Philam Life reaches out to new markets | Inquirer Business

Philam Life reaches out to new markets

Insurance leader returns to protection roots, seeks slice of millennial segment
By: - Business Editor / @tinaarceodumlao
/ 05:14 AM December 14, 2018

Traditionally, insurance companies segmented their target market according to their so-called “life stage”—single, married, married with kids, married without kids, empty nester, retiree.

That worked for the greater part of their over 100-year history in the Philippines as Filipinos under these broad categories largely had the same needs and wants.


The singles, for instance, did not require as much insurance as, say, those married with kids.

The empty nesters, meanwhile, might no longer require as much insurance anymore, save for what they would need for estate planning.


Lifestyles have changed dramatically over the past decade or so, however, with increased wealth and greater exposure to what the world has to offer, such that Filipinos can no longer be contained in such neat boxes.

Thus, insurance companies such as Philam Life had to evolve with the times and change marketing tactics to develop a relationship with their desired customers and keep competition at bay at the same time.

Philam Life chief marketing officer Leonardo Tan Jr. told the Inquirer that Philam Life still took note of this traditional segmentation, but it had added other lenses through which to study the market, such as behavior and attitudes that could cut across these traditional boundaries.

Tan said Philam Life invests, for example, in finding out what the market likes or dislikes, what are important to them, what they are interested in, where Philam Life can find them and how best to talk to them.

“In terms of age, we’re also taking a hard look at the generation where they come from, whether they are millennials, baby boomers, etc., as these give us insights on their attitudes and behaviors,” Tan said.

The millennials—those born from 1981 to 1996—are of particular interest, Tan said, as they represent a new and growing market for insurance products, and Philam Life seeks a big chunk of that new pie, which is quite different from the generations that came before them.

One of the significant findings of Philam Life on the behavior of millennials, for example, is that they spend a great deal on travel, education, socialization, services and eating out.


These findings support other studies’ findings that this generation puts great importance on experience rather than possessions.

They would rather spend on trips abroad rather than a new car, for instance, and will eat out more often than eat in their own homes with friends or family.

And where do they get information to guide their purchase decisions, whether for travel or for products such as insurance? Social media, word-of-mouth testimony or endorsements from friends, family and people they look up to, and television.

“But they are also able to relate to brands when they have experienced it,” Tan said.

To make itself accessible to the market, Philam Life has made itself available through financial advisors and through the bancassurance business, BPI-Philam.

It is also preparing to roll out an e-commerce platform to reach that tech-savvy market.

“We’ve also made great strides in the way we deliver our service by digitizing the different processes of our customers’ journey, from the way they know about our products (online ads, Facebook posts), to buying a Philam Life product (financial advisors use the iPos to present to customers the projection), paying for the product they bought (via online payments through e-Pay) or getting information about the product they bought (via online access of their policy through e-Plan), and soon to launch, all the way to claiming their benefit through e-Claim,” Tan said.

“Health and wellness are universal concerns, cutting across different age groups. But we also know that millennials, in particular, are very conscious about wellness, which is why our Philam Vitality Program has a special appeal to them,” Tan added.

Introduced in 2015, Philam Vitality Program is the company’s wellness program that empowers customers to take charge of their health by rewarding them for knowing and improving their health.

The program is part of Philam Life’s mission to change public perception towards life insurance policies, that they are worthy investments and not an unnecessary expense.

“In terms of our product offering, we’re focusing on the twin concerns of protection and long-term savings, while at the same time enhancing it with the Philam Vitality Program. We are no longer talking to customers about death and dying, but bringing the conversation to living better and encouraging them to live healthier, longer and better lives,” Tan said.

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