We use cookies. You have options. Cookies help us keep the site running smoothly and inform some of our advertising, but if you’d like to make adjustments, you can visit our Cookie Notice page for more information.
We’d like to use cookies on your device. Cookies help us keep the site running smoothly and inform some of our advertising, but how we use them is entirely up to you. Accept our recommended settings or customise them to your wishes.

Cards and Population Expansion

Identifying and validating niche audiences for a top credit-card issuer


  • 20-25%

    ITA-generated increase in population that is not captured through credit bureau files

  • 15%

    Increase in response rate for the student segment through segment-specific creative and messaging

  • 100%

    ITA-generated increase in response rate improvements of pre-screen programs

  • 90

    Days after project initiation before the first ITA campaign dropped

  • 14

    New, segment-specific creative packages created and tested for 19 ITA segments

  • 235K

    Responses generated


A top credit card issuer with access to extensive data was looking for opportunities to effectively expand ITA prospect pool.

  • Universe Incrementality: Desire to access incremental universes that were not captured in the credit files, such as under banked, no credit card, etc.
  • Creative Incrementality: Gain an understanding of ITA and segment-specific messaging with regards to incremental performance.
  • Efficiency: Prove the economics for full spectrum lending through ITA.
  • Speed to Market: Essential to identify the new populations quickly and to develop a streamlined marketing process that allowed rapid speed to market.

This represented the first time the issuer outsourced an “end-to-end” database marketing and creative services solution to an external partner.


Merkle developed a three-phase approach utilizing a test-and-learn approach to improve performance in all key areas — content, audience / offer, contact, media / channel, and creative / messaging.

  • Targeting: Focused on developing ITA capabilities while improving targeting and leveraging campaign results.
  • Expansion: Population expanded by including vertical lists to supplement Content Lab.
  • Additional Analytics: Segmentation (based on response and risk) and modeling incorporated to improve performance.

Discover how we did it. Contact us today.