IAG chief customer and marketing officer Michelle Klein has restructured the insurance giant’s marketing department to supercharge its transformation, creating a new division overseeing channel performance marketing and measurement.
Overseeing the division is a newly created role: executive manager, channel performance marketing and measurement. The role is responsible for driving channel effectiveness and efficiencies across all of the NRMA Insurance brands’ paid, owned, earned, and shared channels.
Klein told Mediaweek she has appointed Mark Echo, IAG’s manager of media, comms planning and performance marketing, to the new role. Echo will be tasked with ensuring the performance and growth of IAG’s growth, customer acquisition, conversion and retention.
Echo’s role will focus on the NRMA Insurance brand, as well as other consumer-facing brands in the IAG portfolio. He has been with the company for one year, prior to which he was a client partner at Facebook, after a 14-year career at media agencies, including Ikon and Bohemia.
Klein said the role was “pivotal” to the business transformation as it prepares to enter its 100th year next year.
“This is a pivotal new role that will help accelerate our digital transformation, incorporating data analytics and AI capability that will inform and shape the customer experience, marketing and brand solutions that deliver across key touchpoints and drive business outcomes. This appointment is a key step in the journey to create, uplift, and transform the customer experience.”
Klein joined IAG in May last year to assume control of the newly merged customer and marketing division from Meta US, where she was the vice president of global business and product marketing based in Silicon Valley. She also previously held senior marketing roles at Diageo, British Airways, and Armani.
The new structure draws from her experience in Silicon Valley and aims to bring a product flow process to IAG’s customer and marketing departments in a bid to “reinvigorate the customer experience”
“Insurance is one of the last bastions of industries to transform,” Klein told Mediaweek. “And that’s because simple, and it’s complicated, it’s rational, and it’s emotional in terms of purchase. There’s a lot of opportunity to leverage what other institutions have done to transform.”
“NRMA is an iconic Australian brand that people love, and you can see that from the recent Brand Finance report. It is a very strong and very valued brand in the country and the most trusted insurance brand.
The idea is to structure [the team] like how I would build a product in Silicon Valley,” she said, “The product flow approach where you start with customer insights, those inform your go-to-market, and once you go to market, you measure constantly. And it’s a never-ending virtuous circle, all focused on business outcomes and customer outcomes. And that is what we are putting into place.”
“The structure is also about ensuring we have the right people in place to be able to bring that whole vision to life from the very beginning when a customer joins us, all the way through the journey of keeping them and retaining them and driving their loyalty.”
Klein said the role required someone with “the fundamentals of media, buying, selling, trading, as well as comms planning and the ecosystem of technology and performance.”
It follows yesterday’s announcement of NRMA as a major partner for Nine’s coverage of the Paris Olympic and Paralympic Games.
“The Olympics is an opportunity for us to leverage our 100-year birthday next year,” said Klein. “What’s great is that it’s not just a TV broadcast, it’s a through-the-line experience, and being able to utilise all the channels that Nine has to offer – it’s like a vessel for us. It gives us the ability to be more holistic and transformative with the surfaces that they can create for us. So it gives us lots of ways to tell our story through something that Australians love, which is the Olympic Games. And we all know how it captures the nation, captures the world, and brings people together,” said Klein.
“As Nine says, this will reach 98% of Australians, which is amazing. Which is perfect for us as we needed a big way to start telling our story. Of course, we can buy ads, and we can do all the things, but there’s more opportunities in this. So we’re just getting started; we’re working closely with Nine and the Powered team on some creative ideas and how we might bring this to life. It’s also great to be working closely together with some of the country’s most iconic brands such as Woollies, Toyota and Harvey Norman. It’s great for NRMA to be part of that,” said Klein.