Eularie Saldanha
Feb 22, 2021

'Marketers need to follow quantum marketing since classic marketing is failing': Raja Rajamannar

Mastercard's global CMO throws light on the changing marketing landscape, with a focus on quantum marketing

Raja Rajamannar
Raja Rajamannar
Raja Rajamannar, global CMO, Mastercard addressed attendees on the importance of quantum marketing, at Spikes Asia X Campaign, which kickstarted earlier today (22 February).
He started by stating how studies have proved that more than 70% of CEOs have no confidence that their CMOs will drive their business, since they do not understand it. 
"Many companies have started doing away with CMOs, including huge packaged-goods companies like Coca-Cola, which have done away with CMOs for years. They are creating new roles like chief revenue officer, chief growth officer, etc., to substitute or complement CMOs," said Rajamannar.
On how marketing is being fragmented today, he spoke about many companies that do not have the responsibility for products, including marketing promotions which are now done by the likes of the sales teams. 
Even then, according to Rajamannar, the hardships faced by marketing today make for three hypotheses.
  • Marketers are feeling a little out of place and struggling to get around the internet and data analytics. 
  • With the advent of mobile devices, marketing went through plenty of restrictions and a new breed emerged to do marketing tasks, without being trained.
  • Marketers were under stress to deliver results and started to lose their credibility. 
He added that, on the brighter side, it is one of the most challenging, but inspiring times to be in marketing. Today, marketers have discovered the joys of psychology, sociology, anthropology and have come to understand that consumers are driven by emotions and feelings, mainly irritational. 
"Location-based marketing was done as early as 2000 years before and kept evolving. In the original days, it used to be focused on essential products. From product marketing, they moved to emotional marketing, by telling beautiful stories about their brand in a compelling fashion," he added, citing examples from Mastercard's 'Priceless' campaign which showcased the feelings between father and son and not about the features of the product. He also pointed at Coke's 'Open a bottle of happiness' campaign, as another example of emotional marketing done right. 
The ability to reach consumers at scale changed with the advent of digital marketing, making precision marketing possible. 
"We are at the forefront of more than two dozen technologies including AI, VR, to name a few, and these will disrupt peoples' lives in a good way, but also challenge markers in an unprecedented way." 
Highlighting the changing dynamics of price elasticity and word-of-mouth, he believes that marketers need to re-visit every aspect of marketing to see if it is valid and if not, re-imagine and change it, and states that this is where the role of quantum marketing comes to play. 
"Quantum marketing is a new way of marketing that is technology-driven since classic marketing is failing. Today, humans absorb from not two, but the five senses and if marketers are creative enough, they can tap on all of them," he says. 
According to a survey, more than 70% of people have admitted to having cheated on their partners. "Humans, if after knowing the consequences are not loyal to their relationships, why would they be loyal to their brands?" Rajamannar asks. 
Winning consumers' preferences needs a different architecture and mindset, possible with preference management platforms according to Rajamannar who is also president of the World Federation of Advertisers (WFA). "We talk about giving consumers seamless experiences, but the ads that come in their way are completely annoying. Consumers today want an ad-free environment. Why would we hold on to the traditional mode of advertising without re-inventing it? We should treat the consumer in the right way," he added.  
Stressing on the role of technology in advertising, he believes that AI will be the single most disruptor for a marketer if one learns how to use it. "You have to get your head around these technologies and be a general manager with a deep understanding of marketing. You can understand the consumer and promote your products, while also respecting their privacy." 
"The need for stickiness doesn't go away for the marketer, since he wants the consumer to use his product. However, he needs new preference methods and re-purposing of a lot of platforms, since each device can act as a marketing device," he added.
Speaking about how this change will be a disruption point for agencies, he said, "This moment is as much of an opportunity as is a threat if technology manages to do what they do. However, the need for creative excellence doesn't go away and it is time for them to introspect and evolve their own strategies." 
Campaign India

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