- Mastercard announced it will acquire customer engagement and loyalty platform SessionM, according to a press release. The deal's terms were not disclosed.
- By acquiring the SessionM platform, Mastercard aims to improve its "ability to help brands around the world deliver personalized, real-time offers and comprehensive campaign measurement based on robust, data-driven insights," the company said in the press release.
- Boston-based SessionM's platform is used by the retail, restaurant and CPG industries, with clients such as Huggies, Chipotle, Coca-Cola, Air Canada and L'Oréal.
Customer engagement is at the center of this acquisition, as Mastercard looks to help client partners improve their loyalty programs in a digital world. SessionM's platform will give the financial services company the data and campaign tools to help deliver on this business objective for clients. The news follows several other recent acquisitions by Mastercard in the data and analytics space.
The SessionM acquisition comes after the credit card giant commissioned a report from Harvard Business Review, which found that 58% of marketing executives consider their brand's approach to customer loyalty ineffective, as reported in The Drum.
"Consumers' expectations about their experiences with brands are changing," said Francis Hondal, Mastercard's president of loyalty and engagement, in a statement. "We believe that the future of loyalty needs to be re-imagined to enable seamless digital experiences."
Mastercard has been beefing up its its data-driven services for brands over the past decade. In 2015, it snapped up analytics tool Applied Predictive Technologies for $600 million to add testing and analytics to its services. Mastercard bought London-based retail consulting and analytics firm 5One also in 2015 to bring analytics, payments expertise and actionable insights to its professional services arm.
The company was featured as the fastest growing brand on Interbrand's latest value report, which came out this week. The financial company's brand value grew 25% compared to last year, a higher growth rate than for Salesforce and Amazon. Mastercard has been actively building its brand in numerous ways this year, including embracing esports, sound- and taste-driven brand extensions, a focus on experiential marketing and dropping its name from its logo for a more modern look.
While the SessionM acquisition may not affect brand value for consumers, the news is further evidence of the company's momentum behind building its offerings in both the B2B and B2C spaces.