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Social Marketing, Explained: It’s More Than Lip Service

Marketing is a critical part of running a business, and it can be tough to get it right. Raja Rajamannar is the Chief Marketing Officer for Mastercard and, consequently, a marketing expert. Rajamannar has been working on rewriting the marketing playbook and ensuring that social marketing is more than just lip-service

Three keys to marketing 

  1. Finding insights through new sciences such as behavioral economics and neuromarketing 
  2. Marketing to all five senses 
  3. Rajamannar says that marketing should not only be about generating profits but should “genuinely do something for social good.” 

Lip-service vs. actually generating social change 

When using marketing to do social good, it can be tricky to get it right rather than just saying all the right things. Here’s what Rajamannar recommends: 

  1. Make a conscious and public commitment that will hold you accountable. 
  2. Ensure that diversity is reflected in your workforce. “These are the ambassadors who will take the cause into the public domain and make a difference.”
  3. You cannot do it yourself – partnerships are essential! Partner with organizations that successfully are doing good work in the areas you are supporting. 
  4. Connect with vendors and agency partners and “ask them to follow the same philosophy that we are propounding for ourselves.” 
  5. If sponsorships are a piece of your marketing, make sure the right people get those sponsored partnerships. “It’s about the deployment of the right media to reach the right audiences.” 
  6. Use key performance indicators to track your progress. “How do we know we are making progress? And if we are falling short anywhere, how do we make up for those shortfalls?” 

While marketing is important in adding value for customers, it can also be a great tool for social change. Rajamannar understands this and believes that “you can do well as a company by doing good for society.” 

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