IN an ever-changing world of social media, influencers and digital trends, marketers have their work cut out for them.
To recognise the immense contribution, leadership and achievements of individuals in the industry, Marketing Magazine recently concluded their 5th Malaysian CMO Awards, featuring over 30 winners in various categories.
One of them was Eric Wong, Prudential Assurance Malaysia Berhad (PAMB)'s Chief Marketing and Partnerships Distribution Officer, bringing home the mantle of 'Best Marketer in Influencer Marketing'.
He shared his take on how companies and marketers can leverage influencers to reach their target audience.
Reporter: How does it feel like to win the 5th Malaysian CMO Awards?
Eric: For one, it's a great honour. I am really delighted to be presented with the CMO Award for 'Best Marketer in Influencer Marketing'. At Prudential, we are committed to helping Malaysians get the most out of life by providing total health and protection solutions for all life stages.
Financial protection is still not top of mind for a lot of Malaysians. This prompted us to look for compelling ways to deliver messages that they can resonate with, while imparting knowledge on the need for financial resilience.
So, by working with influencers, some of whom are also millennials, we reached our target audiences in their own 'voice' to educate them on financial protection and healthcare in a more light-hearted and entertaining manner. Winning this award is a reflection that we made the right move to positively impact our customers through influencer marketing.
Reporter: Can you elaborate on how PAMB successfully partnered with influencers to achieve results?
Eric: Getting millennials to think positively about financial protection will take time as it requires a shift in mindset. We needed to communicate that having financial protection and healthcare insurance will provide the peace of mind to achieve their dreams and ambitions, which is where the influencers and their true stories came in.
I think we can agree that most times, we only see the best side of our favourite influencers. But in truth, they are everyday people just like us. They too have their fair share of challenges, and unfortunate events can happen to anyone, even to those who are young, fit and strong.
We hand-picked influencers such as Jared Lee, Emily Tan, Hisham Hamzah and Jeslina Paul, survivors of critical illness to be part of our PRUMy Critical Care campaign. Most people do not understand the differences between medical and critical illness plans. For example, medical plans cover hospitalisation costs and cost of treatment, while a critical illness plan provides a lump sum payout upon diagnosis of illness, which allows patients to utilise it for any expenses. We wanted their experiences to shed light on the differences between these two types of protection and the importance of having a critical illness plan.
Hisham, for instance, had both medical and critical illness plans, which meant that while the cost of his medical treatment was being looked after, he was also able to continue paying for his son's education with the critical illness plan's lump-sum payout, so he could focus on recovery.
In Jeslina's case, she only had medical insurance from her company. She had to overcome the physical challenges from the illness while dealing with financial worries. People do not realise that the road to recovery is long and we may not be in the position to get back into the workforce so soon. However with a critical illness plan, we can use the lump sum payout to support our living expenses during recovery.
Their experiences are lessons that remind us of the need for adequate protection, which makes a difference financially, physically and mentally.
Reporter: What do you think has changed in terms of marketing for brands in the past two years?
Eric: Well, the Covid-19 pandemic saw the rapid adoption of social media platforms such as TikTok, Instagram Reels and the like as people sought more carefree and light-hearted content, since they were cooped up at home.
Our idea is to spread positive energy physically and mentally. One of our initiatives in the last two years was to get people to move more and hence, our campaign on "We Do Dance". Ultimately, staying fit doesn't always equate to doing gruelling exercises. Some light and fun movements are sufficient to destress and keep the body and mind healthy.
Working with SuperM (K-Pop group), we were able to do just that. With a chart-topping song 'We Do' and unique choreography, we saw many Malaysians, as well as other influencers, participate in the dance challenge.
I'm proud that Prudential has gone beyond the norm in helping Malaysians get healthier, while having fun.
Reporter: How have you (and your team) kept up with changes in the demands of Malaysian customers?
Eric: For starters, we reviewed and enhanced our products. With our latest critical illness plan, PRUAll Care, we went beyond coverage for critical illness but also covered other serious conditions such as mental health issues and major surgeries. We even removed the pandemic exclusion clause from our medical plans to include Total Pandemic Protection, which gave our customers greater peace of mind in terms of current and future pandemic security.
Additionally, our all-in-one health and wealth mobile app, Pulse by Prudential (Pulse), understands you as an individual and responds to your health and wealth needs. We even have certified doctors that users can talk to from the comfort of their home should they need professional diagnosis and advice.
Reporter: What's next for Prudential?
Eric: As your trusted life partner, Malaysians can count on us to continue putting their health and protection needs as our topmost priority. We will play an active role to educate Malaysians on the importance of having adequate protection while innovating our offerings to ensure they enjoy the benefits of long-term protection.
Take cancer as an example. It's a prevalent issue, and with our medical plans, policy holders now have access to precision cancer treatment – an emerging approach to treat cancer patients through genomic testing.
And as always, we will continue to live up to our motto – LISTENING, UNDERSTANDING, DELIVERING.
Read more about how Prudential helps Malaysians live with confidence on this website.