Insurance is transitioning to a data driven marketing approach: Jitin Paul

The role of life insurance companies today is expanding today from merely settling claims and providing financial assistance to bringing comfort in the life of the distressed. Bharti AXA Life Insurance is one such company that recently launched a new customer service – ‘Grief Support Programme’. This service addresses the needs and provides assistance to the family of the deceased policyholder by providing emotional counselling, financial planning and legal/will related counselling. The launch of the customer service is complemented by a marketing campaign called ‘Beyond Insurance’, which encompasses an integrated advertising campaign, innovation-led digital and social media campaign, associate sponsorship (India-Australia Test Series) and a few partnerships with established institutes/ properties such as – Icas, Icall, TEDx, etc. 

‘Claims’ is a Moment of Truth in the category and Bharti AXA Life has launched first in the industry propositions around this area. In the last few years, they have launched services like ‘48 hours claim settlement’ and ‘Dedicated claims Handler’. Both these services address the concerns of policyholders and their families at the time of claim settlement. Also, in the last year, Bharti AXA Life launched various digital marketing campaigns such as ‘Daro Nahi Karo’, ‘Fresh Perspectives’, etc. 

Commenting on the brief shared by Bharti AXA, Paritosh Srivastava, Chief Operating Officer, Publicis Ambience, said, “At Bharti AXA, we believe in changing the paradigms to redefine insurance. The task for us at the agency was simple, to ensure that we keep up the innovation momentum from the past marketing efforts through another relevant and insightful disruption in the category.Through in-depth consumer probes, we understood the one big void that the category was largely incognizant of. That the loss of a life has far greater ramifications than just monetary impact. And for the family it takes a lot more than compensation to cope with such loss.” 

He added, “Collaboratively, we along with the client worked at the creation of the Grief Support Programme (for Life Insurance) – a first-in-category initiative that would allow the bereaved families get additional counselling based services in case of an unfortunate eventuality. These would include emotional counselling, legal advice and financial advice. This became the backbone of the brief to us at the agency and now the challenge for us was to communicate the same in a manner that was high on relevance and impact.” 

Elaborating on the process from creative ideation to campaign execution, Srivastava said, “The creative communication rests on a deep social insight in the Indian context. In times of need, like a demise, we all strive to go beyond and assume a larger role to help the grieving members cope with the situation better. A younger sister suddenly plays the role of an elder sister, a neighbour becomes a cook and friends become a part of the family through their actions. We all go beyond the ‘Call of Duty’.” 

“Thus was conceived the idea of ‘#GoBeyond’ or the consumer articulation of ‘Insurance se badhkar’, wherein we as insurance providers mirror the actions of society at large and assume a far larger role in such times of crisis. Bharti AXA Insurance becomes much more than an insurance provider that settles claims. Through the innovative ‘Grief Support Programme’, we present care beyond compensation and elevate our role to a partner as opposed to just a payer,” he added. 

Adgully also spoke to Jitin Paul, Chief Marketing Officer, Bharti AXA Life Insurance, to know more about the rationale behind the campaign, consumer benefits through the ‘Grief Support Programme’, new marketing trends in the insurance/ personal finance space and more. Excerpts: 

What is the insight behind the new ad campaign ‘Beyond Insurance’?
The campaign borrows from the insight that during the situation of a loss in the family, managing only the financial aspect of the distress faced is not enough. There is an expectation to go beyond the insurance aspect of the relationship and provide comfort to the distressed, in this case the nominee or the claimant of the policy. 

During unfortunate times, there are people who go beyond their existing roles to bring comfort in the life of the distressed. In the same way Bharti AXA Life during these times of grief goes beyond its role, as insurance company, and provides comfort through its Grief Support Programme. 

The campaign went live on January 26, 2017 and will be on air till March 29, 2017. 

What is the rationale behind launching the ‘Grief Support Programme’? How did the idea develop?
The main reason behind investing in insurance is to reduce distress at the time of an unfortunate event. A person buys a life insurance policy to ensure that in his absence his family will be taken care of. And during such times, while insurance covers the financial aspect of the distress, there is a huge loss that the family has to cope with. During such times, the role of an insurance provider should go beyond just a payer of claims. With this intention in mind, we have launched the Grief Support Programme - a programme to support the family in times of loss and to enable them to overcome the distress associated with the loss. 

Please elaborate on the consumer benefits through this programme.
Bharti AXA Life Grief Support Programme covers three broad areas of support for the families in times of loss:


  • Emotional Counselling: In the current Indian context and with the advent of nuclear families, after the 2nd or 3rd day, families are left alone. Families need emotional guidance in those times, thus we provide emotional counselling to the family of the deceased. 
  • Financial Planning: The family wants to utilise the money available with them in the most judicious way. After the maturity of the life insurance policy, the family gets a lump sum and many a times they need guidance on where to invest the money, families need financial advice at those times. Our financial planning advice, however, is not limited to that lump sum, but we offer a holistic solution. 
  • Legal/Will related Advice: In certain cases, the family is left with a will and needs an expert to help them during that time with a second opinion. And we provide a second opinion on will by a legal expert. 

What is the digital push for the campaign?
There is a big digital campaign lined up for this under the #GoBeyond umbrella. The campaign is live on social media including Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and we have launched a performance campaign to support it. We start by introducing the service on digital and ask consumers to share their views on #GoBeyond. A lot of interesting content and contests have been planned under the theme of #GoBeyond. We are also in the process of partnering with experts in the field of grief and creating interesting properties. 

What is the media mix for this campaign?
The campaign is an integrated marketing campaign that straddles TV as the lead medium, effectively supported by multi-platform digital strategy. The outreach also leverages PR, alliances and round tables to create a better understanding about grief, loss and how to deal with it. 

Please elaborate on the growing importance of customer service/centricity in an undifferentiated insurance industry.
Given the current industry scenario, where a product innovation is exceedingly becoming a challenge, service is where one can differentiate. This has indeed resulted in a growing importance for customer centricity. Customer Centricity for us means focusing on what the customer wants and meeting the lifestyle/ life stage needs of the customer. 

We at Bharti AXA Life have been pursuing Customer Centricity for a while now and have come up with compelling propositions in this area. We have realised that the customer life cycle in insurance is predominantly made of 3 phases – the onboarding phase, the servicing and the claims phase – and the key moment of truth is Claims. 

Our most successful campaigns have been around the area of claims management – 48 hours Fund Release campaign, followed by the longest running Dedicated Claims Handler campaign. This time the Big Idea of our brand campaign is to ‘Go Beyond’ our call of duty and support our customers and their families through the ‘Grief Support Programme’. 

Please give us a perspective on new marketing trends in the insurance/personal finance space.
Companies have started focusing extensively on data and there has been a pronounced transition to a data driven marketing approach. In order to build a long term relationship with the customer, it is essential to know the interests/ liking of the customers and 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. Digital is being used extensively to empower various legs of the business and digitally enabled tools have been deployed across distribution channels to enable the salesforce and improve efficiency for sales. 

These trends are expected to grow during the course of the year. 

Watch the #GoBeyond campaign: 

Campaign Credits:

Client: Bharti AXA Life Insurance

Creative Agency: Publicis Ambience

Chief Creative Officer: Bobby Pawar

Chief Operating Officer: Paritosh Srivastava

Creative Team: Jigar Fernandes, Siddharth Joglekar, Nupur Pai

Account Management Team: Nipun Goomer, Chandani Mahidhar, Ankul Singh, Altamash Sayyed

Films Team (Agency): Jignesh Maru, Ganesh Iyer

Production House: RPF (Radhika Produces Films)

Director: Suresh Triveni


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