I sat down with Patrick Adams of PayPal to talk about how he approached the company's first Super Bowl ad and what trends will be important in 2016.
How did you get into marketing?
Marketing is not something that was really on my radar. I thought I would be in filmmaking or journalism - that's what I went to school for. I love the idea of telling stories as a mode of impactful communication. It's funny that I ended up with marketing because that's what I do - I tell our company's story every day.
To me, a great brand is a story well told. I often talk to my team about the story we're telling and the interaction we're initiating. We always circle back to what is important to our consumer - how our story can help them. I was probably destined to be in this field, just didn't realize it out the gate.
I'd been a customer of PayPal since 2004 and loved the service. Loved what they stood for - Safety, Security, Convenience. So when I heard that PayPal was initiating a major pivot to Consumer First and they were searching for a leader who could help them get there I thought - this is perfect for me. This speaks directly to my experience and passion. So I took them up on it.
What were you hoping to portray in that big Super Bowl spot and where do you think the brand is going?
This spot is in a way a coming out for PayPal - a tease to where we are going. The beginning of a new conversation. The launch of our new story. Today, PayPal plays a special role in the lives of millions of customers who count on us to make it easy and safe for them to move and manage their money. That said - the opportunity to reimagine money has never been greater. That's what we are doing in 2016 - we are reimagining the ways in which consumers can manage their money. All built upon what we know consumers want and need.
Knowing how competitive that space is, how do you think about positioning yourself and setting PayPal apart?
PayPal is built on an incredibly safe, sound and proprietary infrastructure. We are not just a payment service or wallet. We offer a suite of products and services that goes well beyond our original core value prop. And in 2016 we will be introducing several new products and services. We could have continued without any of these new added features and services and still have been an outstanding brand, but we wanted to be more. We are an evolving brand - driven by satisfying consumer needs and solving for their challenges. Being a consumer champion is game-changing for us.
What digital marketing tactics and trends do you think will be important moving forward? How are you executing on digital marketing campaigns with those in mind?
We use all of the well-known digital marketing tactics and techniques out there. This is a performance marketing team - and we have built a best in class consumer marketing team here in NY, Boston, Baltimore and San Jose. Everything we do starts and ends with the consumer. Our base is built on a wide cross-section of individuals. We do build products and services to deliver on known needs, pain points, etc. A particular segment that we have been focusing on is millennials. Products like Venmo and PayPal peer-to-peer services begin to speak to these individuals. We don't believe it ends there - but rather that is where the conversation begins. Another lever is content. Content is not a new concept - but one that we find impactful when used in a targeted and relevant way - specifically for the millennial segment. In particular, user generated content is extremely impactful.
Patrick Adams (@PAdamsNY) is the Head of Consumer Marketing for PayPal, North America. He was named one of the Top 100 CMO's in the World and has led the marketing function for several well know brands such as Victoria's Secret, Bertelsmann Direct, Chase and Citibank. He is an accomplished strategic marketing professional known for creating and implementing high impact, consumer driven, omni-channel (brand, digital, direct mail, PR, in-store, eComm/mobile, CRM) marketing initiatives.