Marketing according to Mastercard
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Marketing according to Mastercard

Mastercard’s chief marketing officer, Raj Rajamannar, recently spoke to industry publication Campaign about the state of flux the profession is in. His take on the marketing world is undoubtedly interesting to people in that field, but it should be interesting to investors, too, as it offers a window into the company’s approach to its creative assets. And according to Rajamannar, one of the most fundamental elements is making sure the company justifies its marketing spend and approach to senior management.

Mastercard’s share price has risen by 54% over the last 12 months

graph 0603 mastercard

SOURCE: Yahoo Finance

Rajamannar explained the importance of justification, and how it’s shaping the industry, as follows: "There is a more significant accountability on marketers these days to connect the dots between the marketing and business metrics. But since most of the CMOs come from the creative route, when such questions are posed, they tend to get caught like a rabbit in the headlights. The result is, the role of CMO in many companies is being displaced. That’s because the CMOs are not able to stand up and justify. You end up with roles like chief customer, revenue, growth officer. But if you don’t have those things, then what the hell does marketing do anyway?"

He also thinks that there’s a real challenge in the fact that adverts are no longer seen as worthwhile content on which to spend time. Once, advertisements could gain “cut through” in a sparsely populated media landscape pretty simply. There wasn’t all that much “space” around (just a few terrestrial TV channels) so your audience was largely captive – all you had to do was be funny, or interesting, for 30 seconds and put a logo on it. Today, in a world swamped by content across multiple channels, viewers can be more discerning, and “cut through” is much harder to achieve. Rajamannar said:

"Consumers are telling you to your face – I don’t want your stupid ads. That you are an annoyance, an irritation. Already, there are more than 230 million active users of ad blockers. Phones in Asia are becoming pre-loaded with ad blockers...Not only that, but people are even willing to pay to keep the advertisers out – look at YouTube Red, Hulu, Netflix. Zero advertising. How do you then reach those consumers? That’s a huge challenge. But that’s the most exciting for me."

The answer? Involve customers themselves in making the ads – let them be a part of it. He told Campaign: "People hate ads, so don’t give them that. Make ads with them, through them. When you give people experiences, they become the hero, and they then evangelize for your brand."

Check out Mastercard’s new ad campaign below


Dominion holds Mastercard in its Global Trends Ecommerce Fund.


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