Mastercard: ‘We’re up there with electricity and petrol – no one cares about the transaction’

As new payment technology make the Mastercard name less visible during the transaction process, the brand's Southeast Asia head of marketing told the Mumbrella Asia 360 conference it must find other ways to connect with consumers

Mastercard is no different from electricity and petrol in terms of people’s disinterest in the actual transaction with the brand more focused on “selling the dream” of the product and emotionally connecting with consumers.

During a session at Mumbrella Asia 360 in Singapore last November, discussing the Creation of Brand Credibility outside of your Natural Space, Mastercard Southeast Asia head of marketing Deborah Goldingham told delegates how “technologies evolve but human values remain”.

It is the focus on those human values, and the emotion that results, which drives its Priceless marketing crusade, she said.

“We are up their with electricity and petrol. At the end of the day, no one wants to know about it,” Goldingham acknowledged. “No one wants to know they have a made a payment. They want the dream of the purchase.

“When you’re standing at the checkout with a new pair of shoes or a new football you want to know the dream that is coming after that and the possibilities that purchase is going to make.

“The role of our brand now is far more integral in building that affection than ever before. “It’s so much more challenging as a brand marketer to make sure we have brand and emotional connection well ahead of that purchase.”

Among the challenges presented by the evolution of new technology is the lack of brand presence during a transaction, she explained. Previously, Mastercard had “marketing real estate” through its cards where the brand was visible to the merchant and consumer.

Now, with wearable technology facilitating payment, Mastercard must increasingly look for other means of connecting with shoppers.

“Now you can make a payment and the brand is not present,” Goldingham said, adding that with accounts linked to payment technology the brand will get even less exposure.

“When is the next time you’re going to see the Mastercard brand? You’re not.”

Later in the presentation, Goldingham said marketers are “no longer putting lipstick on a pig through sponsorships” but are “driving the business” and putting an authentic voice to stories.

It will no longer sponsor an organisation such as European football’s governing body, UEFA, unless it has a role to play, she said.

Gone are the days of simply putting signage around the perimeter of a football pitch or giving away free tickets. Such partnerships are now based providing services that provide a better experience for consumers, delegates were told.

Goldingham added that “story telling is dead” with Mastercard now focused on “story making”.

“It’s about taking the assets we have got, and we have over 65,000 sponsorship assets tied to consumer passions around the world, that we sprinkle through the community (and enable) consumers to tell their own stories that are truly priceless.”


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