Today we wrap up our Stars of Search interview series with an insightful conversation with Elaine Lawson, VP of Digital Marketing for Mastercard. Can you give us a little back-story on how you ended up in search? I have always worked in advertising and marketing. Over the years I have developed a greater focus on digital, and search is a part of that. In my current role as VP/Business Leader U.S. Digital Marketing at MasterCard, I have my hands in all facets of digital marketing, part of which is search. What are your primary digital marketing objectives? We’re really focused on getting consumers engaged with our brand. If they engage with our brand, then hopefully they will become loyal to our brand. Engagement is also key with our Issuing Bank and Merchant audiences as well. Social media plays a big role in engaging with our various audiences. What are some of the biggest challenges facing your industry? I think Google’s most recent algorithm overhaul, Hummingbird, really hit anyone in digital marketing. Everyone focused on search needs to rethink their respective search strategies and adjust accordingly. Even on the social side, the landscape is constantly changing. Marketers need to stay up to speed on industry changes that will impact their owned and paid social efforts. What opportunities have you seen recently in your industry? What’s becoming more important to digital marketing is exploring all the different opportunities to engage with your audience. Years ago, digital marketing was about your website. Now it’s about finding all the ways to engage with your audience in a meaningful and relevant way on different devices: desktop, mobile and tablet. What is your advice to people out of college looking to get into digital marketing? It’s pretty competitive out there, so it is important to be up to speed on the industry. Changes are happening at all times and you don’t want to be in the position of playing catch up. The best way to learn is to engage yourself in search, social, etc. as a consumer. Thank you Elaine, and congratulations on your Stars of Search Award!