By Imogen Watson, Senior reporter

January 14, 2019 | 3 min read

In order to find the world's top marketer, the World Federation of Advertisers (WFA) has partnered with The Drum for the Global Marketer of the Year award 2018.

The shortlist for this year’s award features heads of marketing from Coty, Diageo, Ikea, Mastercard, Procter & Gamble and Unilever. Votes are now open to the industry.

The WFA caught up with nominee Raja Rajamannar, Mastercard's chief marketing and communications officer and president - healthcare business. He has been nominated for transforming marketing at Mastercard, which has made it into a critical business driver.

It’s been an eventful year for the American financial services giant - one that saw it invest in e-sports, modify its logo, and even evolve its classic priceless slogan to 'start something priceless.'

Mastercard’s ‘Priceless’ campaign has been doing the rounds since 1997. Rajamanner says campaign was born from the idea, "can we move ‘priceless moments’ to ‘priceless movements? Can we inspire pricelessness? Can we inspire people to actually do something that is truly priceless?”

Last year, Mastercard launched a global social media fundraising campaign which showcased salsa dancing. It was inspired by Margot Vaughan, a Mastercard senior vice president who was diagnosed with ALS in 2016.

“Nothing is really as powerful as seeing your own campaigns, which are meant for external audiences, bring a true change in the people within the company,” said Rajamannar on the ALS campaign. "This was fantastic evidence of how 'start something priceless' can work, mobilise people, and inspire them into doing something else," he said.

Rajamannar words of advice for marketers is: “we need to realise that we have an incredible power to shape society and culture. We should try and leverage that influence and the power that we have as a marketing community for a better society.”

Brand purpose is essential for Rajamannar, and he is of the firm belief that "every single company and every single brand needs to have a solid purpose.

"What's unique about MasterCard is instead of just focusing on the good work through the foundation, we said it is imperative for brands today to have the purpose to be integrated into the core business model."

Watch the full interview with Rajamannar above. You can vote for him, or the other finalists for the WFA Marketer of the Year Award, here.

WFA Global Marketer of the Year Mastercard Marketing

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