Staff Reporters
Jun 29, 2020

Asia-Pacific Power List 2020: Frederique Covington Corbett, Visa

While Visa's CMO had a gush of high-decibel marketing activities before the pandemic, she's quickly evolved her capabilities to be an empathetic leader since.

Asia-Pacific Power List 2020: Frederique Covington Corbett, Visa
Asia-Pacific’s 50 most influential and purposeful marketers

Frederique Covington Corbett

SVP, marketing and cross border, Asia Pacific

Returning member

Since her appearance on the inaugural Power List in December 2018, Frederique “Freddie” Covington has had a busy 18 months at Visa. Before the pandemic hit, she has launched several feted campaigns including Visa’s 'Tap to Pay' contactless campaign in India, the Wonderful Indonesia co-branding initiative with the country’s ministry of tourism, and the Visa 'Wellington on a Plate' festival in New Zealand. She also steered Visa’s innovation wearables campaign for the PyeongChang 2018 Olympic Winter Games in Korea.

Elsewhere, in China, she led a campaign focusing on Chinese outbound travelers, who are mobile-first and promotion-driven, with the China XB Play initiative. This comprised of merchant offers and experiences promoted through precision targeting and real-time-dynamic creative. In Southeast Asia, where travelers tend to vacation within the region and more spontaneously, the XB campaign was built with insight-based, personalised creative to target the different personas of spontaneous travelers. This was the first region in Asia Pacific to use such a data-led marketing model.

Covington pushed her marketing and sponsorship in new directions in Asia Pacific over the past 18 months. Beyond sports, Visa sponsored a wider gamut of activities including esports, fashion, music and dining. It backed the eSportsHearthstone 2019 World Championship in Taiwan and used it as an opportunity to more than double digital payments during the event, while in Australia, the music and arts festival, Splendour in the Grass, went 100% cashless across 50,000 attendees.

As the pandemic has cut marketing budgets to ribbons worldwide, Covington has also been quick to push Visa to be a more empathetic brand and employer. As travel has been suspended and many marketing plans upended, Visa has supported e-commerce and small businesses such as food, grocery and drug stores, experiencing a spike of orders at this time.

In virtual meetings, she encourages her team to show up in sweatpants and “meets” are extended to families and pets too. The pandemic has given her an opportunity to pause and build empathy in new ways—from reading a story virtually to her 4-year old goddaughter to being regaled about family stories by her 82-year old mother-in-law—even as she has sought to use any extra time to finish her PhD thesis.

Covington can be found on Twitter at: @Freddie_covi

Asia-Pacific’s 50 most influential and purposeful marketers


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