“Insurance shoppers are looking for a powerful advocate who will guide them to a decision they can trust.” That’s how Monica Wilkens, Mylo Chief Marketing and Digital Officer, explains her mission in helping this tech-driven agency transform the insurance industry.
Monica helped launch Mylo in 2015 for Lockton, the world’s largest independent insurance broker, drawing on two decades of forward-thinking leadership for Helzberg Diamonds, Willowbrook Partners and Lockton. Innovating the customer experience for established companies is a Monica Wilkens superpower. “Helzberg was 100 years old,” she explains. “Buying jewelry online was something no one imagined in 1997 – now customers love it. Lockton is a global powerhouse with 50+ years of expertise. Now they’re disrupting the insurance industry with a transformative digital experience.”
Mylo’s vision is to “revolutionize insurance to protect what matters.” To Monica, both parts of that statement are key to the fast-growing startup’s success. Mylo revolutionizes insurance for small business owners and individuals with proprietary technology – a recommendation engine that taps into Lockton’s expertise to match customers’ needs with affordable coverage from A rated carriers. Shoppers get a customized recommendation whether they shop online or with a licensed advisor. This seamless experience “protects what matters” for people who are starting businesses, raising families, moving into homes or embarking on their own adventures.
Monica says today’s CMOs must be “insanely curious” about their customers. Even before COVID-19, most people expected to shop online and find products and services personalized to them. And they needed to know they could trust the company they were building a relationship with. “Insurance can be confusing. Our customers told us they were looking for a ‘powerful advocate.’ They want to know we’ve not only saved them money, but more importantly given them the right levels of coverage to protect their financial assets. I’m thrilled our customer satisfaction surveys consistently show our customers believe we have their best interests at heart.”
Monica’s team members benefit from a culture that reflects her vision and values. After Mylo launched, she took the lead in developing the company’s seven core values (Impactful, Passionate, Self-Improving, Empowered, Smart, Accountable, Purpose-Driven) that influence recruitment and hiring of talent as well as ongoing promotion and recognition of associates. She encourages risk-takers who can act quickly based on analyzing data to “find moments of truth where we can best apply our creativity and think outside the box.” And she’s also an outspoken champion of providing a flexible and supportive family-first work environment.
In addition to personal passions that include her family, healthy living, the great outdoors, giving back and (occasionally) wine, Monica is committed to mentoring CMOs of the future. She has put a special focus on young women entering the field. “Some of my proudest moments are watching mentees discover their own vision and voice, allowing their confidence to blossom – and their careers to take off.” Monica distills her advice to newcomers into a few key themes: blend your creative and analytical sides as a data-driven marketer, always test and optimize to drive improved performance and be a caring leader who isn’t afraid to challenge your team.
“Mylo’s vision: Revolutionize insurance to protect what matters.”
Monica has been recognized in four leadership awards over three years. She was honored on two consecutive TechWeek 100 lists in 2017 and 2018 for her contributions to the innovation community. She was also recognized for achievements in transforming the insurance industry on Insurance Business America’s 2019 Hot 100 list. And she was named to the Kansas City Business Journal’s 2019 Women Who Mean Business list as one of Kansas City’s 25 most accomplished and influential businesswomen.
Monica’s mission for 2021 and beyond? Take Mylo to new levels. Mylo will tailor its experience to specific customer segments and industries, partner with innovative carriers who are addressing new risks that arise as the world changes and make proactive coverage recommendations for every stage of business and life.
“It’s all part of ‘revolutionizing insurance to protect what matters,’” Monica says. “And that begins by remembering – each one of us is the powerful advocate our customers are looking for.” IE