Visa's Data Tie-up With Oracle Open to All Visa Merchants

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Banana Republic has tested the new service from Oracle and Visa.
Banana Republic has tested the new service from Oracle and Visa.  Credit: Patrick T. Fallon/Bloomberg
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Data sharing partnerships are happening at a furious pace but a Visa and Oracle pairing can show how ads affected actual sales transactions, rather than just visits to a store location. The partnership spins Visa's transactional data into targetable audiences and campaign measurement tools for advertisers. Banana Republic is one of several merchants that accept Visa credit cards that have tested the system developed by Oracle and Visa over the past 18 months.

The ad targeting and measurement services, both coming out of a beta testing phase, use Visa transactional data associated with participating merchants. The information, which is aggregated and stripped of personally identifiable data, is matched with Oracle IDs in order to help marketers build audiences for targeting mobile and digital ads, or help them measure whether ad exposure led to a sales transaction. For examnple, a quick-serve restaurant might use the service to reach consumers that regularly buy breakfast at fast food places, or to determine whether people who saw an ad actually made a purchase.

Ads using Visa data can be targeted and measured on Twitter or Facebook, or in ad exchanges or through other Oracle media partners. "We can create that segment and then port it out to all our various partners in ad tech," said Michelle Hulst, VP-strategic partnerships and business development for Oracle Data Cloud.

Oracle also has a partnership with Mastercard, though that data can be used only for targeting audience segments rather than for measurement. The Visa partnership is "very integrated," said Ms. Hulst. Visa and Oracle have discussed their partnership in public in the past but the companies said it is now available to all Visa merchants.

In the measurement scenario, Visa would monitor cards associated with people who were served ads from a particular advertiser, keeping track of whether someone made a purchase with that merchant, reporting the average amount spent and how much time went by between ad exposure and purchase.

"The merchants are consenting to what's happening here because it's their data we're monitoring," said Mike Lemberger, senior VP-offers and loyalty at Visa. Like most data linking services, not all customers can be matched to Oracle's digital IDs. Match rates are around 60% to 70%, said Mr. Lemberger.

Ad targeting and attribution measurement services are becoming more plentiful and sophisticated. Cardlytics, a firm that partners with more than 1,500 financial institutions to access data showing credit and debit card transactions, launched a service early this year that helps advertisers learn about where their customers shop and measures whether an ad campaign led to increased sales in a certain location.

Several mobile location data firms including Placed, PlaceIQ, Arrivalist and companies including Google, Facebook, Foursquare and Adobe also provide ad attribution services based on whether a mobile device was spotted in a specific location such as a city or a store address. However, these location-based measurement services don't track whether someone actually bought something while in a store or restaurant.

The Visa partnership has provided Oracle access to new merchant clients such as retailers and fast casual restaurants, said Ms. Hulst.

Retailers and restaurant clients don't always have access to card transaction data in a way that can be readily employed for ad targeting or measurement. "They haven't had access to that data in that way," she said, noting that merchants often use loyalty card programs for such purposes.