Using transaction data to guarantee targeting efficiency

Marketers use a variety of media and delivery channels to present offers intended to drive customer acquisition, loyalty and incremental spend. However, the targeting methods used with these channels are grossly inefficient; they require high CPM-priced database lists, low exposure to intended customers and numerous upfront costs related to design, printing and mailing. As a result, retailers are turning toward a new, more efficient method – transactional marketing – which guarantees customer targeting, exposure and positive ROI without the upfront costs.

The key to transaction data is online banking that, according to a survey conducted by The Marketing Workshop and Harris Interactive, is currently used by more than 69.7 million households – primarily for balances, histories and transfers. This channel is rich in transaction data, created when consumers use debit or credit cards tied to their personal bank accounts. Once a purchase is completed, a detailed transaction record including the amount, date, location and merchant is added to the customer’s line item account data in their online banking pages. Account holders, many of whom access these pages daily to review their transactions, frequently look at this data. This provides an ideal place to target customers, since it is where they review their expenses and think about how they will spend their money in the future.

Transaction data, while abundant, has traditionally been difficult for marketers to obtain. However, banks are beginning to see value in serving as a matchmaker – presenting retail offers in the form of credit or debit card rewards to online banking customers who fit certain profiles specified by each merchant. Profiles can target customers by the merchants they’ve shopped, the customer’s zip code, their purchase frequency, how much they spend and more. When customers fitting a particular profile access their online banking pages, relevant offers or “rewards,” they are presented in their line-item account data. New customer acquisition and loyalty are incredibly simplified through this new, highly-targeted approach.

Transactional marketing within online banking removes the burden of carrying physical coupons or entering promotional codes to redeem rewards. Instead, customers activate offers by simply clicking links within their online bank page, which attach to the user’s debit or credit card and are automatically redeemed when the customer uses their card to purchase according to the offer’s conditions. Most importantly, for marketers, this presents valuable analytical capabilities that, for the first time ever, enable retailers to track the effectiveness of online offers redeemed through in-store and online purchases. Thereby, they generating a discrete and 100% accurate ROI.

Marketers are reaching targeted customers for loyalty purposes while acquiring competitors’ customers with ample new analytical and tracking capabilities provided by transaction data. Besides superior performance, relevancy and customer visibility, the analytical capabilities and pinpoint accuracy it provides give merchants peace of mind knowing they are not wasting time and money on printing, design, mailing and other expenses associated with traditional direct marketing tactics.

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