Customers will reward insurers' loyalty with insight: Nationwide CMO

Nationwide’s Terrance Williams says that there are three important numbers in his career: 28, 10 and two.

Currently Nationwide’s CMO and president of emerging businesses, Williams told attendees at KPMG’s 2018 Insurance Conference, held in New York in mid-September, he always knew that he would be in the insurance field. Sure enough, his career has spanned 28 years – the last 23 with Nationwide -- and along those years his positions have varied throughout the industry: From underwriting, to sales, to various P&L management roles, he has gathered crucial knowledge in all needed functions of his company.

di-terrence-w-kpmg.jpg

Williams attributes his production to knowing the changes needed for consumers. “Things will change based on what the consumer wants,” he said, explaining that no matter the industry, the success of a company is based on how well it meets expectations.

Williams compared a morning Starbucks routine to insurance, and the similarities consumers have adopted to is “Simply, easy, quick and personalized.” The coffee company lets customers order and pay for their morning pick-me-up through a mobile app, avoiding lines, walking in to a greeting and their name labeled on a beverage, illustrating the impact of digital on customer satisfaction. “If I can get this service from Starbucks on a consumer stand point why wouldn’t I want further service this way,” says Williams.

Over his career Williams has relocated 10 times. He says that living in various locations around the country has helped him gain first-hand knowledge of what different consumer groups consider essential needs based on their locations.

Marketing toward the consumer, Williams and his team use digital advertisements to relate to clients. However, the company still uses more traditional, well-known campaigns featuring personalities like Peyton Manning, Leslie Odom Jr. and Brad Paisley singing the company’s slogan. When asked what leads him to stay ahead he shared, “Keep smarter people around you, who can teach you, who can motivate you and keeping you wanting more.”

That leads to the final number: Two, or the number of companies Williams has worked for over 28 years. He summarizes his career as one of change, but loyalty over time. By patiently learning the ins and outs of the customer, companies are able to know their clients’ demands, adapt to those changes personalizing those interactions, he concludes.

For reprint and licensing requests for this article, click here.