial and physical fitness. We have created short films featuring our Brand Ambassador, Sachin Tendulkar which will encourage Indians to log onto the #KeepMoving microsite –www.keepmovingindia.com. Once on the microsite, users can then do an audit of their Physical Fitness and Financial Fitness levels by taking a short assessment test. The test results would reveal their current fitness levels on both parameters, as well as provide advice and tips to help them improve their scores.

How are you leveraging Sachin Tendulkar to take ahead the initiative? Also, how is digital media contributing to it?

Social Media Content Calendar 2019
Sachin Tendulkar has been associated with IDBI Federal since 2016, first as the Face of our Marathons and now as the Brand Ambassador. After his truly legendary cricketing career, he has been extremely active in spreading his message of health and fitness which resonates strongly with our purpose of empowering people to create the life and lifestyle of their choice. The #KeepMoving movement is helmed by Sachin and he features in the series of short films which encourage users to log onto the #KeepMoving microsite. The campaign is primarily digital and Sachin would also be amplifying the message through his social media handles.

What is the marketing mix like and how much budget is allocated for digital (percentage)? Has it increased vis-a-vis last year?

We are focusing solely on digital for this campaign, and not planning to use any other mediums. Digital is far more sustainable and gives us a greater reach at much less cost. So while we allocate 60% of our budget to digital, and the remaining 40% to ATL advertising such as outdoor and print ads, we find that the impact from digital on the minds of the consumers is almost 90-95%, while ATL garners just about 5-10% consumer mindshare. From a simple cost perspective, we find that spending on digital gives us more bang for the buck and hence we have been going down the digital route increasingly during the last couple of years.               

Where does digital marketing lie in the scheme of things at IDBI Federal Life? Also, what is your take on the growing popularity of Influencer Marketing in the ad world?

Digital lies at the heart of things for IDBI Federal Life Insurance. While we have used television and outdoor advertising for past campaigns, we have found that digital makes the most sense for us. With the way television is consumed today, if an advertisement comes on, I will switch the channel. Similarly, in outdoor advertising, I would spend an arm and leg, but it is highly likely that the ad would be missed. So for me, digital advertising gives the desired reach at a fraction of the cost.

Influencers have their role to play in today’s digital ecosystem. However, I feel that it makes sense for brands to use influencers if those influencers are able to talk about the product smartly and integrate it smoothly so that it looks natural. Otherwise, people will definitely see it as a paid push.

Do you think the BFSI sector still falls under the generic category of beats with less scope for experimentation? How challenging it is to market the offerings?

I think that there is no limit to creativity and experimentation within the BFSI sector. While it is true that many brands end up speaking the same language, there are a few that have an appetite for risk. They accept that they could fail, and keeping that in mind, go ahead and experiment with new things. This has helped them to differentiate themselves from competitors.

Also Read: Interview: Over 60% of our sales are generated online: Mandeep Singh Gulati: Aegon Life Insurance

Within the life insurance space, in particular, we see that most of the players sell their products either by instilling the fear of death in consumers or as tax-saving instruments. Over the years, we have endeavored to change this mindset by repositioning life insurance as an important tool for enhancing one’s financial security and well-being. We have used humor in many of our campaigns which have conveyed the message in a non-threatening manner. Additionally, through our marathons and other sports initiatives, we have attempted to convey positivity and encouraged Indians to lead a fitter and healthier life.

As a marketer, do you think storytelling campaigns make practical sense? Especially in the BFSI scene, how can brands leverage data-driven storytelling?

I think storytelling campaigns make a lot of sense, as they cut through the clutter and keep users hooked while driving home the message in a subtle manner. We have used storytelling very successfully across many of our campaigns, the latest being a couple of short films on our term insurance products which were made specifically for the digital medium and have been gaining a lot of traction.

What is your key takeaway from 2018 as a marketer?

I think the biggest takeaway from 2018 is that the brands that witnessed success were the ones that broke the mould and experimented with new things. Today’s consumer, considering the amount of data and information available at his finger-tips, has become blind to run-of-the-mill stuff and is only willing to accept innovative and clutter-breaking offerings.

What are the digital marketing trends that you foresee in 2019?

I think social media will have an even bigger role to play this year. We will see brands come out with even more innovations in the digital space to differentiate themselves and achieve top-of-mind recall. With the flexibility to play around with content, at a cost that does not heavily pinch the pockets, we can expect brands to innovate in new and thrilling ways to communicate their messages.


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