Aviva says marketing will play a “crucial role” as it looks to drive future growth, with the newly-created chief customer and marketing role designed to help it achieve those ambitions.

Aviva has strengthened its marketing team with the introduction of a chief customer and marketing role, which is to be take up by former NatWest marketer Cheryl Toner.

The insurance firm says marketing will play a “crucial role” in the future development of the business, ensuring it is able to take advantage of “considerable growth opportunities” .

Toner boasts close to two decades’ experience in financial services marketing and most recently spent four years with NatWest Group. She joined as marketing director of retail banking in 2017, before stepping up as interim CMO upon David Wheldon’s retirement in February 2020. Former Centrica marketing boss Margaret Jobling took over as CMO of NatWest in September.

Toner previously held a series of senior marketing positions at home insurance brand AXA UK, culminating in over seven years as CMO. Before that she was head of marketing planning and control at Lloyds TSB.

She will start at Aviva in May 2021, subject to regulatory approval, and will join the group executive committee. She will report directly CEO Amanda Blanc.

“I am delighted to welcome Cheryl to Aviva in the new role of chief customer and marketing officer. Marketing will play a crucial role, ensuring Aviva seizes the considerable growth opportunities in the UK,” says Blanc, who joined the personal finance brand in July last year.

“We have big ambitions to transform our performance and grow, and Cheryl’s appointment is another important step towards our goal of becoming the UK’s leading insurer.”

Toner joins Aviva following a significant update to its purpose and positioning, which launched this week under the banner of ‘With You For A Better Tomorrow’.

The refreshed brand and subsequent campaign has been executed by Aviva’s group brand and reputation director, Raj Kumar.

Speaking to Marketing Week about the new campaign, Kumar talked of wanting to position the personal finance brand as one in genuine service of the customer and the ‘go-to brand’ in a busy marketplace.

The new campaign puts the customer at the centre of the brand as it navigates the uncertainty of the post-pandemic world, and is positioned as a show of confidence against the competition.

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