The Rising Stars of Insurance

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The Rising Stars of Insurance

Sweeping the BENCHMARK Wealth Management Awards this year with twelve awards, seven of which were Best-in- Class, MetLife Hong Kong has grown quickly in Hong Kong. For their hard work and dedication, they received the prestigious Company of the Year Award (Insurance) as well as the Brand of the Year Award (Insurance).

 

Lennard Yong, Chief Executive Officer, MetLife Hong Kong Lennard Yong, Chief Executive Officer, MetLife Hong Kong

 

As a challenger brand, we are able to focus on areas where not many of our peers are active or thinking of.

 

“MetLife is one of the top life insurance companies in the world and #1 in the US, but in Hong Kong we are in a unique situation where we are a challenger to many of the more established incumbents. So the fact that we’ve got a global brand and financial strength, but at the same time operate as a challenger brand here, makes us try harder and pushes us to be the best that we can be,” said Lennard Yong, Chief Executive Officer of MetLife Hong Kong. “I believe this is what helps us bring together all of the key ingredients that went into our success this year at the BENCHMARK Wealth Management Awards.”

Back to Basics

One category that MetLife Hong Kong won Best-in-Class for was Female Products for their work with breast cancer insurance this year. “As a challenger brand, we are able to focus on areas where not many of our peers are active or thinking of. One of the unique spaces where we can offer our customers the opportunity to build their future is amongst the female customer segment. Through our research, we discovered that in Hong Kong this is a segment that is largely underserved, and among illnesses, breast cancer not only impacts our customers physically, but also psychologically.”

Yong credited his team as the primary drivers behind the launch of MetLife Hong Kong’s wildly successful MetLife Breast Cancer Protector, Hong Kong’s first online insurance product dedicated to breast cancer protection, the idea for which came from innovative thinking on insurance product design. “We took a very traditional critical illness product and deconstructed it down to a single element, breast cancer. We then went a step further by pitching the price point at HK$500 a year. We also, and I think this is quite innovative, rolled out the same price for any customer between the ages of 18-60.”

In conjunction with the rollout of MetLife’s new breast cancer product, MetLife also began a comprehensive online campaign to educate women in Hong Kong about the risks of breast cancer as MetLife Hong Kong’s own research revealed that an alarming 40% of women in Hong Kong were not aware of these risks. Through social media and other digital channels, including YouTube, MetLife Hong Kong was able to connect with customers and the public at large on an astounding scale. “We had over 45,000 visitors in the first two months on our MetLife Breast Cancer Protector microsite this year, many of whom then went on to apply for our product through the website. Further, we released an educational video on breast cancer and were very proud that we were able to reach over 600,000 viewers with our Traditional Chinese and English versions.”

Viral Digital Success

This was not MetLife Hong Kong’s only success with digital advertising, and the judges of the BENCHMARK Wealth Management Awards saw fit to reward MetLife Hong Kong with Best-in-Class in both Social Media Engagement (Insurance) and Best Use of Digital Marketing (Insurance). Yong credits his dynamic and creative team for their innovative ideas with regards to online advertising. “In Hong Kong there is no shortage of talent with regards to traditional forms of marketing, but we wanted to be different. The Hong Kong community has one of the highest levels of smartphone penetration and of technology of all sorts, so we wanted to engage Hong Kongers in a different way. Taking traditional visual advertising and slogans and trying to apply those to online channels simply does not make the grade anymore. You really need to pioneer groundbreaking strategies to succeed.”

Following the success of their breast cancer awareness campaign, MetLife released a video called “My Dad’s Story” on their YouTube channel which quickly went viral, attracting over 25 million views on the streaming site with an additional 6 million shares across social media. Yong felt the popularity of the video was due to a “universally recognizable story about a loving father who was doing everything he could within his ability to get his daughter into a good school and receive a good education.”

These fantastic marketing successes have done much to cement MetLife Hong Kong’s brand in Hong Kong, which Yong says has been a priority of his since he joined MetLife Hong Kong in January 2014. To Yong, customers’ trust is an insurance company’s greatest asset and “without some sort of brand recognition, that trust can not be built up. We are the #1 insurer in the US with nearly 150 years of experience and possess a global presence with over 100 million customers. With that solid foundation, if we can be there for over a century for 100 million people, we can be there for Hong Kongers.”

Building a Strong Team

And while MetLife Hong Kong has been a runaway hit on the business side of things, they have also put a great deal into nurturing their staff; the reason MetLife Hong Kong was able to clinch the coveted Company of the Year Award (Insurance). Yong highlighted many of the internal policies that MetLife Hong Kong has introduced over the past year to encourage their staff to grow and maintain a happy lifestyle. “We have made three areas of distinction a matter of priority. One is diversity and inclusion, two is training and development, and three is employee wellness.”

“Diversity and inclusion, for us, is not simply including different types of people, but it is also including different personalities. What we try to do is provide a platform for our employees to bring out a lot of their personality and the differences in the way that they see things.”

For training and development, MetLife Hong Kong has set up its Young Emerging Asia Society, a platform for younger members of staff to develop their skills with resource support from MetLife Hong Kong. Yong was also proud to talk about their Women’s Business Network, a series of seminars set up in concert with Su-Mei Thompson of The Women’s Foundation, which is part of MetLife Hong Kong’s drive to reach 50-50 gender balance across the company.

“We are also very interested in helping our employees to learn to de-stress and how to get the best out of their own lives. Our business is all about helping other people improve their lives, so it would be a sin if we could not get that right in our own company,” said Yong. To achieve this, MetLife Hong Kong has set up courses and classes for its staff on such topics as breast cancer detection for female staff and wellness and personal meditation. Employees at MetLife Hong Kong were also lucky enough to have a group of professionals come in to teach them how to give therapeutic massages.

“The secret of our success was bringing these three ingredients together with the singular goal of helping our customers pursue their future. Through that, we were able to build out what I believe is one of the best insurance companies in Hong Kong.”

“Our weakness is also our strength. We haven’t been here as long as some of our peers, so we do not have a legacy or traditional way of doing business that might hinder us from moving forward. This might be our weakness from a distribution perspective, but it is our strength in that it allows my team to ask some very fundamental questions with a totally different lens, in a very fresh way. The results may not be instantaneous, but it will build a strong platform for many years to come.” BM

香港大都會人壽行政總裁 楊斌官

保險界矚目之星

香港大都會人壽在本年度《指標》財富管理大獎中奪得十二個獎項,當中有六項為同級最佳獎項,足以證明該公司在港發展迅速,並已取得相當成績。香港大都會人壽憑藉其不懈努力及全程投入,囊括年度企業(保險業)大獎及年度品牌(保險業)大獎。

香港大都會人壽行政總裁楊斌官表示:「大都會人壽在美國是最大的人壽保險公司,亦是全球最大人壽保險公司之一,而我們在香港業界則是一股新勢力。作為全球性品牌,我們具備充裕的財政實力,支持我們發展及扎根於本地市場,同時驅使我們盡全力做到最好。」他強調:「我相信,香港大都會人壽的這個獨特位置推動我們團隊團結一致,讓我們在本年度《指標》財富管理大獎中獲得驕人的成績。」

由根做起

香港大都會人壽今年所贏得的其中一個最佳獎項為女性產品,以表彰其在乳癌保障產品上之成就。楊斌官表示:「要於本地市場發展及扎根,我們必需發掘未開發或未受重視的市場領域。我們從市場調查中得知,香港女性市場極具潛力;而我們的專業正正可協助她們籌劃未來。在各種疾病中,乳癌不但影響客戶的健康,亦會影響她們的心理。」

楊斌官指,香港大都會人壽的MetLife乳癌保險產品,是首個針對乳癌保障的網上保險產品,取得空前成功實在居功於保險產品設計上的創新。「我們將乳癌從傳統的危疾產品的基礎上獨立出來,然後再進一步把其每年的保費定在港幣五百元。我們更創新地讓十八至六十歲的客戶,不論年齡皆享有劃一保費。」

香港大都會人壽在推出乳癌保險產品的同時,亦開展了一連串全面的網上宣傳活動,以教育香港女性有關乳癌的風險。根據香港大都會人壽所作的調查顯示,香港有高達四成的女性不了解相關風險。香港大都會人壽通過社交媒體及數碼渠道,如YouTube深入接觸客戶及大眾:「在推出的首兩個月,我們產品的網站累積瀏覽人次已突破四萬五千名,不少人更進一步在網上投保我們的產品。另外,我們也推出教育短片,中英文兩個版本目前合共累積逾六十萬觀看次數,成績令人鼓舞。」

數碼行銷 成績空前

這並非大都會唯一一項數碼行銷佳績。香港大都會人壽亦獲頒同級最佳-社交媒體參與度(保險業)及同級最佳-最佳數碼推廣應用(保險業)。楊斌官表示,成績歸功於其富創意的團隊在網上推廣方面別出心裁:「香港從來不乏透過傳統市場推廣的人才,但我們更需要創新。香港社會的智能手機滲透率,以及對新科技的應用程度向來相當高,所以我們希望以一種全新方式接觸香港客戶。單純把傳統視覺廣告及口號搬到數碼渠道已不大可行,只有打破常規才能突圍而出。」

在成功推廣乳癌保險產品後,香港大都 會人壽再接再厲,於其YouTube 頻道推出影 片「爸爸的故事」,影片迅速被瘋傳並累積 超過二千五百多萬次觀看,在社交媒體上也 累積六百萬次分享。楊斌官認為,影片受歡 迎是因為「這是一個能讓大家產生共鳴的故 事,關於一個關愛子女的父親,盡其努力確 保女兒可以進入好學校,接受良好教育。」

一系列市場推廣活動的成功大大鞏固香港大都會人壽在香港所建立的品牌。楊斌官表示,這正是他在2014年1月加入香港大都會人壽以來的首要目標。他認為,客戶的信任是一家保險公司的重要資產:「若品牌缺乏知名度,將難以與客戶建立信任。我們在美國保險市場排名首位,有接近一百五十年經驗,更在全球擁有超過一億名客戶。我們擁有穩固的基礎,在全球服務一億名客戶超過一個世紀,我們當然也能成為香港客戶的夥伴,照顧他們的需要。」

建立強固團隊

香港大都會人壽不單在其業務上成績斐然,同時也十分著重人才培訓,這正是香港大都會人壽能勇奪年度企業(保險業)大獎的主因。楊斌官強調,香港大都會人壽去年推出多項措施,鼓勵員工的發展,讓他們擁有愉快的工作環境。他說:「我們定下三項重大目標:一是多元化與共融,二是培訓與發展,三是員工的身心健康。」

「我們認為,多元化與共融,不僅是指容納不同的人,也包括不同的個性。我們希望提供一個平台,讓員工展現不同個性,以及啟發他們多角度的處事方式。」

在培訓與發展上,香港大都會人壽成立 了Young Emerging Asia Society,提供資源 讓年輕員工有多方面的發展。另一方面, 楊斌官也對香港大都會人壽成立的Women’s Business Network 引以自豪,Women’s Business Network 曾與香港婦女基金會 (The Women’s Foundation)的周素媚(Su- Mei Thompson)合作舉辦講座。這是香港大 都會人壽在該公司內,向性別平衡目標進發 的努力之一。

楊斌官說:「我們致力協助員工減壓,並活出生命的價值。我們的業務,正是要幫助大眾追求更豐盛的人生。如果我們連自己公司內部也做不到這一點,實在難以說服客戶。」香港大都會人壽為此舉辦活動及講座,例如為女性員工而設之自我檢測乳癌的講座等。公司員工也可以獲專業人士面授如何進行推拿治療。

「我們賴以成功的關鍵是能夠集中這三大要素,以協助客戶追尋未來目標。透過這些努力,我們成功建立起在我心目中香港最佳的保險公司之一。」

楊斌官總結說:「我們的弱點也是我們的強項。我們在香港開展業務的時間,相對於其他同行為短。從行銷的角度看,這可能是我們的弱項;但因此我們也免除妨礙到我們前進的歷史包袱,讓我們的團隊打破常規,以嶄新方式和角度處理問題。成果未必立竿見影,但絕對會為我們未來發展奠定強大基礎。」BM