My first five years at Assurance were focused squarely on brand building. Since then, I’ve been working with my marketing team, positioning Assurance to leapfrog our industry in terms of marketing technology, said Steven Handmaker,
Schaumburg, IL (PRWEB) January 18, 2013
Steven Handmaker, 41, has been promoted to chief marketing officer at Assurance, headquartered in the northwestern suburbs of Chicago, IL. His former title was executive vice president, marketing and communications at Assurance.
Assurance is one of the nation’s largest and most awarded independent insurance brokerages. The company provides thousands of businesses and individuals across the country with all things insurance.
“As we see it, the brokerage industry in general has lagged in technology and marketing which serves not only a brokers ability to compete but also provides a better product for our clients,” said Tony Chimino, CEO of Assurance. “It’s a huge area of opportunity, and Steven has been able to push us to the next level as far as digital marketing and marketing automation.”
Handmaker serves as a member of Assurance’s executive management team and is responsible for the company’s marketing, communications and branding efforts. As Assurance’s top creative professional, he offers counsel on all marketing communication initiatives and acts as the primary writer and editor of key company messages.
“My experience lies in developing and implementing comprehensive strategic marketing plans incorporating multiple delivery channels,” Handmaker said. “I’ve become passionate about those channels which allow for conversation with our audience.”
Handmaker has become an expert in digital marketing within the insurance industry, and he serves as point on digital activity leadership within the company. In addition, he has executive oversight and financial responsibility for Assurance’s small business and private insurance operations.
His internal branding strategies have strongly influenced the company culture. He was influential in developing yearly themes for Assurance, such as “Everybody Wang Chung Tonight” and “Domo Arigato, Mr. Roboto!” He has leveraged the power of promoting internal culture into more than 30 awards in the last five years for client service and being a “Best Place to Work.”
“I never in a million years thought all the useless song lyrics and movie quotes that took up sorely needed space in my brain growing up, would one day become valuable in terms of my career,” Handmaker said. “Over the past eight years, all my pop culture references have somehow become a piece of the day-to-day culture at Assurance. For me, it’s good to know all that time in front of the TV and listening to music wasn’t for naught.
“My first five years at Assurance were focused squarely on brand building. Since then, I’ve been working with my marketing team, positioning Assurance to leapfrog our industry in terms of marketing technology. As the rest of the world has learned, the amount of consumer data available thanks to the digital landscape is massive. Harnessing that data so we can better serve our clients and prospective clients is something we expect will further distinguish us from other brokerages. But as all CMOs understand, it eventually comes down to results and accountability, so the next few years will be exciting to measure our performance against our goals.”
Handmaker serves on the advisory board of the National Association for Business Resources which produces the awards program titled “Chicago’s 101 Best and Brightest Companies to Work For.” Previously he served on the board of the Chicago American Marketing Association and was the 2011 chair of its signature BrandSmart event.
Prior to working at Assurance (2004 – present), he was the director of marketing and communications for Near North National Group. He was responsible for the overall internal and external marketing and communications efforts of Near North’s association and affinity group practice, National Professional Group.
Through his tenure at Assurance and more than 20 years of professional marketing experience, Handmaker has become a charismatic speaker on a variety of topics related to marketing corporate culture and building a “Best Place to Work.”
“I’m most proud of being able to provide so many great people with an awesome place to work,” he said. “We’re so fortunate to lead a company where people can further their career development, make a meaningful contribution to society and be challenged and motivated each and every day. Our success as an organization makes this possible for nearly 300 families. For me, and I know the rest of the leadership team, we’re inspired to continue to succeed and grow on our employees’ behalf.”
A 1993 graduate of Illinois State University, Handmaker has a bachelor of science degree in Public Relations. He is licensed in property and casualty insurance as well as life and health insurance.
Handmaker lives with his wife Pamela and two children, Cameron and Max, in Northbrook.
Assurance is among the largest and most awarded independent insurance brokerages in the United States. A “Top 50” independent broker and repeated “Best Place to Work” winner, Assurance places coverage for all lines of business and personal insurance, employee benefits and retirement services. Through centralized office locations just outside of Chicago, IL and St. Louis, MO, more than 250 passionate insurance professionals provide measurable results and personalized services to over 5,600 clients across the country. Visit Assurance at http://www.assuranceagency.com.