Integrated approach key for big brands

10 January 2013

NEW YORK: Brand owners like MasterCard, Philips, Western Union and MillerCoors are attempting to take a more integrated approach both to media and serving various consumer groups.

Speaking to Forbes, Alfredo Gangotena, chief marketing officer of MasterCard Worldwide, the financial services provider, argued the new climate required balancing "art and science".

He said the "left brain" will assess shopper behaviour, data intelligence and market results to "create more dynamic programmes" and "empower the creativity of our marketing teams."

The work of the "right brain", by contrast, is to "capture the value of the things that matter, connecting with consumers and essence of our brands."

As an example of this model in practice, MasterCard is able to combine the benefits of its PayPass mobile transaction service with the targeted promotions tools offered by Truaxis, a firm it recently acquired.

"Our acquisition of Truaxis will allow us to ... develop a fuller sense of contextual relevance based on spending habits enriching both our customer relationships and helping consumers spend smarter," said Gangotena. "There is a terrific value exchange for all parties involved in these types of solutions."

Philips, the electronics firm, is also taking an integrated approach, combining traditional, or "push", media with social channels, or "pull" media, not least as their simultaneous usage is rising.

Jacopo D'Alessandris, chief marketing officer of Philips Consumer Lifestyle North America, said: "It is not a linear funnel anymore, it is a sort of 'do-it-yourself' journey where the consumer is in command and decides when and how to engage."

The need for such co-ordination has also been noted by Western Union, the money transfer specialist, which serves many customers who "double belong": firstly to their home nation, and then to a country they have moved to.

Diane Scott, chief product and marketing officer at Western Union, stated it will exploit insights from key markets like China, India and Latin America to make bespoke content for these "diasporas".

"I think we will see an evolution from the world of mass-produced content to ... a new world in 2013 where content will have much more of a voice, a heartbeat and personality for the brand," said Scott. "Consumers will not just see content, but will feel it and will feel much more connected to it."

Andy England of MillerCoors, reported that the firm is seeking to engage Latino shoppers in a range of ways, from sponsoring Liga MX, the Mexican soccer league, and its associated Fanaticos del Frio website.

"Given that Latinos are the fastest growing segment of the US population, and that they are extremely digitally active, my prediction is that marketers will become increasingly focused on Latino digital," he said.

Data sourced from Forbes; additional content by Warc staff