Stephen Fung is Chief Executive Officer of AIA Company (Trustee) Limited (“AIAT”) and AIA Pension and Trustee Co. Ltd. (“AIAPT”). Stephen joined AIAPT in September 2011 as Head of Strategic Business Development, where he achieved significant growth in AIAPT’s business. Stephen is a veteran of the financial services sector, with almost 20 years of experience, and has held several senior positions at Amundi Hong Kong Limited, Société Générale Asset Management, SHK Financial and Hong Kong Futures Exchange.
Ivan Choi is Chief Marketing Officer of AIA Pension and Trustee Co. Ltd. (AIAPT), responsible for building a positive company image and position, and strengthening AIA’s awareness in the market. He leads the Marketing Department, formulating marketing strategies and plans, and implementing effective marketing programs to support company strategies and goals. Ivan joined AIAPT in September 2014.
AIA has been bringing its brand to the fore in Hong Kong and committing itself to the mission of being ‘The Real Life Company’, raising awareness on retirement planning.
Stephen Fung, Chief Executive Officer of AIA MPF, outlines the thinking behind the campaign: “The marketing challenges were clear to us. Consumers feel disengaged with MPF and find retirement planning very remote. We also knew that, given the low level of engagement, communicating the functional benefits of our products to general consumers would be difficult. We needed to find a way for them to understand the products in simple terms.”
Ivan Choi, Chief Marketing Officer of AIA MPF, adds, “We started by gaining a deeper understanding of our consumers. We took an innovative approach by conducting the ‘AIA MPF Desired Retirement Tracker’ on a regular basis since 2012, to understand the barriers people encounter when it comes to retirement, as well as the different attitudes towards retirement planning. Results consistently showed that around 60% of respondents in Hong Kong are without sufficient retirement reserves.”
As ‘The Real Life Company’, Ivan says, “we are committed to helping our customers plan for their desired retirement amid a constantly changing world. We decided to engage our audience more emotionally on the retirement agenda through a variety of media, both new and traditional. To create a visual impact, we created outdoor and print media advertisements that depicted real Hong Kong people, working relentlessly towards a better future.“
The engagement campaign was comprehensive, with the clear intention of cementing the retirement saving message with customers – but also within the company itself – so AIA MPF staff were well-versed in the concepts being put across. “An example of this was the internal kick-off events and training sessions for AIA financial planners,” says Stephen. A total of 40 internal training classes were held, attended by almost 4,000 financial planners. “We also leveraged our insurance business to promote a holistic solution for customers, including retirement savings, annuities and MPF products.”
AIA MPF boosted its consumer education effort through a variety of promotions, including launching enjoylife.com.hk, an innovative retirement website, featuring lively, simple, and audio-visual driven content, to make retirement planning fun and easy-to-understand for consumers.
Consumer engagement was extended to a series of online marketing promotions for the younger generation of digital-savvy consumers, for whom the idea of retirement is most difficult to comprehend. Ivan says, “Our engaging content changed the traditional and rather boring way of communicating financial products. It is so important to talk to people in language they will understand.” The content included celebrity viral videos, introducing basic retirement planning concepts in a light-hearted way; comics created by popular local illustrator Stella So, using humour to show work life and retirement planning; and online games and reward systems that encouraged revisits and the sharing of content.
Since its launch in January 2014, the enjoylife website has gained significant attention from the public. The total page views reached 2 million, total unique visitors achieved 75,000 and total share increased to 1.5 million. Marketing Magazine, Sky Post and HK Economic Times are among the media who have reported extensively on enjoylife.com.hk.
Ivan continues, “Through innovative communications, we have connected emotionally with consumers and encouraged them to plan ahead proactively. These innovative communications have allowed us to engage consumers in a more emotional way through a wide array of touch points and the result has been phenomenal.” Over 80 different media, in print and online, covered the campaign of promoting retirement planning, achieving an estimated advertising value of HK$4.8 million and an estimated PR value of HK$14.3 million.”
The success of the campaign was recognised by the industry and was shortlisted for various prestigious awards including the Bronze award for both “Excellence in Integrated Marketing” and “Excellence in Content Marketing” under the “Marketing Excellence Awards 2014” organised by Marketing Magazine.
Stephen says, “To evaluate the financial impact of the campaign on our business, we measured the number of new members joining our our additional voluntary contribution program and personal account program. The reason is that these programs are joined by members on a voluntary basis, which confirms that members are becoming more aware of retirement planning, and are more willing to manage their MPF investments proactively.” BM