Asia’s insurance industry has undergone massive changes in just the past few years, forcing brands to reinvent their marketing and customer experience by “going digital”. But it’s usually not ideal for brands to go it alone, which is why organisations like Cigna Thailand work with ADA to realise their digital marketing transformation ambitions.
Cigna is a global healthcare services provider with a presence in Thailand since 2002. Over 450,000 individual customers are served by the company’s affinity-based telemarketing and direct distribution business, which offers a range of accessible and affordable health, accident, and travel policies.
ADA spoke with Apirada Benchakaranee, Cigna Thailand’s head of Digital Transformation & Innovation, to delve into how insurers can prepare for a data-enabled future. Benchakaranee is a seasoned marketer who has been with Cigna Thailand for over four years, where she is responsible for building digital ecosystems and new initiatives aimed at personalising the user experience.
COVID-19 forced every industry to move up the digital transformation ladder, and insurance is no exception. We saw a huge increase in demand for health and COVID insurance as consumers made wellness a priority. Likewise, there was a drop in the need for travel insurance. Now that more countries are re-opening, we want to use digital transformation to help consumers recover from the pandemic, which is why we’ve broken down our strategy into three categories:
1. Data and technology
Most businesses aren’t fully utilising data to improve the customer experience, and are instead turning to various marketing technology (MarTech) tools as a kind of magic bullet. But rather than let technology dictate the solution, brands should focus on customers’ pain points first, and then think about the strategy and what kind of data and MarTech might come in to support it.
2. Experience and engagement
Meaningful engagement can’t begin until brands truly understand their customers’ needs. Today, we can leverage tools such as marketing automation and chatbots to map the customer journey through their lifecycle. Doing so gives us the ability to assess their experience across both online and offline channels.
3. Health and wellbeing
Brands can do their part to give back to the community through corporate social responsibility. For example, we support start-ups such as QQ by providing a queue management system for the vaccination and COVID testing centres to avoid overcrowding.
Although transitioning to a fully digital customer experience is possible, it’s not always optimal. Great engagement doesn’t depend on how well we employ technology. Rather, it’s about how well we understand the human touch. What’s important is to build a smooth customer journey that encompasses the digital as well as the traditional.
There are numerous touchpoints in the lifecycle of any insurance customer – the key is to have a system in place for collecting and processing their data, with consent, at each stage. We can then tap into the Cigna database to assist with personalisation. No distinction should be made between digital and traditional touchpoints.
These days, marketers are responsible for leveraging technology to improve the customer experience, drive client growth, and meet retention targets – all of which makes them even more reliant on the IT department. However, marketing and IT also have opposing goals at times, resulting in unnecessary conflict. The 3Cs framework below can help marketers strengthen their collaboration with IT, allowing both sides to meet their goals while ensuring that new technology works without a hitch.
1. Contextual marketing
Marketers are in the business of helping brands stand out by delivering relevant content to grab attention at the moment of truth. This isn’t a new concept, but MarTech has made it more accessible and affordable for brands to do it at scale.
2. Community-led business
The communities your customers are part of can provide valuable insights into how they think and act. Insurers should tap into them to inform future product updates and new features, as well as to improve customer acquisition.
3. Human-centred commerce
A whopping 42% of customers don’t fully trust their insurance providers. To remedy that, insurers need to address queries quickly, deliver personalised recommendations, and focus on meeting customers’ needs in an omnichannel environment.
Don’t start from the technology. Instead, brands should focus on building great customer experiences by being data-driven. Next, don’t forget about the human touch – insurance is still a people business, which can be emotionally charged at times. A personal connection remains one of the most compelling tools for attracting and retaining customers.
Third, remember the 3Cs. Brands should tap into the communities their customers are connected with to understand how to serve them better. Finally, seek collaboration: different teams often come together to bring a project to life, but we should also consider the benefits each team receives on top of the project’s outcomes.
Learn more about The Great Asian Insurance Transformation, a whitepaper by ADA that sheds light on how leading insurers are navigating the digital age by using MarTech to enhance the customer experience.
The modern insurance buyer expects more convenience, more personalisation, and a more delightful digital customer experience. The Great Asian Insurance Transformation sheds light on how leading insurers are navigating that transformation, and provides recommendations for using marketing technology to enhance the customer journey.