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How To Fix Marketing with Raja Rajamannar

How to successfully fix marketing is a multi-leveled process. Luckily, this week’s Marketing Companion podcast interviewed an expert in the field, CMO of Mastercard, Raja Rajamannar. His new book, Quantum Marketing provides insight and tips into this exact subject.

Brooke Sellas and Mark Schaefer’s interview with Raja cracks open the erosion of marketing as a profession. Read on for our overview, but listen in to the Marketing Companion for the full interview!

Immersive Experiences In A Pandemic

As CMO for Mastercard, Raja and his team provided immersive in-person experiences for their customers pre-pandemic. But the onset of COVID-19 was a gamechanger. Brands scrambled during 2020 when they didn’t prepare for a plan B.

One thing you’ll hear Raja speak of during their interview is what he did pre-pandemic that set them up to easily circumnavigate during the pandemic. Marketers know that risks come with their role. But it’s preparedness that keeps brands on their feet during a crisis.

When the pandemic happened, we did not miss a beat. -Raja Rajamannar

Mastercard never missed a beat because Raja didn’t rest on tried-and-true marketing practices. He and his team had digital experiences built into their marketing plan, in addition to physical experiences. With these building blocks in place, it wasn’t as difficult a pivot for them to make.

Erosion Of Marketing

One way to fix marketing is to restore the trust of CEOs. Brooke’s recent blog: Why You’re Constantly Defending Your Marketing Expertise was inspired by her chat with Raja.

When marketers lose the inability to connect with outcomes, CEOs lose faith in them. In other words, it’s the risks that are causing the breakdown of the marketing field.

Status quo is not being kept intact. Marketing is eroding continuously. The credibility and gravitas of marketing is going down.” -Raja Rajamannar

According to Raja, many marketers aren’t able to connect the dots from their marketing actions to business outcomes. They are stuck in the old vision of how marketing should be and haven’t evolved with it. Marketing is far more than the artistic side. Data analytics are a driving force now too.

Purpose-Driven Marketing

Purpose-driven marketing can help fix marketing when done right. But it’s not just for show. Gen Zers will know when a brand is insincere and driven by “opportunistic pursuits of purpose”, according to Raja.

Purpose is more a north star for the company. You know what you want to do as a company. It’s about something larger than the company image.”

-Raja Rajamannar

A great example of purpose-driven marketing comes from an extension of Dove’s #ShowUs campaign, called “It’s On Us”. They aim to break down beauty stereotypes in South Africa with a simple message from their real beauty models: “If you choose me, and show me as I really am, Dove will cover the cost of my appearance fee”.

[Source: Dove]

Raja’s frank discussion on purpose-driven marketing with Brooke and Mark shines a light on what a brand’s main focus should be. And it bears an important question for brands to ask – Are our causes embedded into our business?

Marketing & Technology

Marketing and technology need to go hand in hand in order to fix the perception of the profession. In fact, this is a large part of Raja’s book.

All companies have the opportunity to promote themselves online. It’s the most equal footing companies, large and small, have in terms of marketing.

While the marketing profession is constantly under scrutiny and judgment, it’s also the best time to be in the field. With the digital world opening up a new realm of possibilities, the options are endless.

To hear the full, in-depth interview with Raja Rajamannar’s insight, listen to the Marketing Podcast here.

How has your marketing changed in 2021? Share with us in the comments below!

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Rachel is a Copywriter for B Squared Media. She formerly worked as a Community Manager and a customer care liaison on various social platforms. She enjoys writing ad copy, blogs, and loves to get her virtual red pen out for copyediting as well. Rachel holds a BA in English from Rutgers University and is proud to be part of the hardworking remote team that makes up the B2 Crew!
Category: Marketing Companion podcast
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