MasterCard has been trying to shift its image from a payments company to a technology company — and also, in the case of Millennials, an entertainment company, according to chief marketing officer Raja Rajamannar.
To connect with younger consumers, a key focus for the card brand is getting them to join its Priceless loyalty program and sponsor music events ranging from the Grammy Awards, Justin Timberlake and Beyonce to a recent multi-year deal with electronic dance music event company SFX, which gives MasterCard a way to spread its MasterPass digital payment technology among young adopters who will eventually become bigger spenders.
“SFX produces over 1,600 events in over 20 countries, giving us the opportunity to connect with hundreds of millions of consumers and fans globally,” Rajamannar told Advertising Age. “For MasterCard this means integrating our product technology and marketing platforms into how fans download music and purchase tickets, how they buy and receive concessions or memorabilia at the event, and we are even looking at how we create unique VIP experiences.”
Another key MasterCard focus with young consumers is mobile, including wearables, for event information and transactions. “The proliferation of mobile devices presents us with a unique opportunity to connect with our consumers,” Rajamannar said. But unlike most other companies in mobile, “mobile payments is core to our business. So both product and marketing are more intricately tied and focused on delivering seamless and unique experiences before, during and after the payment transaction.”