senior vice president, Marketing Operations

The marketing team is pretty collaborative. There certainly are distinct roles that marketing has versus actuarial, versus the IT and the admin areas as it relates to admin, but it’s collaborative, in that even though this might be our role, it’s shared. A good example would be on the ideation. Typically, it’s marketing’s role to represent what can be successfully sold in the field. But with the head of the product development process, as an example, not only does he have the product development process responsibility and implementation and product filing, but he also has marketing intel as part of his team’s role. A lot of times, they’re bringing ideas as well. So, when I say collaborative it’s not only working together, it can be sharing some responsibilities because they bring some things to the table, too.

Ultimately, our role is to represent what we believe can be sold in the field. Through all the steps in the product development process, that’s our responsibility: To make sure that not only is this a product that can be sold successfully in the field based on what we’re seeing out there with competition, but to ensure that when it comes time to pricing, which is ultimately the actuaries’ responsibility, there is a good balance between bottom-line profits and the ability to be competitive and to sell it.

We have somewhat of an army, I guess. We probably involve more people in the process or in certain phases of the process than maybe others do. We don’t want to make decisions in a vacuum, especially in the idea phase and the design phase. We have sales people involved, who are employees of the American National, and we will reach out to the field, in our independent space, those are not employees of the company. There are times, we will reach out to some our bigger agencies that have experience with a product we are trying to develop to get their input and feedback. We’ll involve marketing people because the more involved they are, especially in the design phase, the better they will understand what went into it, the better their ability will be to articulate that in their sales collateral pieces, such as brochures. We’ve got an area here, that on the surface, some might think “Well, that’s IT’s responsibility,” but we have some technical people in the marketing area that handle the website, and different things like that, and they’ll be involved and provide feedback as well.