Mastercard’s view on marketing’s new role
“Marketing does not typically earn revenue, it is usually a cost centre. But marketing has some fantastic assets, which you can use for your brand, but if there is a way you can monetise those assets for the benefit of the business, why wouldn’t you?”
These aren’t the words of the traditionally-tasked revenue-generators, the CFO or CEO, no, these are the words of Mastercard’s Global CMO Raja Rajamannar. He sees his role as ensuring every cent invested in marketing drives the brand AND the business. He goes on to say, “if there is a [business] lead that wants help from marketing we can leverage our infrastructure to bring the value to them in exchange for some revenue.”
Mastercard’s approach coincides with the current shift in marketing department’s role within business and therefore the shift in the role of marketers themselves. The long-held belief amongst “real” business people was that marketing is a cost-centre, a necessary evil. Always murky as to what growth could actually be attributed to marketing initiatives. But times are changing and we meet more and more marketers who are business people first and marketers second. Indeed, the growing number of CMOs graduating to CEOs reflects this trend.
Progressive marketers recognise the significance of being held accountable for the business outcomes of their initiatives and are taking steps to contribute revenue over and above sales growth.