It’s tough to engage finance customers at scale, especially since money is such a personal and private topic.
That’s why the top CMOs in the industry are so remarkable. They manage to personalize brands that might otherwise seem unapproachable or intimidating, and they equip their companies to reach audiences across the the digital platforms they prefer.
In a new report by Forbes and Sprinklr, we identified The World’s Most Influential CMOs. Finance was one of the most represented industries on the list, as around 20% of the honorees are CMOs from banks, insurance groups, and credit card brands.
These CMOs set an example for how finance marketers can engage consumers in relevant, helpful ways. That said, marketers in any industry can learn from their successes and the challenges they faced along the way.
With that in mind, here are the top three CMOs in finance.
Mastercard just had a huge year. The brand changed its logo for the first time in decades, launched Masterpass for digital payments, and shortened its tagline to simply say, “Priceless.” And it all happened under Raja Rajamannar, who’s been with the company since 2013.
“As a CMO, I’m acutely aware of the fact that change at such a visible level is fraught with many risks,” Rajamannar wrote. “Especially for a company like Mastercard. whose logo sits on over 2.3 billion cards and at millions of merchants worldwide. Our goal was to have our new brand embody the forward-thinking technology company we’ve become.”
Rajamannar also made sure Mastercard was aligned with customers every step of the way, assembling a team to watch for emerging social stories and identify opportunities to launch related messaging.
Magali Noé was promoted two years ago as the first-ever Chief Digital Office for CNP Assurances. She’s since made good on her promise to accelerate digital transformation within the company. Most notably, Noé launched Open CNP, the company’s investment partnership program for startup businesses. She’s also inspired her entire organization to prioritize customer relationships and experiences.
“We put the customer at the heart of this strategy,” Noé said. “This is important even in our dominant B2B model. This ‘customer centric’ approach applies to all employees, including those who are not in contact with customers.”
Kristin Lemkau has spent 12 years in the C-suite of America’s largest banking firm. She now oversees brand strategy, advertising, sponsorships, and market research for the whole company. But she can’t accomplish it all without the right technology for collecting insights and delivering customized experiences.
“Most marketers I speak to have inherited legacy systems that were not built for an era of big data and automation … so navigating through these waters can be a real challenge,” Lemkau said. “For me, my attention in 2017 will be focused on working with my business and tech partners to upgrade our technology platforms to deliver relevant, personalized marketing to customers on things they want and need.”
The most influential CMOs don’t just have impressive social followings and peer networks; they also understand how to leverage those audiences to build their brands and deliver personalized experiences at scale.
That’s where these finance CMOs stand out. In an industry that can be tough to crack, they’ve managed to reinvigorate legacy companies and find innovative ways to connect with customers on digital platforms.
They know money, after all. And they can make the most of their budget by investing in influence.
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