- Future Generali India Insurance has been trying to differentiate itself in the insurance segment by using a right-brained communication strategy. It has been focussing more on building an emotional connect rather than talk more about the features of its offerings.
- Recently, it did a takeover of cricketer Rohit Sharma's Twitter account to talk about its Pet Dog Health cover.
- We caught up with Ruchika Malhan Varma, Chief Marketing Officer, Future Generali India Insurance to talk about its recent campaign along with their larger marketing strategies.
Recently, Rohit Sharma’s Twitter account posted some strange tweets, making people think his account had been hacked into.
I love coin tosses…especially when they end up in my belly!— Rohit Sharma (@ImRo45) 1646112720000
Bzz….! Did you know? Buzzing beehives make for great boxing bags!— Rohit Sharma (@ImRo45) 1646123280000
Cricket balls are edible…right?— Rohit Sharma (@ImRo45) 1646130660000
Turns out, insurance brand Future Generali India Insurance had taken over his account to promote their Pet Dog Health cover campaign, #OhMyDog.
Sorry guys! My dog, Magic, took over my handle. Lil' troublemaker! Sometimes good dogs can make bad decisions. But… https://t.co/Jv3FyFOeWy— Rohit Sharma (@ImRo45) 1646199060000
The campaign caught our attention. It was an innovative strategy to get an offering, which not too many people know about or even feel the need for, get noticed.
In the past few years and especially after the pandemic, there has been an increase in people understanding the importance of buying insurance. However, pet insurance is still a very new category, one that people might not even think they need yet.
In the past too, the brand has launched offerings around mental health. In fact, its campaign from last year was much talked about. The brand believes in taking a right-brained marketing approach, focusing more on building an emotional connect with its consumers rather than talking about its features and functions.
We recently caught up with Ruchika Malhan Varma, Chief Marketing Officer, Future Generali India Insurance to talk about its recent campaign along with their larger marketing strategies.
Q) Your recent campaign for your dog insurance offering with a takeover of Rohit Sharma's profile was interesting. Was it able to have the desired effect of capturing the audience's attention?
Our Pet Dog Health cover campaign, #OhMyDog launched through a takeover of Rohit Sharma’s handle with a series of mischievous tweets that created intrigue. Day 1 was witness to a series of tweets that read: ‘Cricket balls are edible – right?’ And ‘I love coin tosses…especially when they end up in my belly!’ etc. leaving cricket fans wondering what was going on with the captain! Many, in fact went on to speculate if his account was hacked garnering over 60k responses to the tweets and various memes being created. In fact, the word ‘hacked’ was trending on Twitter, and the unusual nature of Tweets captured the attention of various media houses. In short, the campaign broke the internet.
The subsequent day we unveiled the campaign with the captain admitting that his account was taken over by his dog, Magic. As a dog parent, he further re-iterated that you can rest easy even if your dogs end up getting into situations which may potentially be dangerous, as long as they are secured with the right health insurance cover.
This campaign helped us break the clutter and grab the attention of pet parents for a category as niche as this. For many, it was a new awakening to sit up, take notice and realize that if one can insure the health of their dear ones’ then why not of their pet dogs who are also an integral part of one’s family.
Q)Not too many brands offer pet insurance in India. What is the market for the segment? How has the reception to the offering been so far?
India is the largest growing pet market in the world. 85% of the total pet market in India is dominated by dogs alone, with 3 crore pet dogs in the country. The pet care market is approximately Rs 400 crore in size and is expected to grow at ~14% a year. This spells the potential for dog health insurance in India.
There is a huge need to fulfil the gap as far as Dog health insurance is concerned. It therefore presents to us a unique opportunity to reach out to a growing number of pet parents in the country, with a comprehensive health cover for their pets who are an integral part of their families.
The initial reaction to the product and the campaign has been overwhelming. We will continue to focus on creating awareness of this new category amongst pet parents through a sharply targeted multi-channel digital media strategy on social media, online pet supply stores, geo fenced mobile plans and amplification through pet trainers and canine influencers. This coupled with innovative and relevant distribution infrastructure, seamless on-boarding and hassle-free claims experience will help build the category, which is currently in a very nascent stage.
With increasing awareness amongst pet parents, and a proposition that helps them with a comprehensive Dog Health cover, we do expect this category to grow substantially over the next few years.
Q) Are you also looking at expanding your dog insurance to other pets too?
As a brand, we believe in being a lifetime partner to our customers and ensuring that their needs are fulfilled at every stage of their lifecycle with us. We are constantly on the lookout for innovative product propositions to cater to newer and emerging micro segments. Given the current size and growth potential of the dog insurance segment we were keen to present a comprehensive health protection solution for pet dogs. We will continue to explore the pet segment further and introduce offerings that are in line with our customers evolving lifestyle needs.
Q) In the last few years, Future Generali has revamped its marketing approach and it seems to be much quirkier and younger. Can you walk me through the evolution of your marketing strategies?
Traditionally, insurance as a category has appealed to those in the 35+ age bracket in keeping with their evolving responsibilities and health challenges. However, 65% of India is below 35 years of age. Bringing these younger customers into the fold of insurance has been challenging, as consumer behavior shows that they don’t find the category relevant to their needs. At FGII, we warmed up to this opportunity early on - right from understanding our millennial customer better, designing relevant propositions that speak to the lifestyle needs of this segment, re-orienting our brand messages and tonality to resonate with this audience and being seen in media such as social media, OTT platforms, digital news, and search, where this audience is present.
This meant a 360-degree re-orientation to our marketing approach. Our brand was consciously orchestrated towards aligning with the younger audience – we were at the forefront of bringing alive conversations around mental health which is affecting people across all age groups including the young, orAnil Kapoor
and Slow Cheetah rapping the benefits of our unique Health Super Saver policy. Our endeavor was to ensure that the messaging resonates with this audience and promotes brand cut through and stickiness. Besides motor and health, we are consciously looking at covering the lifestyle of the audience. FG Dog Health Cover, our latest offering is a case in point - a unique proposition that has been designed keeping in mind the increase in pet parents over the last 2 years. We believe this opens up a new segment for insurance in India and will bring customers into the fold who may have never interacted with insurance category, and thereby increase the penetration of insurance in the country.
While onboarding a young customer was important, being able to service them to their comfort also meant putting in place the required infrastructure towards making ourselves available digitally and providing digital self-servicing platforms which have a higher adoption from this audience.
Over the years we have seen success in attracting the younger demographic to the brand, in fact we are an industry outlier in this regard.
Q) What do you think you have got right in the insurance industry when it comes to your marketing approach?
Our brand promise is to be a lifetime partner for our customers, leading with innovation, simplicity, and human touch. These values come to play across all our strategic decision making that concerns our customers.
In keeping with this objective, our product journey is stimulated by a deep understanding of customer insights. We invest in carefully listening to our customer and fulfilling said and sometimes unsaid but deeply felt need gaps. The disruptive and relatable product propositions that have our customers buy-in, is a result of knowing our customers well.
We focus on the right brained marketing approach vs left brained, which is feature-focused and functional. A right brain marketing approach has helped us create communication that is thought provoking, insightful and has helped us build an emotional connect with our audience.
We have disrupted category codes of selling fear and using tear jerkers to promote the category. In contrast, our messaging and tonality has always been positive and insightful. We remained focused on leveraging cultural codes and insights, which has helped us build a strong brand affinity with our customers.
While doing so, we kept ourselves focused on providing a seamless customer experience across their entire life cycle with us. Resultantly, our customer satisfaction scores measured via The Net Promoter Score (NPS) continue to be gold standard across the industry.
Q) Your campaign on mental health last year was well-received. What kind of consumer response have you seen to it?
India has a large unaddressed mental health problem. WHO estimates that one in every five Indians is suffering from some kind of mental health issue, made only worse by the pandemic situation. Unfortunately, discussing mental illness has traditionally been considered a taboo in India. As a brand whose purpose is to be a lifetime partner for the customer and lead with empathy, innovation, and human touch we realized the importance of bringing conversations around mental health to our living rooms.
In keeping with this objective, FGII has been at the helm of driving and normalizing conversations around mental health in India through its various marketing campaigns. From roping in fitness influencers and celebrities to rolling out impactful multi-video campaigns like #HealthInsideOut, ‘Mind Matters’ and #UnmaskYourFeelings we have propelled a movement urging all Indians to take their mental health seriously.
Given the propensity of this issue, we have seen tremendous response to these campaigns, with high engagement around the campaign and increased enquiries for our policy with a mental health cover.
It is a delight to see conversations around mental health become more mainstream as people open up to share their experiences and inspire others. There is definitely increased awareness and empathy towards this issue, and the taboos are now starting to soften. However, we have miles to go to create widespread acceptance around mental health issues and to educate people that there is help available, both medical and financial.
Q) Going ahead, what will your broad marketing strategy be, to capture a bigger market share?
At FGII, our vision is to be a preferred General Insurer in the eyes of our customer. This, we believe, can be achieved by continuing to do what FGII does best: being a lifetime partner for customers, identifying gaps and filling them with new innovative products and propositions; being available to customers across all channels, enabling them to buy, renew and service digitally; and ensuring an unparalleled, superior customer experience.