How can marketers cultivate a more inclusive culture?

February 23, 2021 | By Raja Rajamannar

The Topline

Today’s marketers face a bevy of misconceptions about the industry. One of the harshest is that it projects desire onto consumers in a manipulative way. Great marketers ensure that the opposite is true, taking care to listen to consumers’ needs and wants. From there, marketers have a responsibility to reflect their customers’ voices and put brand values into action, building a more inclusive society that benefits business as it serves all people.

The Tidbit

Inclusive marketing is not a goalpost; it’s a continuous journey, essential for a thriving society and for business success.

The Essential Truth

As marketers, we have a particular duty to champion inclusion and support all the communities we serve. If we are to make meaningful progress, we must continually assess our values and our customers’ needs and our actions, recentering on what matters. 

Following the horrifying acts of violence and discrimination against the Black community in 2020, Mastercard launched In Solidarity, a company-wide, long-term initiative to combat racism and create equal opportunities for our people, for the market and for society at large – around the world.

Most recently, with the help of Mastercard ambassador Jennifer Hudson, we are building on our $500 million commitment to invest in Black communities with the newly announced Strivers Initiative, a platform to address Black women business owners’ unique obstacles and elevate them as pillars of our communities.

My Take

  • Marketers have the power to make real, impactful change that benefits peoples’ lives by supporting their wants and needs.
  • Consumers demand authenticity. Meaningful action speaks louder than a well-intended marketing campaign.
  • It is an honor and privilege to be a marketer, and champion inclusion and diversity in the world we share. In my new book, “Quantum Marketing,” I write about the importance of marketing in today’s world and how we have the ability to help shape culture by acting in a way that serves peoples’ needs.

Long Story Short

Marketing leaders must cultivate a culture where everyone feels accepted, supported and heard. Continuously striving for inclusion builds a stronger business and a more resilient society.

About this blog

Marketing Sense is a blog series from Raja Rajamannar, Mastercard’s chief marketing and communications officer. Every month, Marketing Sense will bring you unique, original, relevant content to equip you with the knowledge that will keep you ahead of a rapidly changing industry. We’ll filter out the noise to focus on key marketing trends backed by new findings and support from thought leaders from across the trade.


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Raja Rajamannar, Chief Marketing & Communications Officer | President of Healthcare