Context Is Our Kingdom, Says MasterCard

Anyone that has been in marketing for a while will be all too familiar with that golden saying, content is king. But while content does undoubtedly deserve its crown, context is the kingdom that gives content power. After all, a king without a kingdom is nothing but a pawn. And that is the manifesto that MasterCard adheres to.

Speaking at ClickZ Live in San Francisco on Thursday, Adam Broitman, vice president and senior business leader, Global Digital Marketing at MasterCard spoke about the company’s five-tier approach to mobile and how context is at the very center of each part.

“With mobile, the world is your interface, but it is only made meaningful by what the physical around it has to offer. It is the context that creates the value,” Broitman said.

Driven by its ‘Priceless’ campaign, MasterCard has been creating contextual moments as part of its marketing strategy for the past 20 years. The company’s recent partnership with Kiip is just one example of the brand rewarding its loyal mobile consumers with tailored surprises based on behavioral actions through its app.

According to Broitman, learning what the consumer likes and dislikes, and what is and isn’t important to them enables MasterCard to create personalized relationships that matter.

“Marketing is all about delivering the right message, to the right person at the right time. While content might be the message, context is the power that allows us to find the moments that truly add value to the consumer,” noted Broitman.

Here are Broitman’s five principles of mobile marketing to help you make context your kingdom:

  1. Lead With Experience: Be contextually relevant and put the user experience first. Build a mobile design that oozes a ‘we’re at your service’ message and make sure to do just that. There are a number of leading apps out there, such as Facebook, YouTube, Gmail and Google Maps; you need to stand out from the crowd. Surprising people in an authentic manner and using behavior to reap rewards are two ways of enticing engagement, and using the consumer experience to lead your marketing message.
  2. Function Must Define Form: Craft your ecosystem to embrace the new mobile consumer. They are constantly on-the-go, moving across devices and they want to receive real-time information wherever they are. Expand your app’s utility and functionality to create a more convenient experience. For example, for MasterCard’s Priceless Cities apps, using the ‘Travel’ tab interlinks to customer services to let them know not to stop your credit card while on vacation.
  3. Know Your Customer: While mobile now accounts for more than 60 percent of all digital media time spent, according to comScore, consumers are not necessarily engaging with display ads. For MasterCard, mobile-social has become the most efficient means of interacting with consumers and is 1.5 times more likely to drive them down the funnel.
  4. Acknowledge That Change Is a Constant: The digital marketing world and the technology that surrounds it is constantly evolving. Keep tabs on the changes and be versatile to adapt with them. MasterCard is constantly updating its in-house Playbook, which notes updates on APIs and ongoing guidance on privacy regulations, as just two examples.
  5. Create With Purpose: Be innovative and look for contextual cues to deliver relevant messages. Beacons, for instance, are a great way to create a smarter and more appealing consumer experience while simultaneously influencing in-store purchasing decisions.

To find out more about MasterCard’s mobile strategy and how it integrates into the overall marketing mix, as well as why retailers should be taking beacon technology seriously, watch our video with Broitman below.

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