Microsoft’s Jorgensen: ‘We Are Building Our Muscles’ in Card Linked Space

Card Linked Offers (CLOs) represent a potentially rich opportunity for online and mobile promotions and loyalty. But a lot of work needs to be done before the segment gets seriously underway.

Speaking at the inaugural conference of the CardlinX Association April 7 in Las Vegas, Microsoft GM of Local Advertising Erik Jorgensen noted there are significant opportunities to connect the online world with the offline world, closing the loop for online advertising and loyalty.

There is “broad experimentation with integrated consumer and merchant experiences,” said Jorgensen. “The CPA based ad model highly reasonates with merchants.”

During the past 12 months, Microsoft has launched CLO betas of its Bing Offers in Seattle, Boston and Phoenix. The trials take off on Microsoft’s initial deals efforts, but don’t require pre-payment.

Most of Microsoft’s efforts in the space are focused on the Bing portals – both on the Web and on mobile. Card linked efforts are also included in Bing Local, Bing’s Listings Page and the Bing Search Engine Results Page.

There is also a strong “mobile first” component to the effort. Windows Phone, Skype and Windows 8 are all included in the efforts, which are seen as a marketplace differentiator. “There are five or six places on the phone where we surface offers,“ said Jorgensen.

The company is also sending out targeted emails. “ We are building up our muscles to understand how we target offers,” noted Jorgensen. “The next phase is not just a pull but a push” via intelligent notification.

This post is an excerpt from a full Briefing on The Cardlinx meeting, which is available to BIA/Kelsey clients.