For the second year running, Oxford’s Saïd Business School has partnered with leading insurer Allianz for the Allianz Marketing Challenge.
The event was part of this year’s Oxford MBA programme and the Oxford Future of Marketing Initiative. Designed to give students a taste of what it’s like to create a marketing strategy for a global organisation, the challenge focused on the future of insurance marketing with a target on Millennials.
In January, the Chief Marketing Officer for Allianz UK, David Radford, briefed MBA students on this challenge and gave an overview of the insurance business, Millennials, and the marketing task at hand: How should Allianz, an insurance company, become relevant and engaging to a Millennial audience? Students, working in small teams, created pitches for their solutions to this question that were evaluated by the School’s marketing faculty. From the 75 teams who submitted pitches, 12 were shortlisted and presented their proposal to a panel of Allianz executives.
‘The Allianz panel were impressed by the quality of insight and ideas presented by Oxford MBA students in this year’s Allianz Marketing Challenge. The theme of engaging with ‘Millennials’ through digital solutions proved to be popular topic,’ said David Radford. ‘We were struck by the consistency of insights from different country perspectives and different teams; this made choosing a winning team particularly difficult.’
Andrew Stephen, L’Oréal Professor of Marketing and head of the marketing faculty at Saïd Business School said the topic was chosen because it represents a challenge being faced in many industries, not just in insurance. ‘A new generation of customers has come of age but they have radically different expectations of companies than previous generations, largely due to shifts in how people use technology,’ he said.
The ideas put forward included social media strategies, big data capabilities, push notifications, and many forms of digitisation, and the winning concept used the idea of real-time insurance on/off toggling to enable a nimble and transparent user experience. The winning team of Tookie Graham, Diana Garibaldi, John O’Mara, Jothan Webb and Mike Zhang, said they were “thrilled to win” and have their idea endorsed by Allianz.
‘We really enjoyed thinking about this year’s challenge, particularly because the Allianz team gave us so much free rein,’ said Tookie Graham. ‘Our exploration kept bringing us back to situations we had been in where a well-timed reminder about insurance would have been much-appreciated. Since Millennials see marketing as inextricably linked to product, we suggested an app that would allow consumers to engage more in the process and customise their experience, while integrating seamlessly with how they live and what they value.’
‘Challenges like this provide our MBA students with opportunities to work on current issues faced by global companies at the highest levels,’ said Professor Stephen. ‘This allows them to apply their studies to issues that are not only pertinent to business practice, but also very critical for brands to stay relevant to their customers.’
The winning team were awarded a £1000 cash prize courtesy of Allianz.
Congratulations to the 2017 Allianz Marketing Challenge winner, runner-up and honourable mentions:
Tookie Graham, John O'Mara, Diana Garibaldi, Mike Zhang, Jothan Webb
Sophie Mittleman, Jarryd Brogden, Oscar Gonzalez, Maren Mende, Nicholas Roberts-Huntley
- Stefan Bekker, Candice Mudrick, Christina Chen, Shailendra Nama, Veena Krishnamurthy
- Allison Gates, Chris Calkin, Maegan Moore