Devising Clicks-to-Bricks Linkages
“Best thing about digital is its ability to measure/influence shopper behavior along the path to purchase http://t.co/JNcIpcwp @retailwire”
That sub-140-character nugget was tweeted by Hayes Minor (@hayesminor), director of shopper marketing and retail planning for The Marketing Store, in response to Joel Rubinson’s insightful piece posted on RetailWire yesterday, How to Increase Marketing ROI in the Digital Age.
In the ensuing discussion, Peter Fader, professor of marketing, The Wharton School, concurred with Ms. Minor, but included a reality check. “The vast majority of data on media exposure/consumption (mass, social) is still largely disconnected from purchasing data, so we’re still pretty far from establishing this ‘Holy Grail’ linkage,” he wrote.
There is little chance that Tom Burgess, CEO of Linkable Networks, who sat for an interview on Wednesday at the ad:tech, NYC conference, has a coat of chain mail in his wardrobe, but his pursuit of an approach for connecting the dots of attribution along the path-to-purchase is no less determined for it. On Tuesday, his 18-month old Linkable Networks start-up announced a partnership with 24/7 Real Media that will allow advertisers to link deals to virtually any debit or credit card. The latter company runs the Global Web Alliance, one of the largest networks of its kind, which delivers ads in numerous formats to publisher websites. Linkable ads — which can take the form of banners, text messages, online video, mobile, TV or print — will display the company icon indicating to consumers that the offer can be linked directly to the credit and/or debit card they have registered with the service.
Linkable already supports 95 percent of all cards in the U.S. According to the company’s claims, the platform is the only one currently available with the ability to offer manufacturer-level discounts, so that brands can provide deals on individual SKUs at particular merchants, as well as general discounts at the retailer.
Consumers begin the process by signing up at mylinkables.com or by clicking on a Linkable ad. At some point, of course, the consumer must grant permission for the service to link to their card account (which will likely make many cardholders skittish), however Mr. Burgess reports that soon the issuing banks will lead recruitment efforts by offering one click registration from within the customers’ online accounts. And with the issuing of new cards, all cardholders will be automatically enrolled.
Consumers can accept offers through various means and all media types (online, print, TV, mobile): clicking on banner ads, responding to text messages, scanning QR codes, etc. They will receive emails when offers are accepted, redeemed — either on websites or in-store — and when the bank credits their account.
And then there’s that Grail. The beauty of the system, according to Mr. Burgess, will be in the ability of advertisers to track performance throughout the path-to-purchase. Linkable, with the cooperation of retailers, will have the ability to log SKU-level transactions, so advertisers will get data as to when, where and how the offer was accepted and redeemed.
- Linkable Networks and 24/7 Real Media Announce Partnership That Taps Growing Consumer Interest in Digital Coupons and Card Linked Offers – Press release
Discussion Questions: What potential benefits do you see in card-linked offers such as the one being launched by Linkable? If widely adopted, how do you see it affecting loyalty marketing?