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COVID-19 Highlights Need for Authenticity as a Key to Marketing Success

Beazley’s CMO shares opportunities and challenges created by the pandemic and the need for marketers to build an identity with consumers so they can become familiar with a company’s brand.
  • Lori Chordas
  • December 2021
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Amid the disruption caused by COVID-19, the pandemic has highlighted the need for marketers to “be authentic to self,” said Georgina Peters-Venzano, chief marketing officer at global specialist insurer Beazley.

Georgina Peters-Venzano

Georgina Peters-Venzano

While the pandemic has reinforced the value of clearly defining a company's strategy and values, it's also reiterated to marketers the importance of “getting people to know you so they can differentiate you from others and know why to choose you and stick with you and your brand,” she said. “It's also important to ensure there are no gaps between what you say and do. Reputation has to be lived and experienced or otherwise it won't ring true or stand the test of time.”

Following is an edited transcript of Peters-Venzano's interview with AM Best TV.

How has COVID-19 created an opportunity for marketers to get more strategic and invest in an authentic brand strategy?

The pandemic has sped up some much-needed and much-talked-about advancements and uses in technology. It's also focused the emphasis on brand strategy. Companies have to increasingly define a strategy that takes them from A to B, while also supporting their organizational strategy that helps them achieve that goal. I think disruption from the pandemic has done that. Also, this new world order is making it very clear that we have to think about the whole experience to deliver against that brand strategy so we can provide an authentic brand that people want to be part of.

As marketers accelerated the way they build brand value to connect with customers during the pandemic, did it force them to move from defense to offense?

You always need to build a bit of the defensive strategy into your plans because things will change. For example, COVID. You need to be able to pivot or shift and respond to those environments. It shouldn't be blowing everything out of the water. It should be a strong strategy because the strategic direction of the company will not have changed to that point or is unlikely to. For example, I joined Beazley a few days before lockdown. I spent the prior months diligently reading a lot about what I should be doing. I built a 90-day plan and was thinking about getting it out on Day Three. But then the world changed, we all started working from home and the plan never got to see the light of day. I had to go back and execute a somewhat different plan. All the things in my prior plan are probably still there in essence, just the application and the way I went about it had to pivot substantially because of COVID.


Lori Chordas is a senior associate editor. She can be reached at lori.chordas@ambest.com.



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