Interview with Anisha Motwani, Director and CMO at Max New York Life
PW: How important is technology for the success of the modern marketer?
AM: To answer that question, let’s first see the Indian scenario for technology related progress. India’s total number of internet users is 112 million. Mobile penetration has reached 64.7%. Popularity of social networking sites has reached an all time high. The face of the consumer is changing as they are becoming more technology savvy. The amount of data that is available is exponentially increasing, so from a marketer’s perspective, data analytics is becoming the key. Hence technology will become increasingly important for a marketer to define its marketing strategy.
It is very important for organisations to use technology to understand customer preference and behaviour. At Max New York Life, we use technology to track customer complaints online; we have leveraged technology to move from a policyholder to customer view. We have used social media effectively and created a strong online community with 3Lac+ users engaging with the brand and seeking advice online with expert views available to them as well. On the company website, capability is being built to enable customers to have live online chats with insurance experts and seek clarifications on their queries.
PW: What are your current marketing priorities & how does that translate to technology?
AM: Life Insurance is a push market. It is sold through consultative sales for long term saving and protection. Our focus is to get our customers stay with us as long as they live, buy more from us and recommend us to their family and friends. Hence, our market priorities are acquisition, retention and cross-sell.
For acquisition, we have used social media platforms to capture customer attention and engage with them on the topics relevant to them through two programmes – igenius and Khyshiyon Ki Planning.
In life insurance, it is important to retain customers for long term as the full benefits of the product accrue with regular savings over a long-term. Through an integrated Customer Value Management (CVM) model we have used advanced analytics to build loyalty programmes for high value customers and Cross-Sell / Up-sell campaigns to generate additional revenues. We have also created a Loyalty programme called the Gold Circle using technology platforms and build a Single view of customer.
For cross selling, technology platforms are used to identify customer with high propensity to repurchase. Cross sell generates 22% of new business of our agency distribution.
PW: At Max New York Life how has technology played a role in customer acquisition or retention?
AM: We have a robust social marketing platform through igenius and Khushiyon Ki Planning forum. Over 14 Lac children registered over the last 2 years from over 1000 cities across the nation and Rs 3 Cr. worth of scholarships awarded so far. The Khushiyon Ki Planning facebook page has more than 1 lakh members. These efforts have provided us leads for customers and have also helped in brand building in the online medium. Retention is important because Life Insurance is a long customer life cycle industry and full value of a policy cannot be extracted by customer/industry otherwise. We have used technology for robust data analytics and SAS models for predicting behaviour of customer for retention and deciding on appropriate action. We have also used a single view of the customer for servicing them effectively so that we can have long term relationship with the customer.
PW: How has technology played a role in new product development, market expansion or other areas?
AM: For the Life Insurance Business, it is imperative business to stay in sync with market changes and get real time analysis of customer trends, consistent benchmarking of key customer attributes across the organization and higher returns on per unit information.
For research we have Online feedback panels (OFP) that are mainly digital extensions of proprietary Research Panels that allow us to stay in touch with a select group of customers, for tracking effect of ongoing changes, that may result from initiatives taken by the company, or other external sources. OFP also helps in faster turnaround time – ideation and deployment to analysis of results is accomplished in days and at times in hours. It also helps in deeper insights into trends – tracking perception choices of separate customer segments.
PW: Would you say the level of collaboration between the CMO and CIO in your organization was:
AM: Technology has become a major dimension of marketing. At Max New York Life, the collaboration between the IT and marketing team is extremely good. We are just a phone call away. Both teams work in tandem and there are many processes currently under revamp or being launched. We have uniform focus of collaborate for customer led innovation.
For igenius programme, we need extensive resources from both marketing and IT to work together from online registration stage to video conferencing. The program is in its third year and we have never faced any problems in implementing and execution of the project.