Joining Forces: Aligning Marketing and IT in InsurancePosted on October 25th, 2011 by Michael Costonis
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.
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.