MIAMI — In a digital age where the lines between content and commerce continue to blur, Mastercard is seizing the opportunity to innovate for impact, especially for small businesses.

In this video interview with Beet.TV at the POSSIBLE conference, Cheryl Guerin, EVP of Global Brand Strategy & Innovation at Mastercard, shares her insights on how the company is harnessing live experiences to benefit smaller enterprises and create a symbiotic relationship between storytelling and selling.

Leveraging Live Experiences for Small Businesses

“It’s like this dream of content and commerce fully coming together in the best way is happening through these live experiences,” Guerin explains.

Mastercard’s approach is multifaceted, utilizing live platforms to not only showcase but also sell products, changing the traditional advertising model.

“It’s full circle for us now, bringing that commerce opportunity closer in and creating real opportunities for people like small businesses.”

The Experiential Edge over Traditional Advertising

Guerin emphasizes the experiential nature of Mastercard’s marketing efforts. “It’s the opposite of advertising, if you think about it. It’s actually content that is experiential, sometimes immersive, and it fits into the programming as opposed to a disruptive ad that comes through.” This method, according to Guerin, proves far more effective and aligns with Mastercard’s ethos of creating experiences rather than just traditional ads.

### Data-Driven Advertising with Precision

The use of data is critical in targeting the right consumer at the right time for Mastercard. “We’re not a spots and dots type of advertiser,” Guerin points out. She underscores the importance of attention planning and the power of programmatic advertising to ensure efficiency and relevance. “Programmatic gives us an opportunity to ensure we’re overlaying that right audience, that it’s efficient, effective, and the more and more opportunities are coming into play where we can be more experiential too.”

### Upholding Brand Safety Standards

With brand safety as a top priority, Mastercard sets a high benchmark. “We hold ourselves to a standard of 99% and above,” Guerin states. The company meticulously selects media environments to maintain brand integrity, particularly in the programmatic arena, and explores new opportunities like programmatic out-of-home and streaming for safer ad placements.

### Consumer Expectations on Ad-Supported Video

Guerin acknowledges the consumer frustration with repetitive and low-quality ads, which disrupt the viewing experience. Mastercard addresses this by leveraging programmatic to serve tailored ads that complement, rather than disrupt, the viewing experience. “We just actually did something for the Grammys… instead of putting a traditional 30-second ad into the broadcast, we created content… we entertained the audience with something they care about,” she shares.

### Beyond Traditional KPIs: Focusing on Earned Media

When it comes to KPIs, Mastercard’s focus extends beyond traditional ad performance metrics. “For us, it’s about earned media. Every dollar paid, we want to be generating earned media,” Guerin reveals. This approach requires content that resonates with consumers, sparking conversations and driving organic engagement. “It’s about what matters to consumers… the onus is on both that media selection and the content that you’re putting in there for that right audience.”

Mastercard’s strategy reflects a deeper understanding of the evolving advertising landscape, where content and commerce intertwine, and consumer engagement reigns supreme. As Guerin articulates, it’s about building an ecosystem that nurtures small businesses, honors consumer preferences, and upholds brand integrity. Through innovative live experiences and data-driven, experiential advertising, Mastercard is setting a new standard for how brands can interact with their audiences in meaningful and impactful ways.

You’re watching ‘Anything Is Possible: The Rising Tide of Programmatic Streaming,’ a Beet.TV Leadership Series at POSSIBLE 2024, presented by Index Exchange. For more videos from this series, please visit this page.