Traditional media still holds strong value for brands: Nandini Ali, Apollo Munich

Chief Marketing Officer, Apollo Munich says the digital space is overwhelmed with content that is almost begging for views and engagement

e4m by Dolly Mahayan
Updated: Oct 15, 2018 8:54 AM

Apollo Munich recently launched a digital campaign themed #NeverGiveUp for cancer patients. The campaign is a precursor to the launch of Apollo Munich’s new cancer- specific plan called ‘iCan’. The campaign communicates the benefits of health insurance in an emotional setting. The brand has also launched a video that captures the story of a family that is fighting the cancer battle while emphasizing the important message of never giving up and being financially prepared.  

We spoke to Dr. Nandini Ali, Chief Marketing Officer, Apollo Munich Health Insurance, to know more about the campaign, the brand’s marketing strategy and more.

Edited Excerpts

You recently came up with a new campaign. What is it all about and how do you think it will help build trust in the brand?

The #NeverGiveUp campaign coincided with the launch of our new product iCan, which is a comprehensive personal finance instrument that helps you battle a disease like cancer. While a person diagnosed with cancer undergoes physical and emotional concerns, it also puts a huge financial burden on the patients and the families. iCan is an innovative and unique health insurance product combining both benefit and indemnity features. The campaign is a story of hope on the back of our product iCan, which can be renewed lifelong, even after the diagnosis of cancer.  

With the growing presence of digital, does the traditional marketing medium make sense for the brand? ATL or BTL-- what works best for the brand?

While the digital medium is definitely growing by leaps and bounds, for a country like India, the traditional media still holds strong value for brands. At Apollo Munich Health Insurance, our focus extends beyond metro and tier I cities to include tier II and III cities where we are unlocking further growth potential for health insurance. Therefore, it makes perfect sense for us to strike a balance between traditional and digital media.

As far as ATL and BTL are concerned, ATL works for larger campaigns such as the #BeWinsured that we launched last year with Farhan Akhtar. The campaign did extremely well for us and the results were reflected in the sales of the Health Wallet product. That said, BTL is also critical in creating awareness and visibility whilst staying relevant to our customers. Also, given that online has emerged as an important sales channel, BTL acts as an important touchpoint that would eventually result in online or offline sales.

How do you distribute the budget among TV, digital, print and OOH? How important is the digital medium for the brand?

Allocation of resources for brand development is driven by our top line. This year, we expect most of our allotted budgets to be within digital branding. Digital is an important medium for this campaign, considering that it is primarily aimed at creating awareness about the importance of health insurance.


People living in rural areas are still not very conscious about the importance of health insurance. What is your strategy to promote your product offerings in rural India?

Our rural reach is bolstered by our partnerships with both public and private sector banks. Against a backdrop of rapidly increasing mobile and internet penetration, digital has emerged as a critical tool for customer outreach, especially in smaller cities where we are not physically present. That said, we have embarked on a digital office offering that allows our sales agents in any location to complete purchase, renewals and other requests through a tablet device, thereby eliminating the need for brick and mortar presence in smaller towns. Today, over 45,000+ advisors successfully utilise digital offices to service our customers. This has not only improved operational efficiency in terms of improved turnaround time and faster processing but also resulted in increased customer experience.

According to you, what are the core pillars of marketing?

We believe understanding your target markets, developing the target market profile and maximising the target market profile are the core pillars of marketing efforts. These pillars stand regardless of the industry you are working in. Also, content plays a very important role in marketing strategy. In our ever-changing world, it happens quite often that the situation forecasted in January has nothing to do with the reality of May. The digital space is overwhelmed with content that is almost begging for views and engagement. So, when you enter this digital space with your content, being relevant is the only quality that will help you stand out.



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