AVP, Marketing Strategy

  • Company: MetLife
  • Location: New York, New York
  • Posted: April 18, 2017
  • Reference ID: 49643-en_US

Position:  AVP, Marketing Strategy


Job Location: New York, NY




MetLife, the world’s largest provider of employee benefits and protection, is transforming itself to be more focused, nimble and customer-driven, with an ambition to lead the industry in delivering value to customers and shareholders.  Critical to achieving this ambition is a world class marketing function serving as the company’s growth engine while helping build equity in the global brand.


The Assistant Vice President, Global Marketing Strategy will partner with and provide expert counsel to business unit leaders and their teams to both develop and execute brand and marketing strategies for MetLife that “move the needle”.


MetLife’s Global Marketing Strategy team is focused on identifying and defining strategies that enable the MetLife brand to anticipate and deliver on customer needs, perceptions and motivations that are critical to driving stronger customer relationships that contribute to growth. Our approach to strategy focuses on combining deep customer insights (and analytics) with a pragmatic, operationally-focused approach to problem-solving.

As part of the Global Brand and Marketing Organization, the team operates in a Center of Excellence model by delivering brand and marketing strategy expertise and services to internal clients that include business unit and functional leaders across the 30 markets in which the company competes.


Marketing sits at the heart of MetLife’s enterprise strategy - The “drive towards customer centricity and a global brand” is one of the four cornerstones of this strategy and a key lever to support MetLife’s desire to be the most sought after insurance company for customers.  As such, the role of marketing needs to evolve from having been an effective support function to an inspired, dynamic force and one that will drive strategic consumer-led growth.  Specifically this means:

  • Building a world-class, global marketing team at MetLife capable and motivated to achieve this goal.
  • Building a true global marketing practice.  While the current organization has strong capabilities, these have not yet been fully realized to drive global scale and best practice.
  • Restaging the MetLife global brand and defining the noble purpose of the company that will impact its interactions across stakeholders.
  • Developing deep insights about customers, their lives and their needs in order to drive value propositions, engagement, experiences, innovation, etc.
  • Growing consideration, preference, loyalty and cross sell of MetLife’s portfolio of products across all business units and segments.
  • Exploring new customer-led product innovations and new partnerships to provide value-added services that extend the benefits of MetLife beyond its core products.
  • Supporting the purposeful evolution of a traditionally “push” sales-led operating model to a more balanced and integrated sales and marketing “push and pull” model.
  • Elevating MetLife to become a “world-class” global consumer-led marketing function.

    The mandate is to lead a marketing transformation building off an already strong base.  There is a need to create clear marketing strategies and capabilities based on customer insights and segmentation.  There is a huge opportunity to improve customer experience through better design and integration of products, channels and touch points – both online and offline.  Below the line marketing activities that are based on addressing specific customer needs have been less well developed.  There is also a burgeoning opportunity to bring MetLife’s portfolio of product offerings to a new consumer universe through digital and social media. 

    To that end, Esther Lee, was appointed Executive Vice President and Global Chief Marketing Officer for the company in 2015 with a mandate to manage all aspects of global marketing, the global brand and the customer journey.   The MetLife brand is iconic and possesses one of the most well-recognized and respected brands in financial services.  Some of its existing assets include MetLife Stadium, the home stadium for New York Jets and New York Giants, which hosted the 2014 Super Bowl as well as the iconic blimp marketing program.  These assets can be more effectively leveraged in support of the transformation of the marketing function.

    Since Esther’s joining the firm, MetLife’s marketing organization’s vision has been defined as “We build attraction to our brand, our products and services and our company overall and foster deep customer and partner relationships in order to drive growth and shareowner value for MetLife.  And we do it to the pride of our employees, the respect of our stakeholders and the envy of our competitors.”

Under Esther’s leadership, the marketing department’s goal is to transform MetLife into a beloved brand, on a global and world class scale, that is “bought” rather than “sold”,  with a philosophy and practice of customer-first in everything the company does.



  • Reports to: VP, Marketing Strategy
  • Direct reports/team: TBD
  • Key Stakeholders: Members of Global Marketing Strategy, GBM leaders and employees, business leaders and employees, Enterprise Strategy Group


The person in this role will operate as a strategy generalist focused on marketing, and deeply embedded in the Accelerated Value strategic initiative and the “customer” arm of that strategy. Essential responsibilities are:

  • Developing new strategic frameworks, case studies and methods for stakeholders to absorb and fully understand the downstream impact of various brand strategy decisions.
  • Building, managing and developing a team of internal experts who serve as the company's brain trust regarding all brand strategy decisions, topics, and questions.
  • Leading or supporting internal client engagements that include:
    • developing value propositions for prioritized customer segments,
    • architecting brand portfolio strategies across multiple brands/products, and
    • using the MetLife brand to help define/transform customer experiences.
  • Collaborating with and engaging stakeholders in cross-enterprise virtual teams comprised of (but not limited to) Marketing, Business Unit and vendor/agency stakeholders.
  • Influencing others to build stakeholder support.
  • Define information needs, fact finding and data analysis to support strategic problem solving and sound decision making.
  • Utilizing relevant company information as a foundation (corporate strategy, product, etc.), contribute valuable customer insights, competitor intelligence and marketing solutions to business planning.


Critical Aspects of the Position


  1. Strategic Leadership and Business Acumen – the incumbent will need to have or quickly develop a keen understanding of MetLife’s business strategies, models and key offerings and be able to contribute valuable customer insights, competitor intelligence and marketing solutions to the discourse.  He/she will do this by:
  • Demonstrating a clear passion for the category and technology and a willingness to immerse him/herself fully in the details of the company's businesses
  • Quickly gain a deep understanding of MetLife’s target customers, their wants and needs and how the company can deliver against these versus its competitors – as well as developing a deep understanding of the levers that impact NPS measurement (scores) across MetLife businesses


  1.   Exceptional Collaboration and Influencing Skills – the incumbent will work closely with various business unit leaders and their teams, strategists and marketers, and numerous peers in Marketing to define, deliver and execute the brand strategy. He / she will do this in many cases via virtual teams in a highly-matrixed environment. He / she will succeed by:
  • Investing heavily to build strong working relationships with numerous people at all levels of the organization.
  • Establishing strong credibility by demonstrating deep subject-matter and disciplinary competency.
  • Ability to offer well-structured, well-supported and clearly articulated points-of-view while met with skepticism, disbelief and/or opposition.



Knowledge, Skills and Competencies required.

The ideal candidate is an accomplished Marketer that has a breadth of marketing experience (from strategic planning to go-to-market execution, from brand/product management to marketing communications), as well as relevant expertise in strategic brand building (demonstrated through a proven track record of managing world-class brands at a company, business unit or product level).

Additional keys to success include:

  • 10+ years of diverse and progressively senior full life-cycle  marketing experience,  from strategic planning through go-to-market execution, and brand/product management
  • Proven ability and success in managing world-class brands at the company, business unit and product level.
  • Strong record of success developing talent and leading teams with significant marketing-driven P&L responsibility
  • Ability to build strong collaborative relationships with a diverse range of partners.
  • Excellent communication skills and the proven ability to influence at multiple levels of the organization
  • Ability to shape and harness qualitative and quantitative research to drive good decision-making
  • Strategic understanding of the relationship between brands and a wide range of marketing communications and customer touch points.
  • Ability to assimilate business group strategy/objectives to develop brand programs that support business goals
  • Acumen at working in a consultative or advisory capacity at all levels
  • Ability to advise on both B2B and B2C branding/marketing strategy
  • Undergraduate degree required;  MBA or other advanced degree preferred




  • Thinks Strategically - Sets direction aligned to the company’s strategy, applying external and global perspective to meet local and global needs.
  • Motivates People - Gains people commitment to achieve business objectives through clear communication of the company’s vision and flexing leadership styles to inspire high performance.
  • Creates Partnerships - Authentically builds trusted relationships and collaborates across global, diverse and multi-functional teams to successfully drive business objectives.
  • Seizes Opportunity - Seeks new opportunities and ways to create balanced business growth while improving operational capabilities.
  • Grows Talent - Inclusively and pro-actively develops talent, empowers individuals and manages diverse teams to drive engagement and performance.
  • Models our Values - Creates a culture that promotes the company’s values and standards through role modeling, accountability and ownership of decisions.
  • Focuses on Customers - Promotes customer centricity and ensures focus on creating great customer experiences to achieve competitive advantage.
  • Drives Results - Sets aggressive goals and is accountable for continuously driving improved performance, leading change and ensuring high standards



MetLife is a proud equal opportunity/affirmative action employer committed to attracting, retaining, and maximizing the performance of a diverse and inclusive workforce. It is MetLife's policy to ensure equal employment opportunity without discrimination or harassment based on race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions), sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, age, disability, national origin, marital or domestic/civil partnership status, genetic information, citizenship status, uniformed service member or veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law.

MetLife maintains a drug-free workplace.

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Requisition #: 49643 

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