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Data Integration, Organizational Restructuring Transforms Aviva

A 300-year-old global financial services company rooted in heritage delivers phenomenal results by becoming agile and customer-led


  • 49%

    Open rate on email in response to Hurricane Maria, with an overall campaign turnaround reduced from three weeks to an average of four days

  • -70%

    Cost per acquisition reduction for search. Through using a DMP to drive results, there has also been a 400% increase in sales through display with a 40% reduction in CPA

  • +32%

    Average increase in open rate on emails, compared to 2016, with an average 3x response rate over the same span

  • 50%

    Percentage of outbound emails that are now automated by recognizing behavioral rather than product triggers

  • +494%

    Increase in cross-sell quotes as more personalized journeys have been rolled out, with the figure set to increase

Key to Success:

  • Shifting away from product-led marketing strategies to customer-centric communications
  • Selecting technology (Adobe Marketing Cloud) that enabled linking of online data with CRM
  • Reorganisation of marketing department around a truly agile model


With consumers becoming increasingly immune to the noise of standard marketing communication, 16 million customers in the UK and heritage of growth through acquisition, Aviva recognized they needed to focus reform on three things:  its legacy of inherited disparate data sets, a disconnected marketing technology stack and restructuring a siloed organization. To remain relevant in the new world, Aviva had to completely shift focus from products to customers

In order to speak to individual customers, Aviva needed all its data in one place, to rethink their approach to marketing. It was time to implement a People-Based Marketing model.


To make this bold and brave transition, Aviva partnered with Merkle to shift its marketing approach, moving away from traditional product-led marketing strategies to customer-centric communications. This approach, with a focus on digital channels, was aimed at increasing customer acquisition and value through personalisation - ensuring it was meeting the specific needs of each customer.

Aviva chose the Adobe Marketing Cloud to enable this new strategy and, with support from Merkle, it set about implementing Adobe Audience Manager, Adobe Campaign, Adobe Analytics and Adobe Target, with Adobe Experience Manager rolling out through 2017/18.

By linking these technologies together information, insights and audiences could be shared and, for the first time, anonymous online data brought together with rich CRM data to drive personalisation.

It wasn’t enough to simply implement the tech, Aviva needed to take a leap of faith and re-structure their entire way of working.

So, with Merkle’s help, Aviva took the bold move to completely reorganise a strong marketing department into multi-functional teams, making it a truly agile environment. 

The teams, with each one comprising an array of skillsets, were redesigned to lead from customer insight, whilst still organised around business priorities. Merkle sits amongst these teams on a daily basis, providing a full agile team to ensure success of the new approach.

Using the data, technology and organisational approach change, Aviva has determined not what product to sell, but what is right for the customer.

There is still more to learn and do, but Aviva is building a team and a business with a vision to rebuild trust, reduce complexity and put their customers in control ... and they now have the means to achieve it.

Discover how we did it. Contact us today.