Data and technology are central to the future of brand marketing, but marketers first need to join all the dots – internally and externally – while all the time protecting privacy and addressing regulatory concerns, according to the chief marketing officer of Mastercard.

Raja Rajamannar, chief marketing officer at Mastercard, addressed this topic at the Brand Marketers Creative Summit at Cannes Lions last month, where he offered lessons from his own experience at Mastercard.

And he stressed the importance of ensuring that privacy and regulatory concerns about data are well in hand.

Only when these fundamental expectations are resolved and clear can brands then embrace the opportunities that data can bring to a company, he argued. (For more, read WARC’s report: The CMO of the future: Mastercard on getting it right in data and technology.)

At Mastercard that has involved “tight collaborations”, Rajamannar added. “Data serves not only marketing, but a whole bunch of other areas in the company.

“It stands centrally with Operations & Technology, and we leverage it. We have dedicated people within the O&T function who take care of all our needs, and we plot it out very methodically and systematically,” he said.

When it comes to adtech, Mastercard relies on third party data stacks and consultants and the marketing team has had to work hard to combat sluggish internal processes and bring nervous internal stakeholders along with them.

“There is a lot of navigation that needs to be done to carry your partners with you – that is a big part,” Rajamannar acknowledged

“The actual technology itself is not a big problem, because they’re all fairly modular, and they can join them together fairly easily,” he said.

“It is the emotional barriers in the gaps that are more significant.”

Sourced from WARC