Q] ICICI Prudential Life Insurance recently launched ICICI Pru Guaranteed Pension Plan Flexi, tell us about the product and your plans to promote it?
Customers can purchase annuity products by making a lumpsum payment. This could prove to be a challenge for some customer segments i.e. non-availability of a lumpsum amount. ICICI Pru Guaranteed Pension Plan Flexi, is an innovative annuity plan which enables customers to systematically save towards building a retirement corpus over the long-term and eventually receive guaranteed lifelong income. This product will enable us to reach out to underserved customer segments, helping them to plan for their golden years. Our research shows that young seniors view retirement as a time to follow their hobbies and systematically plan for it. ICICI Pru Guaranteed Pension Plan Flexi is targeted at this customer segment which can enable them to achieve their goals on retiring.
Q] What are the emerging marketing trends in the life insurance industry?
The pandemic has generated a greater awareness around life insurance as consumers realised that it is not just good-to-have but a must-have product in the portfolio. Besides, consumers are getting more comfortable engaging and purchasing insurance digitally. We have witnessed a surge in the number of individuals who are doing online research before taking a decision. Where earlier a physical interaction was the preferred mode of purchasing life insurance, consumers are now more open to video-call based interactions with advisors and are also seen using digital platforms. Lastly, consumer appreciation for all-in-one protection products that offer health and life insurance benefits too has gone up.
Q] How is ICICI Prudential Life Insurance leveraging technology in marketing?
Digital engagement and interactions without new-age technology is difficult to scale up. The mantra at ICICI Prudential Life Insurance is engagement via tech. Our endeavour is to leverage digital solutions and empower customers throughout their policy life cycle. We have rolled out several industry-first digital initiatives to provide convenience to our customers. For instance, we were the first insurance company to officially offer WhatsApp as a customer service channel. Today, our website is one of the most visited in the industry. In addition, our mobile app has had over a million downloads and 1 out of every 4 service transactions is executed on the mobile app. This is a reflection of the convenience offered to customers by our digital platforms.
We have deployed new-age digital solutions to make the first and renewal premium payments journey extremely simple. We also have effective engagement on social media and ensure a two-way communication process between us and our consumers. We firmly believe that technology is a means to an end, the end being engagement with customers.
Our digital enablers such as WhatsApp, Mobile App, Chatbot LiGo, and the Company Website enabled customers to engage with us as and when they required. Reflecting the convenience offered by our digital enablers, approximately 96% of new business applications were logged in digitally, and over 91% of service transactions were done through the self-help or the digital mode in FY2022.
Q] What kind of growth have you seen in the past one year?
In the last couple of years we have seen a shift in consumer approach towards insurance. In Q1-FY2023, our Value of New Business (VNB), a measure of profitability in the life insurance industry, grew by 31.6% year-on-year to Rs. 471 crore. We continue to be the private sector market leader on New Business Sum Assured with the overall market share increasing from 14.7% in FY2022 to 15.8% in Q1-FY2023. The share of protection in the overall product mix increased from 17.0% in FY2022 to 21.7% in Q1-FY2023.
Q] What kind of traction have you received from online channels for purchases and queries? How much does the online channels contribute to the total sales?
At ICICI Prudential Life Insurance, we constantly expand our innovation quotient by leveraging new-age digital technologies to address all customer requirements during the policy life cycle – from onboarding to servicing to claims processing. For instance, by leveraging market intelligence, customer analytics and big data, we offer customised solutions such as Pre-Approved Sum Assured to eligible customers, hence eliminating the need for documentation and medical tests. We have a multi-channel distribution architecture, ensuring our presence on touchpoints preferred by different customer segments. In Q1-FY2023, Bancassurance contributed 35%, Agency 22%, Direct 11%, Partnership distribution 11% and Group 21% to the business. Our strategy has been to steadily move towards a digitally-enabled, omni-channel distribution model and this trend has been gaining traction.
Q] What are your plans for the brand going forward?
We have fine-tuned our marketing programme and culture to be in sync with emerging market dynamics and engage with the customers using technology. With our ear-to-the-ground approach we will continue to invest in digital assets and ensure that we are aligned to the needs of customers.
Innovation across products and processes is the key to our competitive advantage which ensures we are in line with changing customer expectations and demands. We will continue to leverage technology to stay firmly rooted on the sustainable growth trajectory.
Q] What marketing tip you would like to give to our readers?
Building brand trust online may seem to be a daunting task initially. Transparent and tangible engagement are the two important pillars to building customer trust in the digital space.