Marketing like other industries is going through sweeping changes brought on by big tech, medium tech, small tech and all kinds of technologies in between. Blockchain, artificial intelligence, machine learning, virtual reality, NFTs, metaverse, 3D printing and whatnot. It's a huge confluence of disruptive technologies called the Great Disruption. These tectonic shifts affect everything from how we socialize to how we sleep, with all-pervasive smart devices collecting an immeasurable amount of data on us 24x7.
To deal with these new realities, marketing and marketers need to up their game. According to one of the world's most influential CMOs, Raja Rajamannar, what brands need, in short, are da Vinci marketers.
But if you can't find a da Vinci marketing mind, build da Vinci marketing teams.
In an interview with Storyboard18's Delshad Irani, Rajamannar, who is the global chief marketing and communications officer of Mastercard, shares what he looks for in the next-generation marketing talent as we witness the great skills reset.
As we look forward to all these new technologies, you need to deal with them, you need to leverage them, which means you first need to understand what they are. So the kind of talent that we should be looking for is those people who either already know these subjects and technologies or they have the aptitude to learn them and an attitude to learn.
These technologies are not going to remain stagnant. They're evolving and transforming very rapidly. So you need to stay on the ball all the time and stay ahead of the curve, which means what are the significant qualities of new talent that we bring in is learning curiosity and learning agility. They should have the attitude that I need to learn. I need to stay ahead of the game.
2) The Leonardo da Vinci marketer
Typically, most of the people are either right-brained or left3-brained. So the left-brain ones are the ones who are more into technology, data, analytics systems, and experimentation. The right brain is about intuition, creativity, aesthetics, design, psychology and so on. Very rarely we will find people who are extremely good on both these hemispheres of the brain. They are the Leonardo da Vinci kind of people. If you find those people, pay them top dollar, get them into the company. It's an investment.
3) The da Vinci marketing team
Now most of the majority of the team would not be of this calibre. So you create a da Vinci team. Which means you have people who are the traditional classical marketers who are fantastic, but give them enough training to be able to understand and speak the same language and ask the right questions. On the other hand, you have other folks who understand the technology and the data extremely deeply. But they don't see the rest of it. They need to be sensitised to aspects of psychology, the aspect of emotions, to the aspect of design. So you actually can find people who have the sensibilities of the other sphere but the deep expertise of the primary area that they actually focus on. You need to identify this kind of talent.
And then we have got those rare Leonardo da Vinci's - over-promote them, over-reward them, keep them in the company at whatever cost.