Best's Review


Insurance Marketing
Successful Marketers Align With Colleagues for Effective Branding and Messaging

It’s also important to understand sales and executive goals and communicate succinctly, says Gallagher Bassett’s Dave Gordon.
  • Lori Chordas
  • July 2021
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Dave Gordon

Dave Gordon

The key to successful marketing is a strong understanding of the business and the goals of the sales and executive teams, Dave Gordon, chief marketing officer at property/ casualty third-party claims adjuster Gallagher Bassett, said. That valuable insight helps marketers build a personal brand and tout wide-reaching messages for their organization, said Gordon, an author, former actor and the featured guest in a recent webinar sponsored by AM Best and the Insurance Marketing & Communications Association.

Following is an edited transcript of Gordon's comments.

How can marketing work successfully with other business units at an insurance-related firm?

One thing I've learned over the years is that it's not about what we do or how smart we are; it has to be about the business. Make sure you are aligned with business unit leaders and listen to their goals. I implore marketers to think about service level agreements, or contracts that establish deliverables and define what leaders expect. Meet the goals of the business through marketing, and ensure the messaging you're putting out lines up with what the business unit is trying to achieve.

How can marketers communicate effectively?

I often talk about “garage sale communication.” At a garage sale, someone throws all their junk onto the lawn and says, 'Here, pick through it.' Many people communicate that way. They throw everything in an email, social media post or white paper and basically say, 'Here's all the information. You pick through it and find what's most valuable.' Marketers can cut through garage sale communication clutter by thinking about what is most important for their audience, and communicating that succinctly so those they are communicating to can understand and know what to do with the information.

The insurance industry is set to lose much valuable talent in the coming years. How can companies bring in new talent?

We all have to fill the pipeline. I love hearing Gallagher CEO Patrick Gallagher talk about growing up in the industry and his grandfather starting the company. He says, 'Insurance is the oxygen of business.'

Without insurance, nobody takes a risk. If something bad happens, our companies can come in and help pick up the pieces. That's part of our brand. As marketers, we need to do a better job of marketing our industry. Young people want to work for technology companies like Google or Amazon, but if we promote ourselves in a different way and talk about the many great things our industry does, we can, so to speak, make insurance sexy.

Lori Chordas is a senior associate editor. She can be reached at

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