Mastercard is restructuring its marketing function globally. In a conversation with Marketing, Raja Rajamannar, Mastercardâs global chief marketing and communications confirmed the news and said the decision was made “a few months ago” for the function to be “much more decentralised” and closer to local markets.
Meanwhile, the search for a marketing and communications lead for Asia Pacific is still underway, with an announcement on the appointment to be made in due course. The role was last held by Sam Ahmed who was with the company since since 2013. In March this year, he took on a new role at Standard Chartered as its global head, retail and digital marketing.
The new structure will see the marketing andÂ communications being unified function.
âOur recent structure changes are designed to clarify some roles within the organisation, while also optimising resources to deliver the best results,â Rajamannar added.
“If you look at the rationale, it makes absolute sense because there is no duplication of infrastructures because you donât need two listening tools in different places,â Rajamannar explained.
Merging the roles has allowed the brand to tackle social listening and consumer communication in a more effective manner. In the process, Rajamannar added that the new move allowed the company to become a âpowerhouse of efficiency and efficacyâ across the board globally.
Commenting on the current structure and the Mastercard way of working, he said: âOnce we have found the right strategic approach for marketing and communications, we set the right structure in how to build that strategy. And we took a series of steps in doing that.”
Evolution of CMO role
When asked about how marketers need to evolve to stay relevant, Rajamannar said that marketers should stop looking at themselves as specialists in the field of marketing. Instead, they should look upon themselves as more general managers.
“Marketers are not marketing for marketing’s sake.They are doing it for the businessâ sake. We need to have a mindset change,â Rajamannar explained. Next, marketers need to realise that great marketing cannot be done with understanding data, so they need to be best friends with the companyâs data scientist.
âIf you are not a quantitative guy you can’t do it yourself, you have to learn. It’s a constant learning and relearning and reinventing ourselves,â Rajamannar said.
Another consideration is the approach to technology. Rajamannar explained that many CMOs have a technology budget that is sometimes bigger than the CTOâs in the company. With the rapid evolution of technology, this is something which cannot be ignored and marketers need to educate themselves on how to be an expert in the area.
âThink about the drivers of profitability for your business, and then evaluate how you are going to influence that and drive that,â Rajamannar said, adding:
Marketers need to understand the linkages between the business and their actions in the marketing sphere.