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Google appoints MediaCom’s Andy Mihalop as industry head for Insurance

Google has appointed MediaCom’s head of biddable media Andy Mihalop to the role of industry head for Insurance.

Mihalop, who will take up his new role on 10 February, will be responsible for advising brand clients in the insurance sector on how best to unlock the value of their data across channels and devices to capitalise on the rise of mobile and strengthen customer lifecycle management.

He told The Drum that historically one of the biggest barriers to adoption of mobile has been tracking, but that Google’s ability to track single user IDs across its entire platform can help businesses start to unlock a “full view” of their customers across devices and channels.

“This role is about making sure all these businesses are best leveraging Google products and also ensuring the products being developed continue to meet their needs, but it goes beyond that – it’s about helping insurers leverage the technology platforms and data to embrace customer lifecycle management.

“It will of course always be about acquisition and understanding the lifetime cycle of a customer but it goes beyond that – you can start to focus on retention of customers and cross-selling and propensity to buy,” he said.

Prior to his time at MediaCom Mihalop was head of digital at Moneysupermarket, during which time he masterminded the creation and launch of one of the UK's first private brand trading desks.

He will draw on his experience there in his new role. “Broadly the biggest challenge for customers in the finance sector is implementation – so part of it is helping our customers (insurers and aggregators) to overcome some of those barriers.

"From my experience at Moneysupermarket I can understand the challenges within the businesses, a lot of which is around change management."

Mihalop said the arrival of aggregators, such as Comparethemarket, disrupted the insurance landscape by irrevocably changing the way in which customers behave when buying insurance.

“In the past insurers would have focused only on auto renewal so they wouldn’t have had to actively market to an existing customer. But aggregators completely changed how customers behave, so if customers have come through an aggregator they are likely to be marketed to by that same aggregator quite aggressively via CRM or other digital channels. So the idea is for insurers to be able to retain customers and unlock a lot of the power in their data to really activate customer lifecycle management through digital,” he added.

Mihalop, who joined Mediacom last spring, will head up a new team reporting to Google’s director of finance Ian Morgan.

Details on his replacement are yet to be officially revealed.

Mihalop is also a judge for The Drum's Digital Trading Awards, created to reward transparency and clarity in the digital ad ecosystem. The deadline for entries closes on 6 February.

The award winners will be unveiled in ceremony on 24 April in the Marriott Grosvenor Square London.

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