Asia’s rapid growth in smartphone users, coupled with increased expectations for personalised solutions are pushing insurers such as Manulife to continually enhance their digital engagement with customers, said Mr Jason Dehni, Manulife Asia’s Chief Marketing and Distribution Officer.
With over 1.5 billion smartphone users expected in the region by 2019, insurers should focus on three key customer trends to meet their needs, he added.
The first major customer trend, “The age of me”, is about providing personalised content and solutions to customers, while the second, known as “micro-moments” are occasions when customers act on a specific need at a random time, Mr Dehni said.
“Many of us make big decisions on our mobile devices. We’re transacting or checking on our investments for example. We don’t often know what we’re going to do until we’re on the device. Insurers such as Manulife need to be able to steal these “micro-moments” by being available online to provide timely and relevant information and solutions,” he said.
He added that using analytics to better understand the needs of our customers was essential for the third trend, “creating seamless and meaningful experiences”.
Collaboration between CIO and CMO
Collaboration between the Chief Information Officer (CIO) and the Chief Marketing Officer (CMO), is essential for insurers to create and deliver new solutions and services to customers innovatively and efficiently, he said.
“The traditional model of having CMOs looking outwards to the customers and CIOs looking inwards to the operations and technology is now quite outdated,” he added.
While some companies might balk at the challenge of getting two different functional heads with different professional backgrounds to work together, Mr Dehni is unfazed. “If you have the right people in the right roles, you can create a highly collaborative and effective working environment,” he said.
Significantly shorter launch time
It works in Manulife where its collaborative culture has helped the company shorten the time spent on the launch of a new customer engagement programme at a fraction of the time of some of its competitors.
Last year Manulife successfully designed and launched ManulifeMOVE, a regional health and wellness scheme that rewards customers for being healthier and more active by offering discounted premiums, in Hong Kong in just six weeks. Manulife also launched the programme in the Philippines in January this year.