Getting to know Sarah Chastney, Senior Marketing Strategy Manager at LV=
How long have you worked at LV=?
I’ve worked at LV= since September 2007 and have just celebrated my 11 year anniversary. I had previously studied Advertising and Marketing Communications at Bournemouth University, and after a brief placement at a media agency in London I moved back to Bournemouth and got a job as a Marketing Assistant at LV=. I joined just after the major rebrand so I’ve seen a great deal of growth over the past decade and have been directly involved in the building of the new brand and growing out the team to meet the challenges of today’s marketing landscape.
What is it you now do at LV=?
I’m currently Senior Marketing Strategy Manager after my latest promotion in May this year. My role had traditionally focussed on brand-building and campaigns, but since the restructure I’ve taken on a wider remit to also include proposition and social engagement.
What do you like most about your job?
Definitely the variety, one day I could be signing off on a TV creative and the next day we could be head deep in sales planning. It’s always been near impossible to answer the question, ‘What does an average day look like?’ There’s always so much to get my teeth into which means we never have time to get bored or stagnate. I like the challenge of working at a fast pace and LV= definitely allows me to flourish in this environment.
And not to forget - the people. We really do embody the work hard, play hard mantra. We’re quick to celebrate success with awards nights and our annual beach party!
And the least?
The reality of the job is that we work in a regulated industry. This means that sometimes the Compliance team will have a sizeable say in what we’re allowed to put out. Part of the challenge of working in our team is to make sure we don’t let that stifle creativity. We appreciate that governance is required but it’s a skill that needs to be developed to work within the perimeter of compliance.
What are some of the upcoming projects you’re working on?
We just appointed a new media buying agency, called Initiative. So I’m currently on-boarding them and migrating all our media across to them. The other thing on my mind is looking at our plans for 2019.
Aside from that, I’ve recently taken on the Proposition function and we’re looking to grow that team also. We’re constantly looking at our General Insurance strategy and asking ‘what else could we offer customers?’ We also monitor brand scores closely to work out how we can maintain and grow awareness.
You’ve recently been promoted into this role. What are your aspirations for the team?
My biggest aspiration is having a full team, as we currently have a few spaces to fill with the right people. We’re hoping the new hires will slot straight into our friendly team and bring their own fresh ideas with them.
My new remit has also allowed me to play more of a role in more decisions that directly affect customers, which is very exciting. Previously, some of this thinking had sat within other areas of the business but now there’s recognition that Marketing should play a more central role.
The structure of team means we are also able to have people dedicated to certain things. We purposely changed the structure to reduce siloes, which means we’re now more focussed on the whole customer life cycle, to be more efficient and consistent in our communications.
Now we’re set up in a more effective way, we need to strive to answer the key questions of our team, such as: ‘What should our propositions and messages look like?’; ‘How do we get our brand in peoples’ minds?’; and ‘How do we get them to engage through social?’.
What type of people are you looking for in your growing team?
Attitude is key. We want team members with high levels of energy and passion. Specific marketing skills can be taught and experience will come with time in the role, but having a creative flair, good eye for design and attention to detail will mean you can slot straight in here.
Mentality is also really important in our team. LV= has an ambition to be ‘Best Loved’ and we want people who can help us do this. We have stretching objectives because in a customer’s eyes we’re no longer competing with other insurers - we’re being held up against the Amazons and John Lewis’of the world with their exceptional levels of customer service.
It’s essential that we’re delighting customers in everything we do. That’s why we need the right mix of passionate people who care about our brand and want to make this vision a reality.