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CO-WRITTEN / PARTNER | Staff Reporter, Singapore
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Breaking down barriers and sparking cultural change with creativity

Find out how Grey Group is transforming lives through its groundbreaking campaigns and best-in-class.

For over a century, Grey Group has been at the forefront of using unparalleled creativity to solve business problems. With its data-driven insights and trailblazing content and strategies, Grey Group has become the partner of choice for the world’s largest companies throughout the decades. Insurance Asia sat down with Nirvik Singh, chairman and CEO of Grey AMEA, to discover the group’s value proposition and the secret behind its continuous success.

What is the company’s edge over other agencies with similar expertise?

Our north star is ‘Famously Effective’. We are dedicated to creating lasting consumer connections and breaking new ground in brand experiences. Our work has sparked cultural conversations because we believe in applied creativity. It requires full integration across all marketing and communication disciplines – traditional advertising, activation, mobile, social media, shopper marketing and other best-in-class marketing tools.

How do you ensure that campaigns are getting through to your audiences? How do you cultivate brand loyalty?

By becoming part of popular culture and engaging with consumers in a memorable and enriching way. You have to add to people’s lives in a positive way and prioritise relationships. If you get that right, and if you consistently produce great ideas and work, brand loyalty will follow.

For insurers, the choice of channels and mix would depend on the business model. Is it a Direct to Consumer (DTC) online-only model? Are you selling through intermediaries or brokers? Is it sold through a physical outlet?

Most people think of insurance brands in two scenarios. One, when they need to make a choice to buy an insurance product and two, when they need to make an insurance-related claim. For the first, a mix of presence across search, online video, programmatic, aggregator sites, comparison sites, mobile brand sites, and apps would be appropriate. For the second, forums, social media, email, messaging, website, and phone would be a good start. If you are doing any sort of physical media, it would be good to make sure it’s integrated with your online presence, so they all work together as greater than the sum of their parts.

What’s the right mix between an online and a physical campaign and how do you strive to achieve this balance for your clients?

The choice and mix of channels depends on audience behaviours, the channel’s role in driving end outcomes, and available budgets and resources. Each channel has its merits and shortcomings. Hence, it’s important to track performance of the initial mix and fine-tune based on agreed outcomes.

Any examples of innovation with regard to an insurance client?

Yes. Grey recently launched an app for an insurance company that was built for Google Assistant. It provides easy answers to the complicated questions that consumers might ask, in real time. To get access, users simply asked any Google Assistant to speak to the insurance company. The app was developed as an extension and enhancement of the company’s brand platform.

Voice technology is just one way in which Grey is innovating. In Singapore, we have launched Grey Adventures, an initiative that hosts start-ups with complementary skills within our own office space. That means we are part of the disruption that is being led by new technologies, yet we are in a position to innovate and fast-track game-changing products and services. The best thing is our clients can benefit from having access and leveraging from this initiative too.

How will the marketing landscape evolve over the next five years and how will Grey Group stay ahead of this changing industry?

The future will be more consolidated, more integrated. We keep ahead of all this by investing in talent and technology and evolving our business. For example, we tackle our creativity with a ‘borderless’ approach. We seamlessly use the best talent and innovations from across the region, even the globe, ensuring that our clients receive best-in-class creative & marketing strategies and solutions.This is crucial for Grey’s future growth and competitiveness.

The industry is evolving at an extremely fast pace. How do you stay relevant?

The key is remaining focused, having an obsession with the creative product, and investing in technology and talent.

We have the infrastructure in place and have added to it with various investments. This includes the acquisition of a company in Thailand which produces global award-winning work. In Korea, we have acquired a world-class digital design & creative agency that has a blue-chip client roster. In Singapore, we have enhanced our shopper marketing capabilities and represent a slew of brands. In India, we have a 360° social media and digital agency which provides various services. We have also added a rural marketing and activation arm. It’s about identifying opportunities and grasping them.

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