Enhance Team Performance by Empowering Every Voice & Building Inclusive Culture

By: Sapna Desai, Chief Marketing Officer, ManipalCigna Health Insurance

Sapna drives Marketing & Brand Strategy at ManipalCigna, enhancing growth through Consumer Insights, Online Sales, Media, Corporate Communication, and Digital Marketing. With a background in financial brands at Ogilvy and diverse service sectors, she excels in direct, mass, and digital marketing, alongside business development and product management.

In a recent conversation with Women Entrepreneurs Review Magazine, Sapna discusses optimizing digital sales to engage diverse patient demographics compliantly, integrating diversity into marketing for authentic female empowerment, and fostering career mentorship through strategic marketing initiatives.

In light of the evolving health insurance landscape and increasing digitalization trends, how can digital sales initiatives be optimized to effectively engage and serve diverse patient demographics while maintaining compliance and privacy standards?

The evolving health insurance landscape and digitalisation present vast opportunities, and insurers are embracing digital tools and big data analytics to enhance digital sales initiatives. Key strategies include optimizing sales process - search-engine visibility, utilizing data analytics and AI for personalized product and service offerings, designing a 360° view of the customer in real time and providing multi-channel customer experience and offering multilingual support to cater to diverse demographics. Providing comprehensive educational content and establishing robust proactive feedback mechanisms to empower customers and allow continuous improvement. Further, it is extremely important to maintain the trust of customers, hence ensuring compliance and privacy through stringent data protection measures and regulatory adherence is crucial. By implementing these approaches, at ManipalCigna we are effectively engaging and serving our diverse customer base while maintaining the highest standards of compliance and privacy, building trust and loyalty in the process.

Many organizations struggle with addressing unconscious bias in their marketing efforts. How do professionals propose integrating diversity and inclusion principles into marketing strategies to ensure they authentically represent and empower women?

At ManipalCigna we are committed to advancing an inclusive culture that is powerfully diverse, strives for equity and values the unique differences and talents we each bring in service to our mission. To further our commitment, we have recently introduced ‘NayiShuruaat Expert Ke Saath’ programme to accelerate women’s career growth. This unique initiative is designed to educate and train women to become health insurance advisors. Further, integrating diversity and inclusion principles into marketing strategies can be authentically represented and can empower women through several key actions. First, creating inclusive content that showcases diverse women in various roles and settings ensures genuine representation. Collaborating with women from different backgrounds in creative and decision-making roles adds depth and authenticity. Ongoing training on unconscious bias is crucial to prevent stereotypes and avoid setting unrealistic expectations often associated with women. A company’s diversity policy should also reflect in every facet of the company that unconscious bias does not have any chance to bloom anywhere and is mitigated efficiently in the workplace. By fostering an inclusive organizational culture and reflecting it in marketing efforts, brands can build stronger connections and trust, ensuring all women feel seen, valued, and empowered.

With the rise of influencer marketing, how do you believe partnerships with influential women can be leveraged to inspire and empower others, both within and outside the organization's target audience?

With growing popularity and evolution of social media, influencer marketing has become pivotal to a brand's marketing mix. Partnerships with influential women can be powerful tools for inspiration and empowerment, both within and outside the organization's target audience. At ManipalCigna, we’ve used various influencers to drive brand and product awareness. We have collaborated with top finance, health and lifestyle influencers. Considering that we're on the threshold of the digital era, today consumers are constantly connected and are spending more time on digital channels. Thus, highlighting women in finance through these collaborations showcases the strength and success of women in traditionally male-dominated fields. Influential women in finance can break stereotypes, demonstrating that financial acumen and leadership are not gender-specific. We have also collaborated with some of our Top Women Advisors. It is essential for a brand to tell a genuine and authentic story. Thus, brands that create authentic stories of success and resilience can inspire young women to pursue careers in health insurance and finance sector. By featuring women, brands can foster a culture of empowerment and ambition, showing that they can excel in any field. Such partnerships also amplify messages of diversity and inclusion, resonating deeply with a broader audience and driving societal change.

Mentorship and networking are crucial for women's professional development. How can marketing initiatives facilitate meaningful connections and mentorship opportunities for women at different stages of their careers or entrepreneurial journeys?

Marketing initiatives can facilitate meaningful connections and mentorship opportunities for women by creating platforms and programs dedicated to professional development. Hosting webinars, workshops, and networking events featuring successful female leaders can inspire and provide practical insights. Establishing online communities or forums allows women to connect, share experiences, and seek advice. Highlighting success stories of women within our marketing initiatives can also motivate and guide others. Creating mentorship programs that pair experienced professionals with emerging leaders throughout their careers provides guidance and support at every step. This initiates a domino effect of empowerment, where each mentored woman, in turn, mentors others, exponentially increasing the impact and fostering a robust network of empowered women leaders across various industries.

Sustainability and social responsibility are increasingly important considerations for consumers, particularly among younger demographics. How do leaders propose incorporating these values into marketing strategies aimed at empowering women, aligning with their values and aspirations?

The words 'sustainability' and 'social responsibility' are no longer just buzzwords but a way of life. Consumers today, especially the younger audience demand their brands to be socially responsible and conscious. Leaders propose integrating sustainability and social responsibility into marketing strategies by aligning with the core values and aspirations of women. Launching campaigns that spotlight women leading sustainable initiatives showcases authentic role models. Partnering with eco-conscious female entrepreneurs amplifies their impact and inspires others. Highlighting the brand’s commitment to ethical practices resonates deeply with younger demographics. Using storytelling to share real-life impacts of sustainable actions connects emotionally with consumers. By embedding these principles into every aspect of our marketing, we not only empower women but also champion a future where social responsibility and environmental stewardship are paramount.

Intersectionality is key to understanding the diverse experiences and challenges faced by women from different backgrounds. How can marketing strategies acknowledge and celebrate these intersections while ensuring inclusivity and representation for all women?

Marketing strategies can celebrate intersectionality by highlighting the unique stories and strengths of women from diverse backgrounds. By showcasing real-life narratives of women overcoming varied challenges, we can portray authentic, multifaceted experiences. Collaborating with influencers who represent different races, ethnicities, abilities, and socioeconomic statuses ensures true representation. Creating campaigns that focus on intersectional achievements, rather than generic success stories, emphasizes the richness of diverse perspectives. Regularly involving diverse voices in the creative process fosters genuine inclusivity. Through these efforts, we can build marketing strategies that not only acknowledge but celebrate the complexity of women's identities, fostering a deeper connection with all women and championing true representation.