In a recent conversation with a chief technology officer, he asserted all digital technology changes in his organisation were being led by IT and not by marketing. It made me wonder: How long a marketing function like this could survive?
Australian insurance group, IAG, is undertaking a major shake-up of its organisational structure and leadership team in a bid to become a customer-led and data-driven organisation.
The new structure, which comes into effect on 9 December, sees two customer-facing divisions put in place covering sales, service, and brand and marketing execution. These are an Australian Consumer Division, focused on individuals and families; and an Australian Business Division, focused on all business relationships.
The Consumer Division will be overseen by Anthony Justice, who was previously the chief customer officer for personal insurance. Former acting CEO for commercial insurance, Ben Bessell, becomes chief executive of the Australian Business Division, which includes the CGU, WFI, Lumley and Swann brands.
In addition, three divisions covering customer experience, technology and operations will support IAG’s two-pronged customer strategy.
The first is a Customer Lab responsible for customer experience strategy and driving product innovation through data and insights, brand architecture and new business incubations and venturing.
Heading up Customer Labs is chief customer officer, Julie Batch, who was previously chief analytics officer. She is now responsible for developing customer propositions and marketing strategies.
The second division is a Digital Lab, which continues on from IAG Labs and will provide digital and design innovation while investigating and embracing disruptive technologies. This team will also be tasked with building digital apps and ecosystems and simplifying existing core platforms.
The digital unit is being led by Claire Rawlins, who has been appointed group executive of digital and technology from her current role as CIO.
The third division is Operations, which encompasses claims and operational activities such as procurement and supply chain management. This group replaces the former Enterprise Operations team and is being led by chief operating officer, Andy Cornish, who will be in charge until he leaves in mid-2016. Mark Milliner will then take over the role.
“Our new structure reflects our focus on future profitability by redefining our core businesses around our customers and establishing three functions to provide the insights, products and services our customer-facing divisions need to deliver a world-leading customer experience,” said IAG managing director and CEO, Peter Harmer.
He added the revised operating model is expected to help IAG adapt more quickly to the rapidly changing business environment it now faces.
IAG said its Asia and New Zealand businesses are also now moving into a new international division, focused on growing the group’s regional presence. Chief financial officer, Nick Hawkins, retains his position as well as assumes responsibility for the international division as well as ‘challenger’ consumer segment, including SGIO, SGIC and Coles Insurance.
The new structure comes less than two months after Harmer was appointed to the top job following Mike Wilkins’ retirement. Harmer came into the business as CEO of CGU in 2010 and has worked in a number of executive roles, most recently as CEO of IAG Labs in July this year.
Last month, the insurance group also unveiled a fresh brand identity for the business, removing the ‘Insurance Australia Group’ from its logo.
“Brand recognition plays an integral role in telling the IAG story, so our visual identity must be distinctive, modern and engaging, reflecting our future aspirations and supporting our plans to engage with a broader set of stakeholders,” Harmer said in a statement after the new branding was revealed.
The IAB portfolio of brands in Australia includes NRMA Insurance, CGU, SGIO, SGIC, WFI and Swann Insurance.
More on IAG:
- The marketing technologist: Grant Pattison, IAG Commercial
- IAG's head of marketing makes it into the CMO50 2015