"Look forward to doing more regional campaigns"

Sai Narayan, Associate Director & Head Marketing Policybazaar.com and Paisabazaar.com, talked about their first regional campaign and their recent partnership with Microsoft

e4m by Anam Khan
Updated: Mar 28, 2018 8:56 AM

With every service moving to digital why must insurance remain behind? Policybazaar.com, the insurance aggregator that has served over 12 million customers seeking life and general insurance solutions, recently came up with a regional campaign to encourage Indians to invest in insurance. Paisabazaar.com too is part of the group. 
In an interaction with exchange4media, Sai Narayan, Associate Director & Head Marketing, Policybazaar.com and Paisabazaar.com, talked about their first regional campaign. He also opened up about their recent partnership with Microsoft. Excerpts:
How has the online sector been for buying insurance policies? What trend changes have you observed in online purchase of policies?

If you look at the entire sector, insurance has largely been a push product. People always talked about re-selling their insurance rather than buying it. If I look back to the earlier days, everybody used to prefer buying an insurance policy from a relative who was an LIC agent.

Since the instigation of consumer internet now, a lot of changes have happened. In earlier days, when this trend was approaching India, people used to research online and purchase offline. But later on, as the internet reach grew in the country, we noticed a change in their behaviour. Now, they were not just researching a particular policy online, but were also purchasing it online.

As I mentioned earlier, insurance has been a push product, disruption happened when Policybazaar came into the picture and when we launched our iconic campaign. Now that was a time when consumers started looking at us as a completely different beat, which did not exist in the market. It was the time when the insurance industry was going through a humongous change because ULIP products were extremely non-interactive and those were sold to the consumers because they had better commission score agents. At that point in time, our campaign disrupted the market as we explained the importance of comparison before anyone buys insurance.

While there are other players in the similar space, the advantage we had was definitely our great products and our ability to build a brand from early stages. I would also like to credit ourselves for successfully pushing the insurance category from an inertia of push to now pull. With that, we have somehow managed to bring almost 10-15 million traffic on our site, where people are actually coming to our site to compare and buy insurance.

Policybazaar and Paisabazaar are two ventures thriving under one roof. How do you manage to keep up the integrity of the brands given the fact that with policies, there have always been chances of misselling?

The chances of misselling occur when the policy is sold offline to you. Here the consumer is coming, comparing, making an informed choice, selecting and then going ahead to buy it. The true power is in the hand of the consumer and the only thing which we do is to assist them with the product they have chosen and tell them about its benefits.

If you look at our data, the persistency ratio of our consumers who are coming back to us to buy a product is extremely high as compared to any other brand. So that shows a huge amount of transparency in the right way of buying insurance.

Policybazaar and Paisabazaar are two completely different brands. The way we have tried to build their integrity is to show that Policybazaar is completely for insurance and Paisabazaar is completely for lending and credit score.

Distinct brands have distinct values and it is built through a complete and thoughtful strategy of what does online insurance means for consumer and what does lending means for the consumer.

We have seen many endorsements of Paisabazaar and Policybazaar on TV. How do you maintain your presence on social media and other platforms?
We are trying to embellish our brand in two ways. One is through television which is a medium with the highest reach and the other is digital which is the fastest growing medium. We did our first regional campaign for Tamil Nadu. It was a logical step because we wanted to check the market and see what results it provides. The results were extremely engaging and the contribution of TN, which was about 3-4 per cent, moved to 10-12 per cent. In today’s time, a very beautiful thing is happening and that is the conversation between television and mobile. The highest reach medium and fastest growing medium are interacting face to face and the consumer behaviour tells us that if they find anything interesting and engaging on TV, they end up searching it on their mobile. 
Similar behaviour is observed when you run an advertisement on TV. The first mode of seeking information is mobile. So the first thing we keep in our mind while running an ad on TV is that our site traffic increases.

So, we spend mostly on TV and digital. Talking about the other mediums, for us, everything is based on performance marketing. So wherever we see we are able to convert the consumer, we invest money in it.

How do we see the revenue diversification in the company with different ventures?

They are two separate businesses and the revenue stream for Paisabazaar is different from Policybazaar. We are already India’s largest online insurance player and number one loans marketplace in India and far ahead of any other competitor.

So in a report published by The Ken, we have ranked ahead of Bankbazaar. If you search on google trends and type Paisabazaar and Bankbazaar, you’ll see a curve and that curve denotes the people who search for the particular term. So on the scale of 100, we are ranked at 65-70 and Bankbazaar is at 15-20.

So clearly these are two numbers with brands in their own space.

Please tell us about your recent partnership with Microsoft.

We have tied up with Microsoft to bring intelligence in the overall system which is getting AI and chatbots. The tie-up with Microsoft is big, we’re really looking forward to it and that’s our next big venture.

This year we got enquiries from around 850 cities and maybe we’ll start looking forward to doing more regional campaigns. This will only happen with the help of data intelligence to reach out to the different markets.

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