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Guest Column: Success of marketing efforts in 2016 measured beyond brand building: Jitin Paul, Bharti AXA

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Guest Column: Success of marketing efforts in 2016 measured beyond brand building: Jitin Paul, Bharti AXA

As we draw the curtains on 2016, Jitin Paul, Chief Marketing Officer, Bharti AXA Life Insurance shares the key highlights and trends that marketers witnessed this year and look forward to in the coming year.

A trend that we as marketers have witnessed and I feel will continue strongly into 2017 beyond, is the consumer expectation of experience. As much as the consumer needs are diverging constantly, the expectation of the experience that fulfils that need is converging at a very fast rate. Today the same consumer that buys an insurance policy from an online platform of an insurance company expects that platform to provide the same quality of buying experience that he gets at or other insurance players, who today are at the cutting edge of technology and UI/UX. 

On social media particularly, the trend of a marked shift towards audio visual content started in 2015, and gained full steam and innovation in 2016. The content started in the form of pure video content, and now we have subtitled content and long format gifs taking over the social media content landscape. Apart from select memes 2D content has all but disappeared. I feel this trend will continue and add more innovation and pure tech to create engagement and constant two way dialogue. Introduction of Live content by Facebook and its constant promotion is compelling the opinion leaders on social media channels to start a trend, which I feel will create another content revolution in 2017. The start of this trend and its constant momentum is supported by progress on the data front with 3G starting this revolution and 4G now adding more power to it. As 4G becomes affordable and present across geographies audio visual content will become synonymous to social media and its conversations.    

Major trends driving success:

The success of marketing efforts in 2016 was pointed and measured beyond brand building. The biggest trends driving success were areas in some cases beyond classic marketing but managed by marketing on account of their expertise with the digital medium. In some cases with the intent of owning the entire customer life-cycle, marketing has managed to collaborate around areas of distribution, customer service and cross-sell. Another trend driving success:  at the cutting edge of technology new tools and platforms are powering single front end solutions to manage large customer and in some cases distributor journeys.    

Medium of the year:

Digital undoubtedly can be named as the medium of the year. While digital has been a fast growing medium ever since a while now, 2016 saw many innovations in technology and integration of various technologies in digital- API based integrations as the starting points are now leading to more intelligent frameworks being built and effectively leveraged. I also expect innovations like rich media banners, virtual reality, gyro-meter led innovations, augmented reality games, etc. would continue to emerge in the coming year as well.

Trends specific to BFSI industry:

2016 marked a transition to a data driven marketing approach. Companies began to focus extensively on data, especially in BFSI. Data enrichment and knowing the consumer is the first step to build loyalty. This trend is most prominent in insurance, since in insurance the contact with the customer is limited. In order to build a long term relationship with the customer, it’s essential to know the interests/ liking of the customers and/or stay in touch with the consumer on a regular basis. With this in the foresight, insurance players have increased focus on data embellishment and analytics.

There was an increased involvement of distribution in digital and technology. Digitally enable tools are being deployed across distribution channels to enable the salesforce and improve efficiency for sales. Marketing then has started to play a role in delivering business KPIs and impacting sales, this trend will only gain more strength in 2017. 

(The author is Chief Marketing Officer, Bharti AXA Life Insurance)

Disclaimer: The views expressed here are solely those of the author and do not in any way represent the views of

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