In a presentation titled “leveraging MasterCard Data Insights to Reach Holiday Shoppers’, which was delivered back in September and was probably meant to be for limited audience, MasterCard describes how it can mine and analyze data related to 34 billion transactions and how that data can help advertising companies target specific audiences.
Susan Grossman, Senior Vice President at MasterCard, while delivering the presentation revealed that every time a MasterCard user transacts, information like date, time, merchant and amount is logged. Such information can be analyzed along with the previous transaction data to come up with spending patterns. These patterns can be again divided into different ‘segments’ that will comprise of different types of consumers.
Giving an example of business travelers, Grossman said, “Business travelers tend to travel Monday through Friday and not so much on Saturdays and Sundays.”
“So we can identify segments that have a high propensity to travel Monday through Friday and feel confident that we have isolated business travelers”, she added. Grossman also revealed that the company has the capability of creating consumer segments like last-minute shoppers, Black Friday shoppers, Cyber Monday shoppers, holiday travellers, etc.
The timing of the presentation indicates that MasterCard might want to lure potential advertisers who are targeting holiday sales in the coming season. In the presentation Grossman did say that none of the information collected, analyzed or sold contains any personally identifiable information but, she also revealed that the methods used by MasterCard are proprietary.
The big question that remains here is how would MasterCard purchases that are done offline follow a user online and present him / her with targeted ads?