As part of Microsoft's entry into the world of online "offers" with a product known as Bing Offers, Microsoft recently announced a new enhancement called “Bing Offers Card-Linked” (see the Microsoft blog post).
The product brings together transaction processors such as First Data with payment networks like MasterCard to address consumer audiences with offers fueled by transaction data.
The targeting implications are clearly attractive to marketers given the bottom-of-the-funnel nature of the data -- assuming it is sensitive to privacy concerns.
The "card-linked" component is the outcome of the new CardLinx Association, which includes Microsoft, Facebook, Cardlytics, MasterCard, First Data and others (read the release).
Neal Bernstein is Senior Director at Microsoft and Microsoft Bing Advertising Group, and is responsible for card-linked offers as well as strategic partner relationships involving local ad products.
Bernstein discussed the product and its potential impact with AdExchanger.
AdExchanger: Can you talk about the challenge with local advertising or local marketing today and how card-linked offers could be a solution?
NEAL BERNSTEIN: We decided to get into card-linked offers because local ad products, in general, have limited targeting available. When I say limited targeting, you do get the explicit, and sometimes even implicit, intent of a consumer based on what they're searching for. For example, I'm looking for a specific restaurant in Las Vegas, and we get back the relevant result as well as the relevant local ads associated with it -- but that’s about it.
With card-linked offers, over time we'll be able to do a better job of targeting and connecting that advertiser to the consumer in ways that we can't do today -- in ways where, if that consumer is a patron of a certain merchant, they may see one type of ad, and if they're not a patron of a particular merchant they may see a different ad. The offer that the merchant may provide to a current consumer vs. a new consumer could be very different. As well, over time, the ability to deliver loyalty in order to reach that consumer on a repeated basis is another challenge we are addressing here.