Aviva restructures marketing with introduction of chief customer role

Aviva says marketing will play a “crucial role” as it looks to drive future growth, with the newly-created chief customer and marketing role designed to help it achieve those ambitions.

AvivaAviva has restructured its marketing team, with the introduction of a chief customer and marketing role, to be taken up by former NatWest marketer Cheryl Toner.

The insurance firm says marketing will play a “crucial role” in the future development of the business, ensuring it is able to take advantage of “considerable growth opportunities”.

In her new role, Toner will develop the vision for a reorganised customer and marketing function across Aviva’s UK and Ireland business, which will include the development of a single UK-wide marketing plan and customer standards across the company.

According to a spokesperson for the brand, the new position has been created as Aviva aims to ensure it has the skills and capabilities to meet its strategic ambitions.

“It’s also about strengthening the relationships we have with our customers,” the spokesperson adds. “To achieve this, we have to be able to look at our customers across product lines and give every one of them a great, consistent and seamless service.”

Toner boasts close to two decades’ experience in financial services marketing and most recently spent four years with NatWest Group. She joined as marketing director of retail banking in 2017, before stepping up as interim CMO upon David Wheldon’s retirement in February 2020. Former Centrica marketing boss Margaret Jobling took over as CMO of NatWest in September.

Toner previously held a series of senior marketing positions at home insurance brand AXA UK, culminating in over seven years as CMO. Before that she was head of marketing planning and control at Lloyds TSB.

She will start at Aviva in May 2021, subject to regulatory approval, and will join the group executive committee. She will report directly to CEO Amanda Blanc.

“I am delighted to welcome Cheryl to Aviva in the new role of chief customer and marketing officer. Marketing will play a crucial role, ensuring Aviva seizes the considerable growth opportunities in the UK,” says Blanc, who joined the personal finance brand in July last year.

“We have big ambitions to transform our performance and grow, and Cheryl’s appointment is another important step towards our goal of becoming the UK’s leading insurer.”

Aviva relaunch looks to ‘weaponise’ the brand’s emotional power

Toner joins Aviva following a significant update to its positioning, called ‘It Takes Aviva’, which launched this week alongside a new advertising campaign.

The refreshed brand and subsequent campaign has been executed by Aviva’s group brand and reputation director, Raj Kumar.

Speaking to Marketing Week on the launch, Kumar talked of wanting to position the personal finance brand as one in genuine service of the customer and the ‘go-to brand’ in a busy marketplace.

The new campaign puts the customer at the centre of the brand as it navigates the uncertainty of the post-pandemic world, and is positioned as a show of confidence against the competition.



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