Crossing the Rubicon to Mastercard. Priceless.

After a great five years at Rubicon Project, I’ve decided to join Mastercard Advisors to run their Media Solutions group. I’m going just far enough from the “programmatic” apple tree to keep things interesting.

mc_vrt_opt_pos_73_3xWhile many think Mastercard is a “credit card company”, this is incorrect. The company does not issue a single credit card. Mastercard provides payment technology and services to issuing banks or other emerging payment platforms such as Apple Pay, Samsung Pay and Square who in turn provide the consumer the actual plastic or platform she carries in her wallet or on her mobile device.


(PHOTO: Mastercard (NYSE: MA) since 2006.)

Scaled, Global Data Exhaust

Mastercard is a Fortune 500 global technology company, recognized for innovation and changing the world for good, that is focused on payments and related technology. Through supporting 43.3 million acceptance locations (merchants) (1), billions of cards and 142 million transactions every day, there is a massive amount of anonymous data exhaust that is available for value creation.

Respect for the end consumer is paramount. Mastercard continually works to deliver on its longstanding commitment to build privacy and data protection into everything it does. In delivering a safe and convenient way to pay, the company designs and develops products and services with respect for privacy.

The company’s Mastercard Advisors group, where Media Solutions sits, is one of the innovation centers providing professional services and end to end solutions that bring actionable insights to clients. The global partner base in the Media Solutions group includes advertisers, advertising technology intermediaries and media properties. Our solutions currently include advertising audiences and measurement products.

Why? And Why Now?

One question Rubicon Project founder and CEO Frank Addante always likes to ask is Why? and Why Now? So why have I joined Mastercard and why now?

  1. Data Wins. As “the edges” (advertisers and media companies) continue to re-organize around data driven decision making, consumer purchase insights will be used in the virtuous cycle of ad planning, execution and measurement. The convergence of advertising technology and marketing technology is accelerating this change;


(PHOTO: “The Edges”—advertisers and media owners—are organizing around a “data first” world.)

  1. Smart + Trusted Data Wins More. Intelligence based on smart and trusted data means better outcomes for advertisers and greater relevancy for consumers;
  2. Consumer Friendly Data Will Win the Most. For solutions to be consumer friendly, they must include privacy-by-design;
  3. Data Must Be Global, Just Like Global Enterprises. We know availability of data in the media sector is limited in many markets outside the United States. Mastercard is in use in more than 210 countries and territories;
  4. Data Will Be Used Throughout the Enterprise. Mastercard insights are already used by partners to drive strategic business decisions such as where to locate new retail stores. Why not use the same insights to activate advertising to invite the consumer into those same stores?

Great People, Products and Customers.

Another favorite saying of Frank Addante’s is that “Great people build great products; and great products attract great customers”. I have always been in vehement agreement. Mastercard embraces this same philosophy. In considering the Mastercard opportunity, I was humbled by the talented people I met and the prospect of what I will be able to learn from each of them.

My Rubicon Project experience was and always will be unforgettable. I owe many people (co-workers, customers and others in industry) a huge debt of gratitude for their collaboration and their kindness.

For my new chapter with Mastercard, I’m excited to begin this journey with my new work and longstanding industry colleagues.


(PHOTO: Caesar crossing the Rubicon River. Illustrated by E. M. Synge, public domain via Wikimedia Commons.)

As Julius Caesar said when crossing the Rubicon in 49 BC, “alea iacta est” (the die is cast). Let’s write the next chapter of data driven advertising together.



(1) Source: Nilson Report 43.3 million acceptance locations worldwide as of December 2015

See this article on LinkedIn.

One comment

  1. Peter Longo · · Reply

    Congratulations. All my best wishes for success with your new endeavor.

    Peter J. Longo
    T: 646.783.7811 | M: 917.439.9813

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