Pacific Life introduces new mobile platform to remove friction from sales
October 24, 2013
NEW YORK – A Pacific Life executive at the Media Tech Summit 2013 conference said that the insurance company has released a new mobile platform as a part of its ongoing efforts to remove friction for the point of sale between a financial advisor and client.
During the “CMO Panel: Marketers Have New Roles – We’re Creative Data Wonks” session, executives from Pacific Life and Gannett spoke about the changing role of the chief marketing officer and how they are leveraging data to improve consume experience. The session was moderated by Albert Chou, chief innovation officer of Expion, Raleigh, NC.
“We’re focused on the nexus between mobile and social and data and using all of those to improve the customer experience,” said Greg Bailey, vice president of marketing at Pacific Life, Newport Beach, CA.
“We’re really focused right now on customer experience and removing friction from the entire experience,” he said. “That friction is the point-of-sale between financial advisor and client, and oftentimes we can think about that experience of the last time you had an insurance sale, it’s a very analog world, and we’re moving to a digital mobile type of context, so one of the things we’ve recently done is we’ve just announced a brand new mobile operating platform for financial advisors to engage their consumers in a new way.
“As a result of that, that takes us from the analog world to the mobile world. And [with] the data that we have access to, we’ve built an interesting framework to look at it, learn from it and test it.”
Data and testing
Both of the executives in the session emphasized the importance of testing and innovating. They spoke about how data is only important when it leads to creative ideas and experimentation.
Mr. Bailey explained that data is not valuable without adding the human element.
“Data left to data is never really good for anything,” Mr. Bailey said. “Data combined with the human element is good. Making sure we’re smart about our use case but going with our instinct about what our gut tells us, and we spend a lot of time looking at other verticals.”
Maryam Banikarim, chief marketing officer of Gannett, New York, echoed those values and spoke of the importance of creating a spirit of entrepreneurship throughout the company.
“One of the things I think about a lot is how do you actually bring that spirit of entrepreneurship to the company,” Ms. Banikarim said. “If anybody tells you that they know where things are going I would tell you that they’re making it up.
“It’s about making a lot of bets and being agile and flexible to get there,” she said. “But big companies historically have not been good at that.
“Most people are rewarded for keeping the status quo in the day-to-day business. So I think you have to have a culture of innovation in these big companies. I think there’s a lot of things companies can do, but there really has to be commitment from the top that you can take risks and fail.”
The job of CMO
The executives also discussed the expanding role of a chief marketing officer.
A CMO definitely needs to look at data, but the position goes beyond the basics of measurement and analysis. The CMO needs to take the data and use it as a tool to drive revenue.
For example, Pacific Life has access to its consumers’ drug prescription information, and they can leverage that to assign a risk assessment.
Gannett on the other hand looks at data to set its paid subscription model for publications.
Beyond leveraging data, however, a CMO must focus on translating it to revenue.
“I always thought everybody’s job was to help generate revenue,” Ms. Banikarim said. “I don’t care what title you have, if there’s no revenue, you’re not going to be at that job very long.
“I think these boxes don’t exist anymore,” she said. “Your job is to do what it takes to get the job done, which is to generate revenue at the company. I think your job is to be a business person and to lead and that means worrying about culture, your position in the company, what you’re going to do with the company, I think you have to be broad in your thinking.”Final Take
Rebecca Borison is editorial assistant on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York
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