Chase Bank to let advertisers target customers based on spending data

Chase’s new media unit grew out of the company’s 2022 acquisition of card-linked marketing platform Figg.  (Getty Images)
Chase’s new media unit grew out of the company’s 2022 acquisition of card-linked marketing platform Figg. (Getty Images)

Summary

The JPMorgan Chase bank’s new unit called Chase Media Solutions will let marketers tempt Chase customers with targeted deals and discounts related to their spending history.

Chase is the latest company to bring its data to bear on behalf of advertisers.

The JPMorgan Chase bank on Wednesday said a new unit called Chase Media Solutions will let marketers tempt Chase customers with targeted deals and discounts related to their spending history.

Chase joins a variety of businesses from Best Buy to Uber that have begun selling ad space on their apps, websites and other properties, often targeting messages by using their shopper and user data to generate revenue outside of their core businesses.

The company already offered customers less-targeted deals through a program called Chase Offers, which will continue to house the more-relevant offers brokered by the new media unit. Chase hopes the souped-up carousel of discounts on its app and website will add a little more shine to its credit card division as it looks to hold its position as America’s biggest credit card issuer. The new unit is born out of the company’s 2022 acquisition of card-linked marketing platform Figg.

Advertisers for years have sought ways to reduce waste by purchasing ads that will only be seen by consumers who are most likely to turn into customers. Digital marketing giants such as Facebook in the late 2000s and 2010s for a time provided that specific kind of targeting, but changes made in response to online privacy concerns have hampered the precision with which they could connect ads to relevant consumers. Customer acquisition costs on tried-and-true digital platforms have also increased.

Enter: Almost everyone else. Worldwide spend on retail media networks, the catchall term for the advertising sales units of retailers and other companies, will account for 21.6% of all digital ad spending in 2024, up from 15.1% in 2019, according to forecasts from market research company Emarketer.

Chase’s entry in the “everything is an ad network" ecosystem doesn’t involve selling advertising space in the traditional sense, like on TV screens around its branches.

Instead advertisers in the Chase Offers section online and in its app will now be able to target different subsets of consumers such as new, lapsed or loyal shoppers, and only those the bank’s spending data predicts will be interested. Deals for a petcare company, for example, wouldn’t be shown to people whose Chase transaction history suggests they aren’t pet owners.

Unlike most retail media networks, Chase’s will only charge merchants a fee when a customer uses a deal to make a purchase. That means businesses will be able to attribute results to their spending with Chase, which the bank hopes will help interest marketers under pressure to prove their worth, said Rich Muhlstock, head of offers and e-commerce at Chase.

“We will be part of larger campaigns, because there are other things that are obviously always going to be important to building brands and awareness and things like that," Muhlstock said. “But this fits in nicely with something that can truly drive sales."

Customers will have to activate deals on the Chase app or website. Rather than relying on methods like discount codes, however, Chase will automatically apply cash back to customers’ cards after a purchase is made.

JPMorgan Chase, which recently reported record annual profit of $49.55 billion, doesn’t need an advertising network to propel the company into the black. But it is hoping to gain more control over the shopping and buying experience.

In 2021, the company said it was buying The Infatuation, a restaurant review site that includes the Zagat brand, with plans to give some of its customers special access to its events and certain content on the site.

Alexander Saeedy contributed to this article.

Write to Katie Deighton at katie.deighton@wsj.com

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