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AXA Equitable expands mobile offerings to boost lead-generation initiatives

AXA Equitable Life Insurance Co. has launched financial applications for Research In Motion’s BlackBerry smartphones to enhance its customer service and boost its lead-generation initiatives.

The insurance giant’s new Retirement Income and Life Insurance interactive calculator applications are designed to help consumers with their financial planning by estimating income from retirement savings and the appropriate amount of life insurance coverage. The two BlackBerry applications can also synchronize with users’ BlackBerry address book contacts, letting them directly call or email their financial advisors from within the application.

“Launching these BlackBerry apps is part of our overall digital strategy—you can’t really be thinking about digital in this day and age without thinking about mobility and apps that customers want to use everyday,” said Connie O’Brien, senior vice president of Internet strategy and development at AXA Equitable, New York.

“We’ve had six iPhone apps—five individual calculators and a Swiss Army knife all-in-one apps, and now we’re adding a BlackBerry app for anyone who is in need of some education around life insurance and retirement savings,” she said. “Generally speaking, we are a BlackBerry shop for our advisers, so we wanted to launch this as a tool for them to do research and help our customers make the best financial decisions.

“This is absolutely another touch point for our customers and for our advisors to work with our customers—it is a lead-generation tool, it helps with guided scenarios sitting side-by-side with customers and it is an opportunity to improve customer service.”

AXA Equitable Life Insurance is a financial protection company and a provider of life insurance, annuity and financial products and services.

Demand for BlackBerry support
Ms. O’Brien said that people expect on-demand access to information. AXA believes applications are a powerful way to bring financial information to BlackBerry users’ fingertips.

The applications let BlackBerry users automatically get reminders on important financial goals or meetings with their AXA Advisors financial professionals through integration with the BlackBerry Calendar application.

Users can share the applications with friends and family through social media such as Facebook.

Ms. O’Brien said that AXA remains committed to helping people achieve and stay on top of important financial milestones. A large part of that includes developing a suite of online and mobile tools that brings financial planning to life, per AXA.

The two new applications are designed to boost AXA Equitable’s digital strategy and complement its existing set of applications launched in 2009 for Apple’s iPhone. These apps provide mobile users with access to interactive calculators focused on college savings, retirement shortfall, life expectancy and life insurance.

Consumers can download the apps for free in BlackBerry App World.

Sharing features help encourage viral word-of-mouth spread

To promote the BlackBerry app, AXA recently bought a full-page ad on the back of the sports page of the Sunday New York Times, as well as an online media buy at

The app was also featured in the carousel of the BlackBerry App World for a week.

AXA is running promotional boxes on its own Web site, and it sends emails to its advisors to share news with them that might be of use or of interest to its customers, an initiative it calls its eRelationship email platform.

“The whole ecosystem has been turned on its head with smartphones and tablets—the whole ecosystem is wide open, so look for more from us in theses areas,” Ms O’Brien said. “Our app is free and available for anyone to use who wants to get more in tune with what they need to do to get their financial house in order.

“Of course we hope you raise your hand and sign on to work with us,” she said. “Either way, we see it as our duty to advise people to help them figure out how to get or keep their house in order.”

Final Take