Manulife Philippines CMO recognized as one of Asia-Pacific’s most influential and purposeful marketers

Melissa Henson is also the only Filipino on the 2022 Asia-Pacific Power List

Manila, Philippines ― Melissa Henson, Manulife Philippines’ Chief Marketing Officer, is among the top 50 most influential and purposeful marketers honored on Campaign Asia’s 2022 Asia-Pacific Power List. 

Henson is the only Filipino on the list, and one of only two from an insurance company. She was recognized for leading the local arm of global financial services provider Manulife on its various integrated marketing initiatives for its customers and communities during a time of crisis.

“Our goal at Manulife has always been to help our customers understand the importance of financial security and life protection so they can live every day better. I am privileged to lead a great team who works hard to achieve our goals, and is focused on gaining deeper insights into our customers, so we can deliver strategies that enable us to respond to Filipinos’ evolving needs and priorities,” Henson shared. 

“Through our campaigns, we hope to inspire, engage, and empower Filipinos, and help make decisions easier and lives better for them. Campaign Asia’s recognition inspires me and my team to continue delivering innovative work and strengthening our commitment to help financially secure more Filipinos and their loved ones,” Henson added.       

Thought leadership, product innovation and digital transformation

As the pandemic heightened the importance of health and wellness, Manulife commissioned research studies to understand Filipinos’ concerns and challenges amid COVID-19. Through its Asia Care Survey, where over 500 respondents were from the Philippines, Filipino respondents revealed they have taken greater interest in their physical and financial well-being as a result of the pandemic. This insight informed the strategy behind Manulife’s HealthFlex, an  insurance solution that offers Filipinos the flexibility to choose the health coverage they need. HealthFlex was awarded New Insurance Product of the Year at the 6th Insurance Asia Awards (2021).

While insurtech is still nascent in the Philippines, Henson helped drive Manulife’s digital transformation journey, which supported its employees by enabling flexible work arrangements even before the pandemic, and strengthened its customer service, preparing Manulife to serve customers amid the pandemic lockdown. Manulife Philippines also continually enhances its online customer service portal Manulife Online, adding new features and making adjustments to the user experience, based on customer feedback. 

Inclusivity and CSR

Henson is also the Philippine lead of Manulife’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) initiatives, where she helps steer the direction towards building a supportive, inclusive and collaborative workplace, by harnessing the power of allyship so employees can understand one another better and lift each other up. 

Furthermore, Henson led the creation and expansion of Manulife’s award-winning financial literacy program Peso Smart, which teaches the importance of saving, budgeting and investing to public elementary school students. What started as an annual face-to-face program taught by Manulife volunteer employees in 2017 was redesigned to address the demands of remote learning. Through Peso Smart x RecoveREADS, in partnership with Corazon Sanchez Atayde Memorial Foundation (CSAMF), the program has been extended to university students to teach the importance of insurance, investments, and financial planning. More than 400 students have graduated from the Peso Smart program since its inception.

Lastly, Henson led Manulife Philippines’ biggest community investment initiative in the Philippines, as part of Manulife’s Global Impact Agenda. Through partnerships with three NGOs: Gawad Kalinga to enable sustainable agriculture for 300 marginalized families across the country; Haribon Foundation, where Manulife will adopt 12 hectares of land to plant 15,000 native trees; and the expansion of its partnership with CSAMF by bringing Peso Smart x RecoveREADS to 1,200 students, as well as the launch of Peso Smart Pinays to help women become more financially independent and empowered decision-makers throughout their lives. 

Campaign Asia-Pacific’s 2022 Power List, in partnership with Twitter, celebrates marketers all over the region who have achieved great success and possess values such as “resilience, empathy, and a clear sense of purpose” when dealing with crises and game-changing shifts that have challenged industries and changed the business landscape like never before. 

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