Tuesday 26 March 2019

Marketing people: Naomi Sabherwal

Head of commercial marketing, AIG Ireland

Naomi Sabherwal
Naomi Sabherwal

John McGee

Operating in the Irish market for the past 40 years, US insurance giant AIG has cornered around 9pc of the general market here. Naomi Sabherwal explains to John McGee that the group has a considerable presence in the business-to-business market through an extensive broker network.

Describe your role with AIG

I am responsible for various business-to-business marketing activities including PR, digital, thought leadership, government affairs, as well as commercially leveraging  AIG’s local and global sponsorship assets including Dublin GAA and the All Blacks.

Apart from this, I am also heavily involved in developing AIG Ireland’s CSR strategy. A lot of my time is spent interacting with our product teams whilst also working with the wider AIG marketing team, based all over the world, in an effort to share information on best practices, guidelines and various initiatives that I can adapt to the Irish market.

What challenges do you face?

The majority of our commercial business is transacted through our broker channel, so we are sometimes slightly removed from first-party contact with our end-clients.

As a result, it is difficult to find an attribution model of how our commercial marketing activities directly impact our end clients’ decision-making process.

That said, our brokers are very supportive of our campaigns once they can see the true value to both them and our clients. It’s my role to make sure the content we provide matches our clients’ needs.

For example, the “Why AIG” campaign we ran locally last year communicated the greatest risks facing organisations in today’s dynamic environment and addressed how AIG can provide not only insurance, but risk-mitigating solutions to stay ahead of the various threats and ultimately reduce our client’s costs of risk.

We also work closely with our brokers in joint campaigns, training and events to deliver high quality content that is of benefit to clients. Everything we deliver needs to be relevant, of course, whether it’s focusing on evolving risks such as cyber-terrorism or economic and regulatory changes such as Brexit and GDPR. In terms of attribution, I overcome this by working closely with the product teams to define what success looks like for our various marketing efforts.

How does the AIG brand gain cut-through in a competitive market?

I think one of AIG’s greatest assets is its brand. I think it is one that’s associated with strength, capability and scale. The All Blacks sponsorship, for example, really links in well with these values and provides our brand with further character.

Locally, our sponsorship of Dublin GAA has really put us on the map and led to increased brand awareness, building a more personal element to an insurance company.

In addition to this, our business development and underwriting teams work very hard to deliver excellent customer service and as such have been voted best in class by our major broker partners. I think all this really differentiates us from competitors.

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