Joining Forces: Aligning Marketing and IT in Insurance

At a time when collaboration between marketing and IT is crucial to capitalizing on emerging technology, an Accenture survey finds that the relationship between the two groups is often dysfunctional.

Digital marketing

As much as digital channels have revolutionized insurance distribution, it has also had a profound effect on advertising and marketing. Traditional advertising channels and tactics, from radio and television advertising to direct mail, struggle against the new opportunities available with digital channels. Insurance marketers are asked to include digital strategies, increase the relevance of their customer interactions and raise ROI in a truly quantifiable manner.

It’s a task that requires input from IT. Marketers must work with IT to deliver an exceptional digital customer experience, and IT must work with marketing to achieve these goals.

The role of IT

IT can deliver tools for data aggregation, customer segmentation and advanced analytics to support marketing’s strategies, tactics and campaigns. For marketing to improve customer relevance and drive profitability, they need to be able to extract customer and market data, and translate it into insight about business opportunities, customer segments and long-term strategy.

Insurance marketers must have a more prominent role during discussions about data and how it is used. At the C-level, the chief information officer (CIO) must be part of a successful data strategy, with input from the chief marketing officer (CMO) as infrastructure and tools are developed.

Best practices for success

In this increasingly fast-paced world, agility and flexibility are critical capabilities for insurers. To facilitate conversation and collaboration between marketing and IT, Accenture recommends five steps:

  • Develop a tolerance for ambiguity.
  • Move decisions from the conference room to the boardroom.
  • Rethink investment approaches.
  • Don’t mine customer data—engineer it.
  • Rethink talent management models.

Ultimately, this alliance between marketing and IT will benefit and create efficiencies for both groups.

To learn more, download Joining Forces: Aligning Marketing and IT to Drive High Performance Revenue Growth in Insurance.

Michael Costonis

About Michael Costonis

Michael Costonis is Managing Director of Accenture’s Insurance practice for North America. He is responsible for setting the overall vision and strategy for the practice, as well as pursuing new client relationships.

Costonis has twenty years experience developing, managing and deploying large scale technology systems, business processes, and strategies for some of the world’s leading insurers, including property & casualty, life, and multi-line insurance companies. In his career with Accenture, he has worked with more than 50 leading insurance clients in 14 countries around the world.

In addition to his role as North America industry executive director, Costonis is the lead for Accenture’s global claims services. In that role, he oversees claims strategies, assets, capabilities, and sales development. He also has led Accenture’s Insurance Solutions practice in North America, where he was responsible for driving growth for Accenture’s asset-based business in Insurance, including claims, underwriting, and policy administration.

Costonis has authored several articles in leading insurance trade publications, and has been quoted in The New York Times, Bloomberg News, Reuters News, Best’s Review, Insurance & Technology, InformationWeek, National Underwriter, Technology Decisions, and the Philadelphia Inquirer. He has spoken at several leading industry conferences in the U.S. and internationally.

Costonis received a bachelor’s degree in political science from Swarthmore College (Swarthmore, PA). He is based in Philadelphia.

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