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Mohit Goel

Executive Vice President & Head, Marketing | 09 Jan 2014

Mobile is a must. With the changing landscape in the mobile world conquered by large screen smart phones, the access to internet has moved from only desktops to mobile. We have seen a 300 per cent growth in last one year in the number of visitors using mobile devices to access our website.

Mohit Goel, Executive Vice President & Head Marketing at ING Life Insurance brings more than 15 years of experience across Marketing, Customer Engagement and Sales spanning across Telecom and Financial Services. Prior to joining ING Life Insurance in 2011, Goel was Head of Marketing & Direct at Tata AIG General Insurance, where he was instrumental in establishing Tata AIG as a brand of significance in the general insurance category. At ING Life Insurance, he is responsible for managing the Brand, Digital, Customer Engagement and Corporate Communications.

In conversation with Saloni Surti, Goel speaks about digital as a potential platform for the banking and insurance sector.

Q. As a marketer what is your objective from digital?

The increasing adoption of the digital medium, both by customers and sellers, makes the medium very important for any financial services company. Specifically in case of life insurance, more and more customers are going online to research about products and services. This active research is leading to enquiries and conversions.

We at ING Life Insurance have been participating in the digital boom using multiple platforms. We look at digital as a self-sustainable ecosystem for our critical stakeholders namely customers, advisors and employees. After gaining experience over past few years, we realiSed that having a robust digital destination like a well-equipped website is crucial to pursue our digital endeavors. So, we have invested in developing an intuitive, interactive and an intelligent website. Before I delve into the role the website will play, let me share the basic pillars on which our website strategy rests: help customers decide on the right insurance solution, engage existing customers through online self-service and enable the sales force (including advisors) to sell better.

Keeping in view the customer’s needs we have made everything available. An appealing layout and easy to find information makes navigation look like child’s play. Couple this with some amazing customer friendly features like an intelligent, well-structured product segment, robust knowledge center that talks all the things about insurance, simplified online claim filing and premium payment interface, comprehensive customer services and planning tools. Moreover, it is extremely friendly and gets along well with all devices like smartphones, phablets, tablets, desktops and laptops.

Q. How has advertising on digital helped the brand?

We have been advertising on the digital platform largely to benefit from the lead generation opportunity. Using this medium we have been able to build a very strong pipeline of leads. Our average ticket from a digital standpoint gives us a better ROI. After gaining experience over past few years, we realized that having a robust digital destination like a well-equipped website is key to pursue our digital endeavors. Currently, we do not link brand metrics like awareness, preference etc. to this medium.

Q. Which has been your most effective digital campaign?

I would like to talk about our campaign targeting Indians based in the UK. We actively pitched our retirement solution to Indians working in the UK offering them to transfer their UK pension funds to an Indian scheme and benefit from better returns. The digital medium played a vital role in terms of lead generation. We used a mix of Google Search and Linked-in to generate these leads. We generated response from Indian based in UK as well as India and the follow-up conversations were driven using email and Skype.

During the six-month period of offer, the enquiries contributed handsomely to the overall business. We were really happy with the returns generated from the campaign.

Q. Digital was initially used to acquire new consumers. However, in the stiff competition, retaining consumers is equally important. How do you use digital for the same?

We at ING life insurance have a robust digital customer engagement programme. We touch our customers at every moment of truth in the customer life cycle like renewal premium, policy servicing requirements important transaction linked receipts like tax certificates, etc. Our website, inglife.co.in, as well as customer portal “My Life” are well equipped to engage with our existing customers giving them complete control of their policy accounts with us.

We have programmes in place to engage with our customers using the digital medium one of them being an email based customer education series.

Q. What is your take on the role of mobile in digital mix? How do you use mobile to tap your audience?

Mobile is a must. With the changing landscape in the mobile world conquered by large screen smart phones, the access to internet has moved from only desktops to mobile. We have seen a 300 per cent growth in last one year in the number of visitors using mobile devices to access our website.

To ride this growth we have made our new website device agnostic. It is extremely friendly and gets along well with all devices, that is, your smartphones, phablets, tablets, desktops and laptops.

Earlier, we had introduced a mobile app “ING Life Mobile” to equip our sales force with easy to use financial calculators. Now we are upgrading the app by loading it with premium calculators. We have started using mobile content to test the opportunity that this form of engagement provides.

Q. What is your content strategy on social media? Have you been leveraging concepts such as user generated content?

We have experimented with social media in a very calculated manner. Amongst all forms of social media, we are actively managing the following platforms which have started working for us:

• LinkedIn, which is a community of people “already engaged” or “wanting to engage” with ING Life Insurance in some manner.

• YouTube, which we use to promote our video content

• Online reputation management, where we actively listen to customer conversations and take immediate action depending on the content.

Q. Celebrity quotient is extremely high on digital. What are your views on it?

I feel that the usage of celebrities on digital is an extension of the brand effort on the traditional platform. No example comes to my mind where a brand has used a celebrity only for their digital efforts. With increasing buzz both around celebrities as well as digital, they seem to be working very well for all brands.

The celebrity quotient seems to be otherwise very high on digital, whether linked to a brand or not. Celebrities often take on to twitter or Facebook to connect with their fans in the same manner the brands would.

Q. What are the five things that marketers should keep in mind while investing on digital?

• Have a robust website and a mobile platform in place, that offer good user experience
• Rich content for customers and partners to get the right information
• Keep an eye on the Return On Investment
• Get the right digital agency for design, development and execution of campaigns. Have more than one agency.
• Build back-end capability to respond real time to customer queries.

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