My colleagues in Accenture Interactive spend a lot of time and considerable brain power considering the role of marketing in today’s digital marketplace. One of their focuses of interest is the growing set of challenges faced by chief marketing officers (CMOs). It’s a topic that’s very germane to an industry like insurance, where the whole industry is on—or beginning—the journey toward digital transformation.

I’d like to spend the next few blogs looking at some of the issues related to insurance marketing in the Digital Age.

First, we must again recognize that consumer behavior is changing and consumer expectations are rising.

For insurance companies, this is basically a burning platform making digital transformation an imperative as our Digital Insurance Survey recently showed: only if they are digital can insurers meet these expectations. For insurance CMOs, it means an increasingly strategic role—and less emphasis on product marketing and cost-cutting, even in these tough times. Insurance CMOs rated “growing profitably”, “operating more efficiently” and “responding to change faster and more effectively” as their top three current business priorities.[1] All of this indicates the increasingly central role that marketing will—unsurprisingly—be playing in helping carriers become customer-centric.

For insurance CMOs, responding to shifting consumer demographics emerges as the most difficult area in which to succeed as compared to two years ago. CMOs generally believe that that it will be harder to find and keep new customers and sell more to existing ones. These customer expectations include the trustworthiness of the company, and offers and customer experience that are relevant to their needs and preferences—both cited as the changes that will have the most longevity. It is therefore no surprise to find CMOs very much at the forefront in managing carriers’ digital transformation programs in close cooperation with the head of distribution, the CIO and the board—and, increasingly, the emerging category of chief digital officers.[2]

After this brief introduction to the context in which insurance CMOs find themselves, next time we’ll look at what challenges they face.

To access Accenture Interactive’s research report, download Turbulence for the CMO: Charting a path for the seamless customer experience. The insurance-specific results are not publicly available, but feel free to contact me if you’d like any further insights.

[1] 2012 Accenture Interactive CMO Insights survey, insurance-specific data.

[2] 2013 Accenture Digital Insurance Survey.

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