Through Affinity Solutions, brands can now target the purchase histories of customers from 4000 banks

Affinity Solutions has made its living for nearly two decades by providing loyalty programs to credit and debit card holders through banks.

This means it has the purchase histories of participants who have granted permission for the use of their records when they signed up.

This week, the New York City-based firm is making these purchase histories from customers at 4,000 US financial institutions available to outside brands through the launch of a Purchase-Driven Marketing Cloud.

The Cloud provides real-time data on purchase patterns, so that brands can identify and pitch the most appropriate potential customers. A brand’s own customers are identified, while others are anonymized.

The Cloud also makes it possible to track attribution to individuals, so that Starbucks, for instance, could know if Prospect 123 actually made a purchase after an ad or an email was delivered.

[Read the full article on MarTech Today.]

Bing Ads will automatically migrate monthly budgets to daily in April

If you’re still using monthly budgets for your Bing Ads campaigns, now is the time to switch over to daily budgets.

Starting in April, campaigns set with monthly budgets will be migrated automatically to “Daily accelerated” budget delivery if you don’t take action ahead of time. Bing will calculate the daily budget by dividing the monthly budget by 30.4 or the minimum allowable daily budget.

And if you have any Automated Rules that incorporate monthly budgets, you’ll need to create new rules based on daily budgets. Any Automated Rules associated with monthly budgets will not be migrated.

Shared budgets are already based on daily delivery, so this change does not impact any campaigns that do share budgets.

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Author: Ginny Marvin

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Cortana comes to Android’s lockscreen, Siri does some new tricks


Earlier this year we reported that Cortana was coming to the Android lockscreen. Now it has officially launched.

Here are some of the things you can do with Cortana “above the lock”:

  • Get your schedule/see your day at a glance.
  • Get and set reminders.
  • Interact with and add to lists.
  • Get answers to questions.

Microsoft previously announced that Cortana has 145 million users across its ecosystem, including on Windows 10 machines, Android, iOS and the Xbox. There will also be standalone Cortana hardware devices using the Cortana SDK.

It’s not clear how many Android users will download Cortana and opt in for the lockscreen experience. The Google Assistant does essentially the same things as Cortana and is native to Android. But the lockscreen strategy does help differentiate Cortana from the Google Assistant, which currently doesn’t offer much “above the lock” functionality.

Separately, Apple released its iOS 10.3 update. It includes a wide range of new features, with a number of Siri-related upgrades:

  • Support for paying and checking status of bills with payment apps
  • Support for scheduling with ride-booking apps
  • Support for checking car fuel level, lock status, turning on lights and activating horn with automaker apps
  • Cricket scores and statistics for Indian Premier League and International Cricket Council

Virtual assistants and voice search constitute one of the hottest and most competitive segments today, with Amazon expected to sell its 20 millionth Alexa-powered device at some point this year. Moreover, comScore estimated that roughly half of all search queries will be initiated through voice by 2020.