Ahead of the deadline for entries to the 2014 Insurance Times Awards, we speak to past winners about their award, their top tips for success and challenges and changes in the industry

Aviva marketing director Heather Smith talks to Insurance Times about the Aviva Drive App, which won the Insurer Innovation of the Year category at last year’s awards.

IT: Why do you think you won the award and what did it mean to the team?

HS: We think we won because we could demonstrate a link from strategy, through to customer proposition creation and delivery, and high profile communications delivery. This was backed up by some impressive results on downloads and customer ratings – a well rounded case study, presented brilliantly by some of the team, that was a genuine first for the insurance industry.

The award meant everything to the team – external recognition is a powerful motivator and made all the effort worthwhile. It unites us across functional team and inspires us to do more fantastic innovation.

IT: Since you won the award, what has been the biggest change to the insurance industry?

HS: Being the first in this space has meant other insurers have followed suit, but our marketing strategy is still cutting through and driving downloads and great customer feedback. 

IT: What is the biggest issue facing the industry in the next 12 months?

HS: The insurance industry is behind other industries in developing innovative digital propositions for customers. There is a danger that while insurers continue to look myopically at their business they fail to keep pace with customer expectations and leave the industry open to a radical new entrant.

IT: Do you have any comments on new developments/innovations at Aviva in the year ahead?

HS: We continue our focus on new digital propositions. This year we have launched the My Aviva portal and app, which are also industry firsts. This gives customers the opportunity to see all their policies from across Aviva in one place and this will become the centre of Aviva’s relationship with their customers. The My Aviva app has some great features such as Xchange, where you can automatically send your relevant car insurance details to a third party if you have an accident, play with a life insurance tool, watch Premiership Rugby highlights, and the first downloaders of the app can get a free coffee at Café Nero as part of our Aviva Advantages programme to give existing customers more.

IT: Where does the IT Awards trophy live?

HS: It moves around the virtual team but is currently at the head of customer propositions desk.

IT: Top tip for people entering this year’s awards?

HS: Be positive, be brave, be bold in what you do, but present it beautifully.


To enter this year’s Insurance Times Awards or book a table, please click here.


Below: Marketing director Heather Smith, UK direct managing director Steve Treloar and head of customer proposition Jill Elliot tell Insurance Times what winning the award means to them.

Aviva marketing director Heather Smith, UK Direct managing director Steve Treloar and head of customer proposition Jill Elliot tell Insurance Times what winning the Insurer Innovation of the Year award means to them.