Mastercard Marketing and Communication Strategies
MasterCard's brand and communication strategy is heavily focused on the digital realms both internally and externally and they are finding innovative ways to market their brand digitally to consumers. The company aims to keep its marketing communications consistent across the world, with the overall goal of increasing their brand preference and usage among consumers.
MASTERCARD'S MARKETING/COMMUNICATION STRATEGY
- MasterCard notes that they promote their brands via sponsorships, promotions, and advertising.
- MasterCard sponsors events (sports, entertainment, and charity) as a key marketing tactic.
- In 2018, MasterCard spent a total of $907 million on advertising and marketing.
- The company increased their marketing and advertising expenses by 18% in 2018, up from an 11% increase in 2017.
- Internally, MasterCard's marketing teams appear to collaborate with their customer success and sales teams when developing their marketing strategies.
- MasterCard appears to rely on account-based marketing and lead generation as a part of their marketing strategy.
- When thinking of positioning/messaging and advertising content, MasterCard appears to focus on articulating the benefits of their products and increasing consumer comprehension of how their products work.
- MasterCard appears to rely on the use of an internal knowledge base to help inform their marketing efforts.
- MasterCard aims to keep their messaging consistent across all of their marketing channels.
- Sometimes MasterCard relies on the use of third-parties and agencies when it comes to their marketing content development.
- The company appears to rely on the use of marketing automation programs in order to "drive inbound marketing leads and manage leads/accounts through the sales funnel." Specifically, the company also uses Salesforce to analyze their and track their marketing efforts and prospects.
- MasterCard recently decided to remove their name from their brand logo in an effort to reduce the noise/clutter of their brand, in response to the trend of consumer over stimulation. Instead, the company will allow its 50-year-old graphic logo design of interlocking circles to "speak for itself" as the company has noted the design is recognizable to more than 80% of consumers. The move also appears to be an effort to align with the new generation of consumers.
MASTERCARD'S MARKETING/COMMUNICATION CHANNELS
- Mastercard's annual reports not that they operate in digital, mobile, and social media channels when it comes to their marketing.
- A job description for a marketing director at MasterCard notes the use of the following marketing channels: "websites, landing pages, digital campaigns, lead nurture programs, and product materials."
- A key focus of Mastercard's marketing strategy is to expand it's 'Priceless' brand identity across new platforms.
- MasterCard notes that they communicate their brand through their 'Priceless' branded ecosystems, including Priceless Cities, Priceless Causes, Priceless Surprises, and Priceless Specials and their Priceless advertising campaign.
- One of Mastercard's key marketing channels is their Priceless Surprises platform, where MasterCard cardholders can receive surprise rewards such as song downloads, event ticket upgrades, meet and greet events with celebrities, etc. The platform is now active in 30 countries and has provided hundreds of thousands of surprise rewards since the platform was launched in 2014.
- MasterCard also runs a point-of-sale marketing program called 'Priceless Causes', which is focused on allowing customers to support charitable causes via their everyday spending.
GOAL OF MASTERCARD'S MARKETING STRATEGY
- Mastercard's 2018 annual report notes that the goal of their marketing efforts is to "increase people's preference for [their] brands and usage of [their] products."
- The goal of Mastercard's sponsorship initiatives is to "align with consumer segments important to [the company] and [their] customers," according to the company.
- MasterCard states that building their brand visibility, usage, and "overall performance among account holders" is a key driver of their advertising initiatives.
- The goal of Mastercard's 'Priceless' campaign is to "promote MasterCard usage benefits and acceptance, [to market] MasterCard payment products and solutions, [and to provide] MasterCard with a consistent recognizable message that supports [their] brand around the globe." The campaign runs in 120 countries.
- The company relies on a number of marketing software programs in an effort to keep their marketing activities efficient and effective.
- One of the overarching goals of Mastercard's marketing strategy is to provide a "consistent, recognizable message that supports [their] brand around the globe."
To begin this research, MasterCard's annual report was first consulted to pull out any relevant insights concerning their marketing strategy and the channels used. This resource was relied on because it is the most credible and detailed resource which analyzes Mastercard's marketing efforts. However, it should be noted here that the insights contained within the annual report are relevant to Mastercard's global business as a whole, and therefore not necessarily exclusive to the United States segment.
Overall, there was a bit of a lack of U.S.-exclusive insights across all resources that discuss MasterCard's marketing efforts. One reason for this may be that MasterCard's marketing strategy seems to focus heavily on consistency across geographic markets, as noted in the research findings above. However, in our effort to look for some insight about Mastercard's marketing strategy that was more specific to the United States, we came across a job posting on the MasterCard website for a marketing director position in the United States and were able to analyze it to ascertain some of Mastercard's marketing strategy. The company's Corporate Story page on their website also proved to be useful in locating direct insights from the company about their marketing strategies, along with insights from Forbes.