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An Interview with Adam Broitman

Vice President, Global Digital Marketing at MasterCard

A digital agency veteran, Adam Broitman is tasked with overseeing social, mobile, local and other digital marketing channels around the world for MasterCard. Prior to joining the company, he served as chief creative strategist at Something Massive, a boutique digital agency specializing in content, community and loyalty.

Broitman was also the co-founder of, a hybrid tech-creative firm, where he devised creative solutions for clients such as Cisco Systems, Red Bull, American Express, A&E, Ben & Jerry’s and Carl’s Jr. During his tenure there, Broitman co-founded social TV startup TV Dinner. Prior to that, he served as the director of strategy at crayon and the director of emerging and creative strategy at Morpheus Media. Broitman began his digital marketing career at Digitas working on the American Express team.

Can you describe your role and what you’re working on?

Adam Broitman: My role on the global digital marketing team is twofold. We’re a center of excellence where we’re building collateral and education, choosing and getting platforms out into the market. We’ve also been working to create economies of scale. For example, in social media we had a lot of different markets around the world doing different things on different social platforms. From an operational standpoint, we started using Adobe Social and in a very short time, we have 140 people around the world who are publishing on Facebook, Twitter and Google+ through this platform. So we now have a global view on everything going on in social in the company. We’re doing similar things in mobile as well.

What’s really exciting for me is that we’re doing content marketing at scale. Content marketing is something a lot of people talk about and it’s something the company has done in the past, but there’s never been a blueprint. Our most recent effort is a blog called, which originated in the US. Our US digital marketing team has adopted the hashtag #LoveThisCity. It engages people in conversations in the cities where they live—which is very important to MasterCard because it’s part of our Priceless Cities campaign.

What is the significance of this content marketing program?

Broitman: We wanted to create content that fed into the conversation but was also representative of our values. Priceless is very much about priceless experiences and people experiencing things together. It’s very easy to talk about things money can buy, but we want to bring out in our editorial voice—which comes from the essence of the brand—the types of experiences that are perfect for girls’ night out, guys’ night out, weekends with the kids or the perfect day. We want to draw on those elements.

Can you explain the blueprint you’ve created for MasterCard’s markets around the world?

Broitman: I’m tasked with overseeing search marketing, social marketing and mobile marketing, as well as creating blueprints, best practices and partnerships using the platforms that fuel all these things on a global scale. The real strategy behind it is creating a blueprint that can be used around the world.

That’s the essence of what I do and what the global digital marketing team does. We find ways to break down barriers, to educate and enable people in markets around the world and to work with them to figure out what’s stopping them. We have digital regional hubs: the US, Canada, Asia-Pacific, the Middle East and Africa, Europe, and Latin America and the Caribbean. From our center of excellence in the US, we work with the digital leads in those hubs to create the centers of excellence in their own regions.

How do you spend the bulk of your time?

Broitman: I would say it’s probably split 50/50 between strategy and operations. I oversee our global relationship with our agency of record, R/GA, and work with Adobe Social for all our social media marketing and publishing. On the marketing side, I oversee our relationships with our search agencies and search management platform. People on my team are implementing these things, but I oversee the relationships. I meet with the digital leads from around the world about specific projects on a fairly regular basis. We’re working on three different mobile apps right now—and I help facilitate everything from the core strategy to how they’ll be presented to the world. There’s no typical day.

What are some of the biggest marketing challenges you’re facing within the financial services segment?

Broitman: While we’re in the financial services category, a lot of people don’t understand that we’re not a bank. We don’t issue cards. We are really a technology payments company that services the financial industry. I like to say our core products are technology and trust. Our technologies enable safe, simple and secure payments that win the trust of consumers, merchants and governments. Those who use our technologies for financial purposes feel safe. We probably have fewer challenges than you might think in relation to the category we’re in.

In terms of telling the MasterCard story, there is more of a push in terms of letting people know we are, in fact, a technology company. We create products here. We have a lab that acts like a startup incubator and pushes out products.

How does eMarketer help inform your team’s thinking and planning?

Broitman: I love eMarketer. Sometimes I use eMarketer to justify a gut feeling. It’s really great for that. I actually have the app on my iPhone and my iPad. On my iPhone I’ll thumb through things and look at trends in various markets, and I’ll forward them on to the relevant market. Or maybe I’ll have an idea that responds to a trend I see in some of the eMarketer reports. There are statistics that might trigger a thought like, “What if we try an approach like X?”

Then there are also conversations where someone is looking to do something and you have that gut feeling, “Maybe that’s not the right approach.” eMarketer’s a great tool for conviction. If you were trying to tell a story to someone, you always want to start with the data or information about what people are doing using certain devices, or how they’re behaving.

Recently we were talking about an application, so I went to eMarketer and simply wanted to know what the current stats were in terms of how many applications people use in a 30-day period and what the retention rate is for apps. Even after all these years, everyone wants to create an app. If you have a single function app, it better be a really good single function app because if people are only looking at one to 10 apps on a regular basis, then your ability to win that mindshare—or their attention—is very low.

Do you have any examples of how you use eMarketer to support an assumption or solve a problem?

Broitman: It’s always interesting to see how other marketers are thinking about content marketing in terms of their investments. eMarketer has great landscape data that I can look at in terms of what other people are thinking. And you can bet my presentation on the justification for going down this path is laden with eMarketer data, from both the marketers’ perspective as well as consumers’ attitudinal perspective. eMarketer spoke to these issues very well in a content marketing report.

I use eMarketer to keep an eye on what’s going on with social media usage around the world, because that is a very dynamic space. I do monitor what’s going on in markets around the world in terms of social interaction. Social media in particular is where you really need to have a tool like eMarketer.

If I have downtime, I have my feed reader and I have eMarketer, and I’m either looking at news about the industry or articles. But there are times when I literally just go in and look at charts. I pull up charts on my phone, and I use them for inspiration because human behavior should be the inspiration for all marketing. We should be responding to what people want as opposed to what we want them to do. It’s not as if people are explicitly telling you what their wants and needs are, but they are telling you implicitly. And if you could take advantage of your customers’ implied wants and needs and deliver value in those areas, then you’ve afforded yourself the right to be in a relationship with them.

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Adam Broitman

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“I use eMarketer to keep an eye on what’s going on with social media usage around the world, because that is a very dynamic space.”


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