A driving force behind brands like ICICI Prudential, Asian Paints and Pillsbury, Manish Dubey is credited with building direct-to-customer online business at ICICI Prudential that has grown 20-fold in 5 years.
Under Dubey’s leadership as Chief Marketing Officer, ICICI Prudential Life Insurance, the company realigned its strategy, started working with various new age digital distributors, data lake creation and launched a new website and app. The website is one of the most visited in the industry amongst private peers, and app ratings are the highest with over 1.1 million downloads.
What kind of changes are you witnessing in the purchase of policies in general and customer profiles in particular in the post-pandemic era? Can you explain this trend in terms of your overall business over the past three years?
Customers take considerable time from exploration to purchasing a life insurance product. They interact anywhere between 5-10 times pre-purchase. Based on digital behaviour, we have personalized the content and simplified the journey. This has led to improvement in customer fulfilment.
Customers as young as 22-23 years are considering term insurance plans at the beginning of their productive years. There is also an increase in demand for term insurance plans with the return of premiums. To cater to customer needs we have introduced ‘ICICI Pru iProtect - Return of Premium’, which pays back all premiums paid by the customers on the completion of the policy tenure.
There is also an increased appreciation for retirement products that offer guaranteed returns for life. We recently launched ‘ICICI Pru Guaranteed Pension Plan – Flexi’, which is an innovative annuity plan that enables customers to systematically contribute towards building a retirement corpus over the long-term and eventually receive guaranteed lifelong income.
Customers have increasingly become aware of various illnesses that can impact their lives. They are cognizant that a critical illness could consume all their savings. We offer customers a critical illness benefit, which covers 64 illnesses like cancer, heart disease and more. The critical illness benefit pays out the claim upon diagnosis of certain critical illnesses covered.
How are you leveraging technology with reference to marketing initiatives?
We are leveraging advancements in the field of technology to support our marketing efforts. We have created a unified central repository of data from multiple sources like Google Analytics, call centre, clickstream, CRM and issuance data.
This helps in generating intelligent reports near real-time for improved data interpretation and analysis. This, along with the propensity score based on age, income bracket, channel source, location and customer details help us to offer personalized product propositions to our customers.
Which social media platform is most popular for the insurance sector?
Today, a customer’s purchase decision is influenced by brand perception on various social media platforms. At ICICI Prudential Life Insurance, we create engagement by driving relevant content using the 4A model of Attraction, Authority, Affinity and Action. Each platform is quintessential and their roles have been distinctly defined.
For example, we use Instagram and YouTube for visual content to attract and connect emotionally. We leverage LinkedIn to drive thought-leadership within the category. We also use this platform to drive employee advocacy. The affinity part of 4A involves making use of Facebook for content which is brand-led, product-led and contextual.
Additionally, we use it along with YouTube to disseminate regional content to reach out to a larger audience. Twitter is used to connect real-time with our audience; we use the platform for news, updates, query resolution, polls etc. and define actions.
What is the traction from online channels in terms of purchases/ queries that the company has been receiving over the past three years?
We are consistently among the preferred life insurers for customers over the past 2 decades. Customers have been consistently visiting our website and mobile app for seeking information about products and services.
Customers also visit our website to know more about the significance of critical illness and accidental death benefit add-ons, pay out benefits and claims process. This also correlates with the number of customers purchasing from the website. Some top queries that customers search online are term products - like why should they buy a term plan, or how a term plan is different from other life insurance plans. Customers also seek information on the benefits of buying a guaranteed income product.
In FY2022, approximately 96 per cent of new business applications were logged in digitally, and over 91 per cent of service transactions were done through self-help or the digital mode.
What are your plans for the upcoming festive season? Are you planning to increase your ad budget in the Q2 and later?
Our budget for any quarter is demand centric. We would capitalize on the demand that we have seen during festive seasons in previous years and plan accordingly.