March 24, 2021

Throughout 2021, CFG will feature the brave marketers breaking new ground in B2B marketing in the world's largest banks. Our Q&A sessions with them focus on three themes: best practices from 2020, new directions for 2021 and a little peak into what makes them leaders. Along the way, we will blend in news and conversations from our Specialty Groups and members. 

In this edition of STAYING 'N TOUCH we feature Ryan MacDonald, CMO, Wholesale Payments at J.P. Morgan. Our lengthy interview is full of insights around unified messaging, sales engagement, enhancing image, convergence of digital and physical marketing, deep connections to data, and so much more. We share highlights of my conversation with Ryan and the link to the full transcript of his comments. You'll want to click the blue box below to read how Ryan is motivated to push himself and his team to adapt and advance marketing at J.P. Morgan. 
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Ryan MacDonald, CMO
Wholesale Payments

Looking back on 2020…

Q. How did your actions during the COVID crisis change the perception of marketing among J.P. Morgan executives and your internal stakeholders?
We became the primary channel to deliver key messages of resilience and how our innovations were helping clients. Those messages unified our story line in the market and among our sales teams. During that time, more and more executives recognized the value of digital marketing delivery in their markets.

Q. What one thing are you most proud of that you and your team accomplished in 2020 that elevated that perception?
I’m proud of our team because they didn’t just get the (campaign) series up and running fast, but they put great effort into doing it well. They really stepped up to pivot to new formats, learning the technology, new logistics, training our subject-matter experts quickly and getting the right content together. Their agility and ability to move quickly was impressive.

Q. Thinking back, what is the biggest change you observed in people behaviors in 2020?
You know, it’s hard when you have a day job and a whole set of other priorities and practices that tether you to old norms. When those constraints are removed, people move in the direction that makes the most sense.

What will differ in your approach in  2021?

Q. What will differ in your overall approach to marketing this year?
Account-Based Marketing (ABM) will be big this year. The financial sector has really been late to the game with ABM, unlike the tech sector. We’ve dabbled in things that look like ABM, but we don’t really follow the discipline as we should. So, doubling down on ABM and collaborating with sales more tightly is a huge emphasis for our teams in 2021 and beyond.  

Q. We believe that 2021 will be year of Hybrid Marketing. How would you define Hybrid Marketing?
If you look at the consumer space, it’s all about omni-channel approaches and connected experiences. It’s important for us to look at it this way on the B2B side, because we haven’t really been good at the connection between digital and physical before. They lived as unique and distinct elements that were brought together when it made sense. But in reality, 2020 taught us that hybrid, the convergence of digital and physical, can be much more powerful.

Q. What data (and insights) will you depend on to create your hybrid marketing mix?
With digital events, there is real discipline around who we’re targeting in the sales pipeline and inserting signals that point to attribution to sales and marketing pieces. Now we can start to connect the dots as we move into more physical environments. The convergence and connection of data will help us transform to being more data-driven throughout the lifecycle of marketing in the digital and physical world.

Q. By what measure(s) will you account for success this year?
Our success will depend on how we change the image of J.P. Morgan in the market and among our clients. What that means is enhancing our already strong image for servicing and innovation.

Q. In your opinion, what is your biggest challenge in proving marketing’s value?
The hardest part is staying focused and not getting blinded by the constant stream of new shiny objects around technology.


Q. Ryan, you’ve been in marketing roles in large and small financial institutions. Why did you choose financial marketing as your career?
I don’t think I chose it, rather it chose me...What’s interesting is that wholesale banking is a space that’s disrupting itself constantly. It’s an exciting place to be.

Q. In your opinion, what is the one thing that you learned along the way that has contributed to your success as a marketer?
A marketer’s emphasis must be on the customer...not just what they tell you they need but digging underneath to figure out their true motivations.

Q. What is your biggest challenge in your role as leader of a large marketing team?
It’s hard to rally people around a common purpose if there isn’t one. Creating that common purpose, reinforcing it, and taking the time to recognize the work that people are doing makes people feel like they’re part of a team and not just individual contributors.

Q. When you coach younger marketers, what advice do you give them to advance their careers?
If anybody asks you about long-term goals, don’t answer! Rather, think about what really inspires you in your day-to-day.
Q. What career advice would you give to the younger Ryan?
Take action. There is a great quote I often refer to: “ideas without actions are just regrets.” Things that you regret most are never mistakes if you take action. If you never take action, you’ll always ask what it could have been.

Click this box to read the full text of my interview with RYAN.

Miss our #1 interview with PATTY JURCA, KeyBank?

Read about Patty and her approach to marketing here.

Miss our year-end review? Catch up on all the news, expertise and events from CFG in 2020!

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