Revenue increased 9.5% in 2006 to $11.1 billion.
Earnings rose 12.9% to $325 million in most recent quarter.
With longevity, there's trust. On the rare long-term agency relationship: "It's a partnership. It was very purposeful hiring them. ... We share a lot of information," Mr. Ward says. "We get all our partners together, and we are all focused. ... I'd like to say one of the strengths I've added is a sense of consistency. We [don't] diverge from the central plot."
|MARKETER OF THE YEAR|
Money talks. Obviously advertisers should never be recognized as successful simply for marketing more. However, the No. 4 auto insurer has jacked up its ad spending a whopping 75% since 2004. Geico's measured media outlay, $501 million, was nearly twice that of any other player in its category in 2006. The Geico case study certainly seems to argue there are times -- especially if you're looking to best the top three -- when coming out strong and loud and everywhere can work to a marketer's advantage.
Market share isn't the only number that counts. Despite being the No. 4 player based on market share, Geico ranks No. 1 in new-customer acquisition. It's also the only brand in the top four to achieve double-digit growth over the past four years -- 13.1%, according to A.M. Best's Aggregates & Averages.
Creative is important, even -- or maybe especially -- in a world of premiums and deductibles. Geico has achieved iconic status with its spokes-characters, while its competitors continue to churn out derivative, banal spots that fail to capture the imagination. An erudite gecko one day and a self-righteous caveman the next. Multiple pitch-creatures to sell car insurance? Geico manages it.