This year cricket fever returned in full force. With the inaugural Women’s Premier League proving to be a mega hit and the recently concluded 16th edition of the Indian Premier League, this sport continues to attract the best in audience viewership and sponsorships. Interestingly, the game also draws parallel to the world of marketing and offers vital lessons that brands can learn and apply! Let us examine some of these insights in the context of the life insurance industry.
Each team member is a valuable asset
‘In union there is strength’ and being a team game, cricket brings out the best of talent in one pitch. With each player bringing a unique ability to the field, the sport truly defines teamwork. Similarly, marketers can learn to harness raw talent in their teams, and ensure that each team member is honed and moulded to reach success. A good brand is not created by a handful, but by the efforts of many, and their out-of-box thinking. In the process, each can learn from the other, thus creating a stronger creative unit.
Celebrating diversity among people, communities, or in an organization is, therefore, key to ensuring long term growth and success. As insurers, it is essential to put people and their well-being at the centre of all marketing initiatives, and ensure that individuals from various backgrounds, genders, abilities, and ethnicities are represented in the ambit of financial security and protection. Insurance offerings should be developed and marketed in ways that create equal opportunities for all to live a healthy, financially secure life.
A good captain makes a difference
In cricket, an able captain can make a difference for the squad. Good marketing leaders can inspire individual team members to collective greatness. They lead by example, drive the team to deliver and stand strong when the going gets tough. Leaders create a cohesive team with an eye on the long-term objectives and aim to nurture talent for continued success in the future.
The captain is responsible for making decisions that are in the best interests of the team and the game. In families, a similar role is played by the individual or the breadwinner – to ensure long term financial security for the family. From an insurer’s standpoint, it is important that the individual or the breadwinner is celebrated and encouraged to realize his or her potential, especially when planning a financial future. Marketing efforts should focus on building awareness about relevant life insurance products, depending on the respective needs and life stage of the consumers. This should be followed by a powerful call-to-action that also appeals to them at an emotional, personal level.
Innovation is the key to being relevant
Cricket has witnessed great innovation over the years. Starting out with test cricket, the game subsequently spawned the ODI version before finally exploding into the T20 format. These innovations have made the game contemporary and enjoyable for the new generations, and expanded its already-large audience base. This offers key lessons for marketers to stay relevant and connected with their customers.
Traditionally, insurers have tried to impress the need for insurance by invoking imageries of death and loss. It might be a good idea to try and empower the new generation of consumers and encourage a liberating mindset, instead of a fearful one. Celebrating the breadwinner, as we mentioned before, is one such approach. There is also merit in adopting an omnichannel approach to marketing – be present where the customers are, and speak to them in a manner they can relate to. From a product development standpoint, technologies such as Artificial Intelligence, Blockchain, Internet of Things, and Big Data can be used to facilitate more intelligent data acquisition, underwriting, and financial management.
Good players bounce back from setbacks
Unfortunate events such as the untimely death of a family member can lead to mental distress and financial loss. The lack of adequate insurance cover in such situations can strain one’s personal finances and lead to financial instability. Life, like a player’s form, has its ups and downs. The lows can sometimes be morale-sapping and leave one feeling lost and dispirited. Bouncing back from setbacks and making life easy for your loved ones is the larger picture that insurers should present. They must aim to build long-term credibility and trust with their customers and communicate this message in a simple, sharp and efficient manner. This ability to build consumer trust is the touchstone of effective marketing.
These essential lessons from cricket can help insurers achieve big without making much sweat. The key lies in constant innovation where insurance brands need to develop newer, engaging ways of communicating with their customers. The target remains the same; we just need to hit more boundaries and sixes to get there faster.