PNB MetLife to go big on customer-centricity in 2020: Nipun Kaushal

PNB MetLife 2020

In conversation with Social Samosa, Nipun Kaushal, Chief Marketing Officer, PNB MetLife charts the way forward for the brand in 2020.

Insurance is an excellent way to save tax and financial security. How do we know? Well, it’s the beginning of the second month of the year and almost all insurance companies are in full swing to advertise the fact. Quite a few diverse lines of communication have been taken up in recent campaigns, one of them being PNB Metlife’s #ShedTheTax. It leverages influencer marketing in a big way and provides consumers a personalised tax report. Nipun Kaushal, Chief Marketing Officer, PNB MetLife tells us more.

“As a brand we want to say that it isn’t about saving taxes but how good you are at planning your taxes. The personalised tax calculator is our way to help people do that,” he says.

The core concept of the campaign is shed the tax, not your lifestyle. Kaushal tells us how the brand’s effort will concentrate on customer-centricity in 2020. Here are the edited excerpts from the candid conversation.

PNB MetLife has kickstarted 2020 by going big on the #ShedTheTax initiative. Could you briefly tell us how the campaign came about?

We looked at our target group to understand the people would be interested in buying insurance. It is largely the young generation and people who are currently in their first jobs. We were clean on what needed to be conveyed to our customers and so we have them an enabler with a personalised tax calculator. It is a very simple format calculator that helps you understand the key concepts as well. We also uploaded 20 videos featuring a tax consultant who explained everything in the simplest way.

What’s next for the #SheTheTax campaign?

As a brand we want to cater to every segment. Post January, we will be focussing on SMEs and self-employed people because that is when they start planning their taxes. The first set was for the younger generation and working class and the second phase will be for the self-employed professionals.

#ShedTheTax essentially asked people to engage in an activity and post about it. How do you motivate people without reward?

The reward factor here is that they get a personalised tax report for which they would otherwise have to go to either a tax consultant or a CA. The younger generation people won’t really for this option and would probably end up surfing the internet to figure things out. Our personalised tax calculator has as simple format and there are just 20 questions that they have to fill to get the report.

How significant are influencer marketing and celebrity associations for PNB MetLife as a brand?

PV Sindhu is our brand ambassador and we have been leveraging her across. We are utilising her story to say that even successful people do financial planning. Same is true for Harbhajan Singh. Influencers help spread the message and make people realise that at the end of the day, it is not just about sports and glamour, they care about their financial health as well. In the next phase, we will be working with micro-influencers for they will give us the depth across. If the micro-influencer is a CA or someone who writes about finances, they can help us reach more people who are interested in our message.

What is the best medium for PNB Metlife to reach maximum people?

In BFSI, you have a limited set of people who are financially a bit savvy or are interested to know more. They are largely online. Beyond a point, billboard and television will just help me create a brand recall but my entire tactical message on a certain product or feature will come largely from online. We can’t explain the whole thing on television because it is quite expensive. No doubt it gives me a huge reach but when I do my cost-benefit analysis, it is evident that digital gives me a better ROI and more details of the customer than mass media like television or print.

Which digital trends would you be tapping into during 2020?

2020 for PNB MetLife will be focussed on digital where our budgets will further move towards digital and building the whole customer journey online. We are revamping our entire portal. There are two sets of customers, one that have a PNB account and the other who check for information online. Having great content would address both the target segments. Nearly 40% of our customers who bought an offline product come online to read about the usage of the product. It will also create a huge amount of traffic for the website, which on the technical side, will improve its SEO score.

The first quarter of the year usually witnesses high marketing spends from BFSI brands, what does 2020 look like for PNB MetLife?

I think there is a huge opportunity after JFM when people get their bonuses and have some income available to invest. When others have a low decibel level, it is easier to increase your decibel level at a lower cost and education people in terms of how they should start planning their taxes right away instead of waiting till the end of the year. As a brand, we are progressing towards customer centricity. Anything and everything we do, may it be internal or external, how does it impact the customer. This applies to spends as well.

Also Read: Storytelling will be key to BFSI brands in 2020: Shilpa Desai, Fullerton India

Do you feel its tricky to put forth an emotive narrative but also stay true to explaining the risks of a financial decision about risks to potential customers?

It is not very easy because the product is essentially a mortality product. When something happens to you, your family gets the benefit. Over the last few years, the products have been structured and planned as instruments for the living today. What we want to communicate is that if you plan properly, you will get a guarantee, that is is a fantastic product in terms of investment. So, the advertisements talk in terms of customer benefit point of view rather than getting into the negative side of it. It’s not just the communication but also the product that has evolved over time as it the product plays the most important role.