Role of communications has become wider in brand building: Aman Dhall, Policybazaar

Dhall, Head of Communications, Policybazaar Group of Companies, says that while brand marketing helps in establishing the brand, communication actually sustains it throughout

by Ruhail Amin
Published - Sep 24, 2018 8:57 AM Updated: Sep 24, 2018 8:57 AM

Brand building is no longer the forte of marketers alone. Communications professionals have emerged to become an integral part of this process and also its most dependable custodians.

In an interview with exchange4media, Aman Dhall, Head of Communications, Policybazaar Group of Companies, highlights this critical role played by communications professionals in brand building and more.


Has the role of corporate communications become more complex than before?

The communications domain was earlier looked at from the perspective of public relations, and expectations were only about getting media visibility and reach. This has now completely changed, especially with the coming of social media. Now in the last 10 to 15 years it has gone beyond that expectation and the role has become much wider in terms of brand building. While your brand marketing guys help you in establishing the brand, your communication guys are the ones who actually sustain it throughout. They are the ones who are communicating the positive ethos and ensuring that it is seen as a trustworthy brand with which people would like to be associated with.

How does brand building work in your category which is still a nascent market in India? How are you making your products more mainstream?

Insurance as a category is more about awareness, when you talk about financial services it's about gaining trust, and if you talk about the consumer internet space, it has to be at a certain speed. They expect things to happen at a certain speed and then only are they going to try your product. You have to look at all these parameters and somewhere communicate the same to your consumers. Through our campaigns we want to empower consumers before buying any insurance products. We have been working to simplify the insurance literature and we are working with the regulator to see how we can make a product simpler for consumers.

Has the concept of ‘always on’ brand engagement made corporate communications a challenging task?

Well, earlier we used to get some time to respond to a story, even if it was a negative story, one used to get one’s own sweet time to think through such stories. Now the scenario is very different. Things happen very quickly and adverse online posts can damage your reputation in no time. Now you need to create some benchmark and find a way to respond to the situation, and in today's market environment you cannot keep quiet, unless the silence is strategic. There are many examples of big brands spending millions of dollars just because they could not respond in time to a crisis and resurrect the brand.

Finally, how do you decide your preferred media platforms when it comes to brand building?

For us TV has been the medium that has created maximum value. With all due respect to other mediums, we have not been able to evaluate how they have helped in our business. We do digital too because we don't want to lose out on when people are searching for insurance products online and our name does not show up there. Similarly we do radio on an experimental basis to build reach, but definitely the wider impact has been generated by television. In television, what we use is the eight minute model to evaluate the impact of the campaign that we do. So when an ad goes live on a certain channel, we can see the traffic in the next 8 minutes that it is directing to our website. This is a metric of gauging effectiveness of any medium and this approach has given us fantastic results.

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