September 28th, 2012

MasterCard Deal Gives Brands Peek Into Consumers' Offline Spending

By Mary Lisbeth D'Amico

Exponential Interactive, a digital advertising company based in Emeryville, CA, and MasterCard Advisors, the professional services arm of MasterCard, have announced a partnership that will enable Exponential’s brands to target their digital ads to audiences based on their offline spending behavior.

Data on spending behavior, which the companies say is anonymous and not linked to any individual, will be extracted from the more than 25 billion transactions that U.S. MasterCard holders carry out at retail locations annually. Some 310 million people hold a MasterCard in the U.S. and 8.7 million locations accept them.

“The vast amount of retail transactions that take place still occur offline,” said Doug Conely, senior director, global targeting and data at Exponential. That includes drugstores, grocery stores, superstores like Walmart, and fast-food restaurants. “Very few people order pizza online,” added Conely. This arrangement brings that offline intelligence to Exponential’s clients by letting them target segments of people with online ads.

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