A Facebook friendship and a car accident are two of the three factors that prompted the former chief marketing officer of Best Buy to take on the same role at Farmers Insurance in late 2011.

Executive Summary

A relentless focus on a target customer and a commitment to improve the service experience of that customer with omnichannel capabilities are part of Farmers' "smart" marketing strategy for "confident planners." CMO Mike Linton describes the transformation in progress, which puts planning advisers—Farmers agents—at the center.

The last factor: “I find this industry incredibly intriguing and interesting from a marketing standpoint,” said Mike Linton.

Property/casualty insurance, interesting? To the man who once orchestrated an exclusive deal with the Rolling Stones to sell a top-selling DVD with concert footage when he was CMO at Best Buy?

Linton explains the intrigue of insurance with no reference to less glamorous moments of his career—his start as a brand manager at Procter & Gamble selling bleach and bar soap or later stints at Remington shavers and James River, where toilet paper and paper towels were top products.

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