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October 14, 2013

Marketers Reveal Attitudes Toward Card-Linked Marketing in New Study

There is an old saying that goes: “There is more than one way to skin a cat.” This has never been truer than today when it comes to getting marketing messages to targeted audiences with the proliferation of options, especially online or increasingly embedded in apps. Indeed, one popular approach to reaching target audiences has quietly but effectively been gaining traction in the financial services industry, and it goes by the name Card-Linked Marketing (CLM) — advertising directly through consumers’ online and mobile bank statements with targeted cash-back offers based on purchase history.  

New market research from Atlanta, Ga.-based CLM provider Cardlytics has been released, and the results should give marketers pause about exploring the possibilities.

Image via Shutterstock

The 2013 State of CLM Study

The survey of 300 marketing professionals in October was aimed at determining marketers’ attitudes towards Card-Linked Marketing (CLM).  

The study found that 87 percent of marketers believe there are benefits to CLM with the top benefits being:

  • Better ability to reach loyal customers – 49 percent
  • Helps consumers save money – 47 percent
  • Ability to target offers based on consumer purchase history – 45 percent
  • Increased sales for retailers – 43 percent
  • Better ability to target new customers – 41 percent
  • Improved customer satisfaction due to more relevant ads – 33 percent
  • Precise measurement of marketing campaign results – 27 percent

 In addition, the Cardlytics survey found that three out of four marketers say CLM is a suitable replacement for traditional marketing strategies including email offers (48 percent), coupons (48 percent), newspaper advertising (30 percent), online search advertising (29 percent) and TV advertising (24 percent).

It is noteworthy that the question was about a “suitable replacement,” meaning CLM is a more than viable part of the mix. There was no suggestion that any of the other channels be replaced; rather, the idea is that in balancing the spend of finite marketing resources, CLM has the requisite pulling power to warrant a diminution of allocations to other channels to exploit/explore the measurable viability of CLM.     

There was some other interesting food for thought that came out of the respondents. These included the times of the year marketing pros feel CLM is most effective. The top times were what one might expect, but the ranking and percentages are worth pondering, and include:

  • Christmas – 66 percent
  • Back-to-school shopping season – 57 percent
  • Times when consumers need to save money – 45 percent
  • Annual sales – 37 percent
  • Before payday – 32 percent
  • When there are economic concerns – 32 percent
  • Summer vacations – 30 percent
  • Tax day – 24 percent

 Additionally, 93 percent responded that there are important products and services that consumers would use CLM deals on frequently including: groceries (74 percent), gas/convenience (71 percent), restaurants (66 percent), apparel (53 percent) and movies/entertainment (53 percent).

Cardlytics also asked marketers what information about consumers would be useful for them to develop strong marketing campaigns. The top responses include:

  • Consumer spending trends (yearly, monthly, or day-to-day) – 67 percent
  • Where people shop during certain times of the year – 64 percent
  • How many times consumers shop at certain stores in a year – 54 percent
  • Where consumers shop after they’ve shopped with your company – 43 percent
  • Market share, based on consumer spending across all stores – 45 percent

Cardlytics then asked marketers what information could be best obtained through Card-Linked Marketing.  Marketers responded as follows:

  • Consumer spending trends (yearly, monthly, or day-to-day) – 64 percent
  • Where people shop during certain times of the year – 63 percent
  • How many times consumers shop at certain stores in a year – 56 percent
  • Where consumers shop after they’ve shopped with your company – 40 percent
  • Market share, based on consumer spending across all stores – 45 percent

“Marketers value the information they believe can be obtained through Card-Linked Marketing,” said Kasey Byrne, Senior Vice President of Marketing, Cardlytics.  “The results of this study show demonstrate that marketing professionals see Card-Linked Marketing as a valuable tool. With Card-Linked Marketing marketers can reach a targeted audience while providing consumers with the best deals for saving money.”

It is noteworthy that Cardlytics knows more than a little about CLM. A pioneer in the space, it has partnerships with nearly 400 financial institutions, including Bank of America, PNC Bank and Regions Bank. As a result, the company has insight into consumer purchase behavior for 70 percent of U.S. households, capturing spending across all stores and categories.  The company is also aggressively expanding outside of financial services with CLM solutions for restaurants, general retailers and subscription services.

Is CLM potentially a disruptive force for social media-based platforms from the likes of Groupon and Living Social? It all is in the numbers, and what advertisers are always on the lookout for are higher closing rates on views and better analytics for insights into consumer behavior. They are also looking for the optimized way to increase buying from mobile users and CLM, like those ads embedded in games, seems to be a path to get both permission and acceptance. As noted above, not a replacement but certainly something to consider as part of the overall marketing spend.

Edited by Alisen Downey

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