Paul Writer launches Innovative Marketer Dialogue ,
Video interview series with CMOs highlights marketing best practices

Sanjay Tripathy
Senior Executive Vice President- Head Marketing
Product and Direct Channels


On Innovation and marketing @ HDFC Life

Innovation is a big word. If you look at industries and markets, innovation is few and far from real innovation. Innovation can be broken down into multiple words, I will not really focus on innovation but I’ll tell about the new thing that we did that really helped. There are three things which we did which was probably the best in the industry. Two years back, we thought digital is a big thing for us in our organization so we devised a strategy called the ‘digital first’ for our organization. What it meant was to understand how to engage with the customer in a manner that digital is a first medium of choice by that I mean if someone wants to buy our product or engage with us or has servicing needs, he can do it entirely through digital space and he doesn’t have to walk up to the branch office or make a phone call to make it happen.

The second part is we paid attention to how one can increase the digital quotient of the organization? We realized that organizations may want to be a digital savvy company but often follows traditional ways of working and believes in face-to- face contact and may stick to the old communication method. The question is how to increase the digital quotient within an organization for example, will the HR be comfortable to recruit through an app, through Facebook or through LinkedIn rather than going to traditional consultants and then hiring them. For that (online recruitment) to happen, the digital quotient of the HR team must also increase so they can be comfortable with that idea.

“Innovation is a big word. If you look at industries and markets, innovation is few and far from real innovation. ”

The third part is how to create an e-commerce company which is really big which can give a sizeable part of our business. We are not a small company like many other insurance companies are very small so e-commerce can look at sizeable chunk of their business. We started this journey two years back and to support it we created a team within marketing which is purely digital (Digital, social, online media or what we call new media). The idea is phenomenal, we are the first company to sell one lakh policies online and it is growing, we have got a social media community which is probably the 3rd largest in the BFSI segment including all banks and NBFC’s etc. We have got more than 2 million fans on Facebook, our engagement rate is one of the highest in the industries. We have got Twitter followers of more than 1 lakh. On LinkedIn, if I’m not wrong we are No 1 among BFSI’s, we have more than 25,000 followers on our LinkedIn page. We create the engagement, create e-commerce space and we’ve taken a lot of internal measures to ensure that there is a good digital quotient within the organization. We are probably one of the few BFSI’s companies who are active on ‘employee social media’, its not intranet or mails that are popular among employees but they essentially use social media to connect.


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