New Service Mines 120 Million Consumers' Card Transactions for Marketer Insights

Cardlytics Follows Trend of Turning Real World Data into Added Revenue

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More services are using offline transactional data to inform marketers' next moves.
More services are using offline transactional data to inform marketers' next moves. Credit: Simon Dawson/Bloomberg
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Cardlytics, a company with access to 120 million consumers' shopping information via deals with more than 1,500 financial institutions, is expanding beyond targeting ads on bank sites to spinning its data into consumer insights for a variety of uses.

Its new service, dubbed Platform Solutions, mirrors a trend across a widening spectrum of players with access to real-world information about consumers, including credit card firms and telcos. While countless vendors study consumers online to help advertisers target and measure ad campaigns, more companies than ever are creating new revenue streams from offline transactional data and mobile location data showing places consumers actually visit.

"This kind of information can help a marketer gain a richer more holistic view of where the consumer is spending their time and money -- both in category or across categories -- and there's a lot of valuable intelligence in that," said Jared Belsky, president of 360i, which has been testing Cardlytics' new service. "It's information a brand can't necessarily get on their own via internal research since they typically don't have a great way of knowing where consumers spend if they're not spending it with them."

For the past few years, Cardlytics has served targeted offers from advertisers when consumers sign into their online banking sites. The company, for example, enables Bank of America's BankAmeriDeals, which provides discounts based on previous purchases. Pay with a credit or debit card for a quinoa salad at a healthy fast food chain recently? That might prompt a 10% cash back offer for another purchase from that restaurant or a similar eatery that advertises through Cardlytics.

A few of the company's bank partners are working with Cardlytics for the new Platform Solutions service, according to Cardlytics CMO Dani Cushion.

Cardlytics has also tested the offering on behalf of a big box retail client to provide insights into where its customers shop and how they spend. The store learned that many of its customers also buy items from craft stores, which could inspire the retailer to consider opening a crafts department.

In addition to providing consumer insights, the new service helps clients measure ad and marketing campaigns. For instance, they might use the data to help determine whether local TV spots had an impact on sales in that region. Cardlytics works with a variety of data partners including social sharing company AddThis, Acxiom-owned offline-to-online data firm LiveRamp and other third-party data matching firms to make connections between an advertisers' customer list and purchase transactions for audience building, ad targeting and measurement.

Other services are helping marketers learn more than was ever possible before.

Mattel, for example, worked with MasterCard-owned Applied Predictive Technologies to discover that a lift in sales of its ghoulish Monster High dolls was actually eating away at sales of its flagship Barbie brand.

Telcos including Verizon, Sprint and Telefonica have partnered with companies such as SAP in recent years to turn mobile location and mobile browsing data into consumer insights -- and added revenue.

With the new Cardlytics service, the trend continues. Advertisers can expect to be able to purchase audience segments based on Cardlytics data for ad targeting via ad exchanges in the future, said Ms. Cushion. "We're setting up the pipes right now," she added.