Ask Ben Jankowski why he’s passionate about international marketing, and he reminds us that the number of transistors on a chip roughly doubles every two years. “We all appreciate that our jobs are a changing faster than ever. Like Moore’s Law, where computing power regularly doubles, marketing has exploded exponentially. To successfully marry consumers and technology with our products, we are forced to act quickly.”
Yet, he is conscious of how working across borders compounds marketing complexity—and he wouldn’t have it any other way. “Staying abreast of the frequent changes in consumers, media, governments, technology and the interconnection of all these factors is stimulating. The opportunities are not just for business, but for one’s personal growth. Learning how to work with different cultures may be challenging, but there are few greater rewards than motivating and inspiring people from different parts of the world to work together and create a successful plan.”
And Ben knows something about working with global teams. He has almost three decades of brand strategy and media planning experience. He joined MasterCard a year ago from Shanghai, where he spent 10 months at OMD China, the country’s fastest growing agency, heading global accounts and driving thought leadership for the agency. Ben also served as the Global Account Director for Johnson & Johnson, working across disciplines and geographies in 27 markets, but was particularly excited to drive the J&J business in a market as dynamic as China.
He also worked with PepsiCo International while at OMD. His earlier agency experience includes 4 years as Senior Vice President and Associate Managing Director at MPG and 13 years with BBDO WorldWide where he was responsible for long-term media development for clients, including Gillette, Dell Computer and the New York Stock Exchange, among others.
Today, as MasterCard’s Group Head of Global Media, Ben sees his role as driving increased value for the company’s media investments so they affect business growth. He is not only responsible for coordinating MasterCard’s global management of media planning, budgeting and consumer targeting processes. He is also focusing on optimizing marketing investments through continued improvements in efficiencies and effectiveness.
Nonetheless, he admits: “The most exciting parts of working globally today are dealing with some of the challenges inherent in media and marketing world. One such challenge is considering how to marry the best of the local insights and ideas while constantly sharing success around the world. Regardless of whether decision making is done globally or regionally, it is difficult to optimize the various components. The ability to be organized, communicate clearly, lead, and most importantly, listen, makes the job of a global marketer exciting.
One example for MasterCard this year was the Priceless Cities campaign where we executed programs in New York, London and Toronto in a 4 month period. Developing the right balance between sharing assets and allowing for local insights and ideas was a core tenant in the Priceless Cities program. At the end of the day, we successfully changed cardholder behavior across these cities by juggling this balance and working as a team. As we continue to execute common ideas around the world, there is always new information to power our decisions and continue to stay relevant to consumers.”