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Vice President of Property Casualty Marketing Integration at Nationwide
Imagine coordinating marketing efforts between a national brand and legions of local partners. In practice, this means sharing data insights and best practices, messaging and marketing assets, in a way that is quick and easy and complies with privacy regulations.
Tiffany Grinstead, vice president of property casualty marketing integration at Nationwide, is taking on this challenge. She works with thousands of independent agents across digital channels, each with their own way of doing things, yet seeking help from Nationwide to grow their businesses.
“We understand what’s going on in the local markets, such as the claims experience and pricing pressure, and can share insights from that perspective,” Grinstead says. “Our agents definitely look to us and our insights to help them take better advantage of their local markets.”
The CMO Council chatted with Grinstead to learn more about how she works with business partners to share aggregated, actionable customer behavioral insights, as well as proven digital marketing assets and best practices — also called “collaborative marketing” — so that everyone in the network markets more effectively.
What’s driving collaborative marketing at Nationwide?
Grinstead: We have about 15,000 independent insurance agencies selling across our various property casualty insurance platforms, and they have their own messages. The question is, how do you make your message fit and coordinate with theirs? We look at a lot of digital tools and opportunities that allow them to integrate our story into their story. The transformation of things becoming increasingly more digital, the agency becoming more digital, how our technology connects with their technology, are really evolving today.
What are some of the challenges?
Grinstead: As marketers the biggest challenge is to understand what our data tells about our customers and distribution partners—what are the real insights that will help us build the right solutions and deliver them at the right time with the right message in the most personalized and relevant way, while ensuring that we are protecting privacy and exceeding expectations for good data stewardship.
In terms of data, like all companies, we're really on that data journey now. And we're extremely committed to privacy and cybersecurity as an organization
How do you work through this?
Grinstead: There are a lot of opportunities to work with companies in ways where you can target based on third-party data without necessarily taking in that third-party data. You're able to target through your media buys without necessarily knowing exactly who those people are or taking possession of that data. Then you build content and experiences that are compelling enough that people want to tell you who they are because they want to interact with you more, whether that is through the process of quoting insurance with us or asking for a phone call in the case of some of our distribution partners.
We have new appointment forms on our website for appointment of agents, for example. We will target them through media and then bring them down-funnel to where they want to self-identify and ask for that phone call. When you think about how the world is evolving, the concept of providing enough value that someone's delighted to give you their information to take the next step with you, that’s the kind of commitment that drives relationships.
How do you work with your independent insurance agents?
Grinstead: My team will work with our very top agents to help them think about opportunities, such as how to market to their own book of business for cross-sell opportunities and pointing out insights within that data. We also help them identify third-party folks to have a relationship with to generate new leads for their businesses, although we don't take responsibility for their lead generation because they're their own companies and entities.
We understand who our very top partners are and who has made commitments to us, and we may do more joint marketing with them. We have marketing benefits that we offer to our insurance agents, from digital marketing training to a co-op program. Based on the business that agents have done with us in the past and their relationship with Nationwide they may have an opportunity to share costs for a joint marketing plan.
On the insurance side, we have a website called Marketing Central that allows distribution partners to download templates and co-brand items with us. They can take advantage of the fact that we're a big brand that has the expertise and resources to put together professional collateral.
What is your guiding principle in collaborative marketing?
Grinstead: If you're putting the customer first and doing what's right for the customer, then you're serving them up what's relevant to them at the relevant moments. And they're telling you what’s highly relevant to them, identifying who they are, and moving down the funnel with you.
So however privacy laws evolve, they're going to be in the customer's best interests, which means they're going to be in Nationwide's best interest.