Exclusive | I put extra efforts on Social Media: Apollo Munich's Abhishek Sinha

Today Digital and Social media have become the essence and focal point for every industry. It is evident with  the mobile and Internet penetration that each target group is accessing Social media more than ever before . The role of Digital and Social Media is becoming vital day by day. It is successfully re-shaping the era we all are living in. Well, the growing usage has empowered a huge opportunity to the masses to discuss their independent view over any product or services.

Considering all these factors, DMAi, a 21 year old organisation, in association with SAP conducted an interactive and immersive discussion on September 19, 2013 at The Leela, Gurgaon. The agenda was to discover, learn and share how actionable insights can spell business success. More specifically to learn how social media measurement has gained currency which gives a great opportunity for leading marketers in their quest to understand their discerning customers, even better.

During the CxO Roundtable series Adgully caught up with Abhishek Sinha, Head Digital, Apollo Munich Health Insurance Company Ltd to understand his view point on how best can Social media be used and how according to him can Social Media be measured.

Quality healthcare and Apollo have become synonymous in the Indian subcontinent, a fact reiterated by global healthcare experts and international accreditation bodies. Committed to bring world class health care within the reach of every individual, Apollo Hospitals Group has joined hands with Munich Health.

The joint venture was poised to make good the conviction of both the partners that Indian health insurance market is on the brink of explosive growth. With an aim to be a trusted leader in the health insurance sector by providing innovative solutions to the citizens of India, Apollo Munich was launched and since then it has evolved to be a trusted brand in the world of health insurance.

A strong believer of the fact that Social Media is more about a two way communication and interaction, Sinha opined that Digital media gives a face to the boring subjects. It is a tool which can be used as an open source and can be utilized in a vast manner.

Defining his stint, role and responsibilities at Apollo Munich, he said, “I have been instrumental in developing digital marketing campaign to generate leads, revenue and branding on a year long basis. After joining Apollo Munich I put extra efforts on Social Media and won two awards as 2nd best social media presence among all insurance companies. I am also executing Content Marketing Strategy and Email Marketing Strategy. I have setup a complete digital team in house with capabilities to strategize and execute SEO, SEM, Web Development, Content Marketing, and Mobile Apps development.”

Who better than him, to give the best perspective on Social media analytics? So when asked, how will current web analytics and other digital performance reporting interact with social media marketing analysis in the future, Sinha explained that all of them will be integrated in a single common platform through API integrations and other web hooks so that a Digital Marketing professional has a single dashboard for all brands mentioned on digital platform.
In terms of how the industry that he is in has evolved over the years, he opined, “Insurance is one of the most competitive sector on digital medium. Google SEM and SEO are fought with pitched battles literally. Customers are becoming more wary.  Even after consistent branding efforts insurance is still not a sought out service. In these circumstances, I think that the industry has to move towards customer education and help them manage their health and increase their know-how on disease management.”

According to him, Digital presence gives a ready audience who is eager to connect with you on a non-sales platform.
When asked to elaborate on the marketing and promotional strategies at Apollo Munich, Sinha said, “We use facebook contests to connect and invite new users. We have started using Linkedin and joining various conversations around industry and brand.”
Giving an understanding of what measures of success (KPIs and Outcomes) will be used and how is he defining ROI for his brand internally, Sinha said, “Facebook has fans and engaged fans, Twitter has retweets and positive mentions and Linkedin has positive conversations. Right now, we are monitoring all the above three in their respective ways.”

While talking about some important social media policies that Apollo Munich follows for internal or external stakeholders Sinha explained that the policy is an outcome of Information Security Initiative that is headed by HR and IT to ensure that the right information is shared by the right person on the right platform.

We see demos of tools very often, but the question is how much importance is attributed to the manual intervention that goes into deriving actionable insights from the data that comes out of Social media. In answer to that Sinha said, “These tools are amazing and there is a lot of potential in that. Linguistic analysis will help the companies to do more. However, manual intervention is required to ensure that sentiments around brand, topic or competition is mapped properly. This has not been possible till now, even if the biggest of the social media analytic tool claims so.”

Sinha’s stints in the digital business with companies like Bharti AXA General Insurance as Manager-Digital Marketing, then as Branch Head at Tribal DDB and also as a Manager- Mobile marketing division at IMCL, has enabled him to see the digital market evolving and reshaping. Giving his perspective on that, he said, “Right now the industry has matured a lot in terms of exploiting digital marketing. The next phase will be of Automation, Analytics and Smart Technology. Automation will reduce the expense and increase the efficiency, Analytics will bring the knowledge to execute the automation and finally Smart Technology will enable more customer connect and increased customer satisfaction.”
While concluding, Sinha in terms of suggestions said, “The suggestion is more to do with the Conversation rather than with Social Media. I can say only one thing, be human, accept mistakes, apologise and do community service to help the brand tide over bad phases. Join the customer on the other side of the table.”

Sinha was glad to be a part of DMAi event and was appreciative of  the different kinds of discussions that took place at the Roundtable. 


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