New communication strategist sees fit with firm’s vision

This piece is presented by Howalt+McDowell Insurance, a Marsh & McLennan Agency LLC company.

Meet Jenny Wolff, the communication strategist at Howalt+McDowell Insurance, a Marsh & McLennan Agency LLC company. In her role, she drives business development by aligning marketing strategy to sales goals and objectives. Connect with her on LinkedIn to learn more.

Name: Jenny Wolff

Hometown:  Howard, 50 miles northwest of Sioux Falls as the crow flies

What attracted you to Howalt+McDowell?

I’ve always had a penchant for doing things differently and blazing my own path. “If you want things to stay the same, don’t involve Jenny” is a bit of running joke among my colleagues. Howalt+McDowell has a reputation for being a leader in our industry and the business community in general. That visionary approach, combined with the agency undergoing a paradigm shift in regard to our sales methodology, creates a huge opportunity to refine who we are and elevate the standard for best-in-class service. To be invited to help guide what the next era looks like and design a road map to get us there is hugely exciting.

How has the role of marketing and communications professionals changed over the course of your professional career?

Marketing is no longer something that’s “nice to do.” For businesses that want to grow, it’s an essential strategic activity. Traditionally, marketing has been viewed as a cost center. The evolution of data-driven analytics allows marketing to demonstrate its value as a profit center to drive revenue, achieve better returns and generate more profitable customer relationships.

What has surprised you about the insurance industry?

I’m brand new to the business, so, a lot! I came from the ag sector, where the messaging tended to be very product-focused. At Howalt+McDowell, we frame the conversation around solving our clients’ problems. I was surprised at the depth of talent and variety of assets we have available to facilitate those solutions. Yes, we have a multitude of insurance products, but it’s the tenure and expertise of our employees, our proprietary tools such as  MMA MarketLink and our ability to access world-class resources as a member of the Marsh & McLennan companies family that really differentiate us.

Insurance sales is an oft-stereotyped profession that evokes images of sleazy door-to-door salespeople. That is so not us! We really function more as trusted advisers who take very seriously our responsibility to help clients mitigate risks, attract and retain talent and foster an environment of safety and well-being.

Is there anything people might be surprised to know about Howalt+McDowell?

Although we were acquired by Marsh & McLennan Agency in 2012, we are still – and will continue to be – led by a local leadership team of people who have been with our operation for many years and are highly involved members of the Sioux Falls and surrounding communities. This gives us the best of both worlds, pairing our knowledge of, and connection and commitment to the business needs of the local economy with the backing of a Fortune 500 company. We place a concerted emphasis on maintaining our local touch, culture of philanthropy and agility to respond to complex problems with personalized service. At the same time, this relationship enables us to leverage the strengths of over 100 other MMA offices and even tap into global resources offered by Marsh, Mercer, Guy Carpenter and Oliver Wyman.

What organizations and activities are you involved in?

I live in Madison, but the nature of my position dictates that I be well-connected in the Sioux Falls community. As a starting point, I’ve been attending many of the chamber of commerce events and joined the Sales & Marketing Executives of Sioux Falls and the Young Professionals Network. I’m looking for a couple Sioux Falls-based organizations to serve in a volunteering and/or board member capacity.

I used to be involved in quite a few organizations in Madison but let a lot of that go as my previous job demanded more of my time. I still serve on the city of Madison Planning Commission and would like to get back to teaching yoga and cycling classes at the Community Center with my more manageable travel schedule. Now that the weather is nicer, Howalt+McDowell’s downtown location right on the bike trail is a huge perk and much-needed boost to my exercise routine!

New communication strategist sees fit with firm’s vision

Meet Jenny Wolff, the communication strategist at Howalt+McDowell Insurance, a Marsh & McLennan Agency LLC company.

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