Andrew Bowins | The Innovator 25 2014 | Holmes Report


The Innovator 25: Andrew Bowins

SVP of corporate & digital communications at MasterCard since 2011

Purchase, New York
Influence & Engagement, 20+ years

"What we were able to do in 18 months, is go from shouting messages and hoping they stick to — and we’ve used big data and other tools — to become a trusted member of the groups we’re looking to influence." 

Because when Bowins joined MasterCard, the new CEO had given the company 1 out of 10 when it comes to digital and social — and had zero tolerance for a ‘likes’ and ‘shares’ based approach to social media. For turning around the operation by creating the Conversation Suite steeped in analytics tools and data mining as the foundation for decision-making and building a communications roadmap. And for driving a 400% increase in online engagement for MasterCard in three months — maybe not a 10 yet, but getting there.





In what area of marketing/PR do you see the most innovation?
Influencer relations

How would you describe the communications/PR industry’s level of innovation?
Lagging the others

Where do you see the greatest opportunity for marketing & PR to become more innovative?
Influencer relations

Who most influences how innovative a brand’s marketing/PR is?

How do you define innovation?
Ability to challenge the norm and bring technology, people and ideas together to initiate change that is tangible to the business.

It used to be deli-style communications. Executives would ask for 1/2 pound of press releases, 40 tweets, a funny video that gets a lot of hits and a placement in the Wall Street Journal. Whereas today, we’ve earned our way into the boardroom — and into a team that comes with insights and analysis on what consumers, merchants and governments truly think and are saying.

Most innovative PR/comms campaign you’ve seen in the last 12 months?
Coca Cola Journey

What brands and/or agencies are most innovative when it comes to marketing/PR?
MasterCard, GE, Coca Cola and Uber

Describe a moment in your career that you would consider ‘innovative.’
The day I realized that great storytelling was no longer enough and adopted the idea that code and content meet at the intersection of big data in the age of digital.

Who is your mentor and why?
Jeff Hunt for encouraging me to rise up out of my self, challenge the way people think about PR and never settle for good enough.

How do you get inspired?
By creative thinkers, innovators and people that have relentless energy to do things differently.

Advice for people seeking to bring new ideas, ways of doing things to their organizations?
Crazy is good but crazy with purpose is better. Always marry your creativity with sound business acumen.

 In your opinion, what’s the most innovative place in the world? This could be a city, a venue, a neighborhood, etc.
New York’s Silicon Alley

What’s your favorite time of day and why?
Late afternoons and early evening when the “status quo” goes home at 4:30 and the innovators gather to dream.