In a world with an ever increasing number of screens, it’s easy to comprehend that consumers, saturated with data, will gradually start to turn off from brands’ messages. Raja Rajamannar, who’s considered one of the world’s five most influential CMOs, has things clear: people’s attention span has decreased to 8 seconds (“the same as that of a goldfish”) and so the focus of any strategy needs to consider experiences and the senses. Since he joined Mastercard in 2013, Rajamannar has shown what it means to use the five senses in marketing, and he has outlined his ideas in the bestseller “Quantum Marketing”. I had the opportunity to speak with him at the Mastercard Innovation Forum in Miami, where we discussed some of the most frequent questions that arise among heads of leading startups, who have the impassioned but challenging mission of building a global brand.
1. Marketing at the heart of things
- What do companies need in order to be able to understand phenomena quickly and respond with a suitable strategy?
2. From celebrating moments to generating them
- Speaking of experience, 25 years have passed since the Priceless campaign, and that slogan about the “things money can’t buy…” is still going. How do you explain the strength of this message?
Today everyone wants to be the protagonist of their own experiences. So we took it to a multisensory platform and instead of celebrating priceless moments we set out to generate them directly.
3. 360° experiences
- Is multisensory marketing the answer to a hyperconnected world?
We’ve done that at restaurants in Mexico, Brazil and the US. How much more valuable and unforgettable can this experience be than the ephemeral 15 seconds of what we know is a very expensive commercial at halftime in the Super Bowl? I think this is a debate we still owe ourselves.
4. Facing a “tsunami” of technologies
- I closely follow innovative startups that want to make the leap to become the next “unicorns”. What would you tell the men and women who lead these companies? Can they learn from Mastercard’s multisensory experience?
If I had to summarize it, I’d say it’s about designing marketing strategies that are aligned with the “tsunami” of emerging technologies that surround us, from artificial intelligence and augmented reality to delivery by drone, 3D printing and holograms to name just a few.
5. The first rebranding
- It sounds as if there’s a need to reformulate a lot of things. Where should people begin?
People both online and offline, are asking themselves if your brand deserves their trust, if it’s inclusive of minorities, if it respects privacy, if corporate actions are environmentally sustainable. And all of this can be affected by a bad response from one community manager.…
6. Communicate without “bombarding”
- Communication and transparency seem more exposed than ever…
Bear in mind that people feel increasingly overwhelmed by the flood of information, including adverts. So they install ad blockers on their computers or directly connect to platforms that are free from publicity, like streaming services.
7. Da Vinci teams
- You’re describing a very challenging scenario for brands. The inevitable question is, what kind of profile is needed to carry out these innovations?
Da Vinci was at one and the same time a great artist and a brilliant scientist. The marketing teams of the future will need to follow his example: imagination will always be important but we live in a world of data, which circulates at great speed, and we need to interpret it if we want to develop large-scale marketing strategies.
8. The metaverse and cryptocurrencies
- Speaking of the future, what role will cryptocurrencies and the metaverse play? Do the future of money and the future of marketing share points in common?
Nevertheless, as I said before, confidence will continue to be an irreplaceable asset: both brands and cryptocurrencies will survive in the minds of consumers provided they can create and sustain a valuable message for their communities.
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