Digital Ace: Tuomas Peltomieni, President, Asia Digital Arts Network

Efforts by brands to become publishers in a content marketing world most often fall short of the mark, but Peltoniemi wasn’t going to let that happen with MasterCard in Asia. He brought to bear a huge cross-functional team, set up a virtual newsroom powered by state-of-the-art digital publishing tools, and rewrote the company’s marketing guidebook. The new system helped key MasterCard merchants lower their cost-per-click by 73% while lifting sales by more than 200%.

“We call the MasterCard [content] model a business model. For this, you need people from technology, content, data, strategy, creative, media, and more,” Singapore-based Peltoniemi says. “I think it’s unrealistic to think that an agency would have all these capabilities under the same roof.”

Peltoniemi’s background certainly influenced his penchant for cross-functional collaboration. He became a web designer in the 1990s, when a person with that title did both design and coding. Out of high school, he went to work as a technical designer at TBWA, but left after a few years to pursue a degree in business and marketing. That background and his work advising early-stage tech startups left him with a real-world perspective on technology, which he views as but one part of a multi-faceted solution.

“Companies put a lot of money into technology licenses, where the tech tools they fund aren’t used to full capacity,” Peltoniemi says. “It reminds me of the old condo analogy: It’s nice to have a tennis court and a pool, but most people don’t end up using them much.”

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