Rahul Sachitanand
Jul 26, 2021

Marketing in Asia is a balancing act: Visa's Danielle Jin

The brand's Asia CMO discusses the diversified demands of marketing a storied brand in a complex and competitive market. Here's how Visa is iterating campaigns, learning from China and capturing first-party data.

Danielle Jin
Danielle Jin

Six months after Danielle Jin took over as the APAC marketing chief for Visa—and after moving from Shanghai to Singapore—she’s getting to grips with the diverse nature of the firm's business in the region and tweaking her strategy to keep pace. While she’s driving marketing awareness in emerging markets such as India and Vietnam, Visa’s strategy is more nuanced in developed markets such as Korea and Taiwan, where the focus, with campaigns such as 'Everyone speaks Visa', is on security and convenience.

“Our markets are very diversified,’ Jin, a member of the 2021 Power List of the region's 50 most influential marketers, tells Campaign Asia-Pacific. “So, the approach that we're taking market to market, if you sum it up, we are helping to accelerate money movement and accelerating digitalisation.” In India, Indonesia, Philippines and Vietnam, Visa is driving market-wide awareness and education about going cashless, promoting debit to drive contactless penetration, and promoting ecommerce and QR payments across everyday spend categories.

Meanwhile, in markets such as Korea, mainland China and Taiwan, Visa has expanded its ecommerce campaign, the 'Everyone speaks Visa' platform, and leaned on growing acceptance to further drive internet commerce. As part of a move to support small businesses in APAC, Jin launched #WhereYouShopMatters across 10 APAC markets initially, to help small businesses develop their online presence. This of course became key as lockdowns washed across the region. The campaign provided small businesses with tools and resources to survive while encouraging consumers to think about the positive impact of where they shop.  

As Jin seeks to sustain Visa's relevance in a shifting financial-services market in Asia-Pacific, with a rapidly changing competitive and regulatory landscape, she is relying on the $22 billion company's troves of data. For example, Visa is leveraging its consumers’ media behaviour data to generate insights about their spending behaviours to strategise marketing activations and impact consumers with personalised dynamic creatives. “We can identify the high value segments, personalise the experience with data signals and incrementally enhance the moments that matter,” she contends.

Visa, which recently launched a global re-branding exercise, is also balancing a lumpy economic recovery from the pandemic worldwidem which means tailoring its marketing strategies to keep pace accordingly. For example, while cross-border transactions are blossoming in Europe and the US, Asia-Pacific remains domestically constrained for the moment. For Jin, this means her focus is on facilitating small payments, particularly online ones.

Then, on top of this, Visa is trying to help its clients using data-led marketing and precision targeting. The company is also providing more of a B2B consultative approach, especially for small enterprises, by helping its clients design marketing campaigns and drive customer acquisitions to help them stay above water in a tough market.

In China, for example, when COVID-19 caused a deep impact on life and work, Visa captured different spending patterns and shifted travel related activation into cross-border ecommerce campaigns. Leveraging the B2B2C model, the brand helped issuers (member banks) shift cardholder engagement strategies to provide tailored product offerings and services.

For example, China has among the largest populations of overseas students. While traditionally, Chinese parents have supported their wards as they move overseas, this time around, Covid prevented those students from traveling home easily and meant they ended up spending more time traveling across the US and Europe.

“We do a customer acquisition with the banks, and we provide the ability to do precision targeting using tagging [and we] provide relevant benefits so that people can use it more safely,” says Jin. “For example, Visa provides lounge access to students when they travel abroad, and access to Uber Eats and Uber during time that when transportation and ordering becomes very important.”

As the former China CMO for Visa, Jin also senses an opportunity to transplant some market strategies from there to the broader APAC market, and vice versa. Of particular interest is China’s rapid tech and app growth and the ability to leap technology—and marketing cycles—which can be adopted by other markets in the region playing catchup.

“I think the China experience can be very refreshing and important for other people to understand our ecosystem and the ways that they are seamlessly embedded into consumers lives,” she says. “I think that APAC has a lot of markets, if you look at Vietnam, India and even Japan, where new ideas could go back to North America [and Europe], but also China.”

As Jin looks to find new ways to keep Visa relevant in a changing market, she, like other marketers, is also building out the firm’s first-party data capabilities, as third-party cookies disappear. “All the campaigns we are running that they [consumers] are interested in… are the way for us to establish first-party data,” she says. “We will continue to learn. I don’t think one single approach has been decided yet. This is one of those things that continues to disrupt consumers habits, and their media consumption has continued to evolve.”

Campaign Asia

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