Why Marketers are Augmenting Cookies with First-Party Transaction Data

Card-linked offers sidestep most of the problems with cookies.

First-party data is a marketer's friend

Cookies are on their way out, and the pressure is coming from all sides.  To begin with, the major browser companies have each announced a phase-out of the longtime web tracking tool. But the attention from governments in Europe and elsewhere has combined with better consumer literacy on the subject as well. Regulations requiring consumers to accept cookies before they’re used have caused uncertainty about the effectiveness of cookies, and fewer consumers are accepting cookies outright. For the marketing professional in need of ways to target ads, track the attribution and effectiveness of campaigns, customize experiences, build audiences, and collect analytics, it seems like an uphill battle.

But in the world of card-linked marketing, things look much rosier: Savvy marketers are turning to the data provided by first-party transaction data to augment much of the work cookies used to perform, with excellent results. 

Why First-Party Transaction Data is King

Accuracy and Reliability: First-party transaction data is nearly unmatched in its accuracy. It tracks actual purchases made by customers, eliminating many of the inaccuracies and limitations associated with cookies. This allows advertisers to build a more precise understanding of consumer behavior based on purchase choices rather than making inferences from browsing behavior or interests. In turn, this real-world attribution shows a clearer link between marketing efforts and sales.

Device-Agnostic Tracking: Unlike cookies, which already struggle to track users across multiple devices and will struggle even more in the coming years, the data from card-linked offers can provide a unified view of a customer's behavior across all purchases on the linked card. It’s less about cross-device tracking, per se, and more about shifting the focus off of behaviors outside actual purchases.

Privacy Compliance: Advertisers using card-linked offers may find it easier to comply with privacy regulations like GDPR and CCPA for several reasons. First off, they’re relying on data that consumers have willingly shared for the purpose of receiving offers and rewards. This data is typically subject to clear opt-in consent and is considered less invasive than tracking cookies. Second, much of the heavy lifting regarding privacy is performed on the side of the card-linked offer provider and its partner banks. At Kard, we take consumer privacy seriously and comply with or exceed all relevant privacy laws. 

Granular, Long-Term Insights: First-party transaction data can provide granular insights into consumer behavior as it pertains to merchant verticals and brand loyalty. This level of detail helps marketers target their ad spend more effectively. Furthermore, while cookies generally have a relatively limited tracking window, a robust card-linked offer platform like Kard’s can provide purchase data insights over extended periods, improving advertisers’ understanding of customer LTV and the impact of long-running campaigns.

How Advertisers Use First-Party Data at Kard

Our software powers the rewards programs for dozens of neobanks and other payment card issuers. These partnerships involve Kard’s API processing all incoming transactions from all cards on the issuer’s network. We use this data to help advertisers on our platform achieve better results with their marketing dollars.

  • Bulletproof campaign attribution: Marketers running an offer on our network know that the results of their campaigns are backed up by individual transactions on our network, not estimations or models.
  • One-time offers: The platform tracks purchases against available offers, allowing for single-use or multi-use offers, depending on an advertiser’s goals.
  • Offer targeting: We work with our merchant clients to target offers based on user purchase history, which the algorithm uses in order to decide what offers to serve to each user. 
  • Audience analytics: For some campaigns, we provide competitive spend analysis and other market share statistics.
  • And much more!

Ready to leverage the power of transaction-level reporting with a card-linked offer campaign? Reach out to our team today and we’ll get you started!