Marsh, a global leader in insurance brokering and risk management, is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Marsh & McLennan Companies. With annual revenue exceeding $11 billion, MMC ranks no. 228 on the Fortune 500. The company has 53,000 employees and serves clients in more than 100 countries.
Executives’ Need for Change
In a meeting with the CFO of Marsh, the company’s CMO Gary Gross was asked, “We’re spending a lot on sports. What can we do to make sure we’re spending effectively?” The CFO added, “Can we team up and think through what are the options?”
It was an opportune moment for both to move forward and evaluate the company’s investment in sports sponsorships and partnerships. Without a new system, it was challenging to make informed decisions on increasing spending or shifting allocations between the company’s regions. The current system had passing grades for ticket distribution, but it fell short on:
- Consistency in collecting and reporting information
- Informing decisions on spending and allocation changes
- Providing data to use in negotiations with partnerships and teams
- Supporting compliance
- CRM integration
Both executives recognized that the legacy system favored making distributions over making decisions, hamstringing their ability to make the right spending changes.
Requirements for New System
In assessing areas for improvement, Marsh identified three key requirements in a new ticket management system:
Standardization. Some Marsh regions did some things well. A new, centralized system would elevate all regions to do all things well.
Insight. As CMO, Gross realized he was under-informed. He needed the new system to improve both how the regions managed locally and how he planned centrally. “The partnership leaders are still the ones making the decisions on allocation. We both need shared insight into usage.”
Reward. Without consistent and timely reports, Marsh could not compare regions and re-allocate investment based on higher usage or business results. The current system did not properly reward higher performance.
Marsh understood that a new system, one that moved tickets online and provided a common platform for the regions to manage tickets, would bring transparency to ticket usage and this would make decision-making easier, not harder. Data would support decisions to drive allocations. Simply making a request, especially from a region with below-average usage rates and business results, would not produce increased allocation. They were also looking for a solution that works congruently with their upcoming move to Salesforce CRM.
In implementing an online system from Spotlight, Marsh made a key stipulation: to order tickets, the Sales teams had to use the new system. It was NOT optional. With over 10 years in sales management, Gross understood the impact of a clear incentive: a new system that measured and reported usage rates and business impact would reward a sales team with increased allocations.
The Big Picture
Marsh had approached the decision to implement a new system on two levels:
Improve ticket management. An online system enabled easier data capture, consistent reporting, and more efficient communication. As Gross explained, “We wanted the regions to know we have the oversight. In turn, we expected they would become better at ticket allocation.”
Support investment decisions. The new system from Spotlight helped Marsh gain insight into usage and business impact. This led to better decisions, as Gross said, “How can you make and recommend decisions and changes without the big picture?”
“Our CEO counts on me to build into our budget planning each year, not only what is our total ticket allocation but what are the changes. He counts on me to come forward with these recommendations. I’m able to explain allocation recommendations by saying, ‘I saw it in Spotlight.’”
For Marsh, the decision to implement Spotlight reflected a management style that prioritized giving improved tools and systems for their regions to use. The decision also reflected a need to make more insightful decisions at a corporate level. “Our CEO counts on me to build into our budget planning each year, not only what is our total ticket allocation but what are the changes,” shared Gross. “He counts on me to come forward with these recommendations. I’m able to explain allocation recommendations by saying, “I saw it in Spotlight.”