6 Questions with Cardlytics CMO, Dani Cushion

Marketing Innovation

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6 Questions with Cardlytics CMO, Dani Cushion

Marketing Innovation

The ability for marketers to use data to more effectively target prospects and measure their campaigns has come a long way. These new techniques are not limited to first party data, and thanks to LiveRamp’s large partner ecosystem, our clients also have access to new 3rd party data sources.

Cardlytics is a data intelligence platform focused on making marketing more relevant and measurable through the use of purchase data. They run the online and mobile banking rewards programs for more than 1,500 banks, which gives them a secure view into where consumers are spending money across categories and geographies. In a recent interview with their CMO, Dani Cushion, we learned about some of the benefits that marketers can achieve by augmenting their existing data sets with privacy-safe purchase data.

QUESTION #1: What can marketers learn from Cardlytics purchase data?

We believe that every purchase tells a story, and in our experience, past purchases are the best indicators of future purchases. We see purchase data at the bank level and that means we see spending across retailers. That allows us to help our clients understand, not just what marketing programs are driving their customers to buy with them, but also what happens when those customers walk out the front door, such as where they are spending their money, how frequently, and for how much.

We help our clients discover where their campaigns are delivering the most bang for their buck, as well as who they should be targeting based on past purchase history. Our audiences, which are built from insights into how and where people are spending their money, can be used by advertisers to precisely target their customers with highly relevant campaigns.

Additionally, advertisers can use actual purchase data to precisely measure the in-store and online impact their campaigns have so they can get to a true ROI for their marketing programs. This often leads to new insights into their audiences that they may not have known otherwise. For example, our clients understand how they are faring relative to their competitors, at the macro level, and also down to specific DMAs and zip codes.

QUESTION #2: What’s the biggest hurdle you’ve seen that’s preventing advertisers from measuring the impact of their digital campaigns?

One of the biggest hurdles is the industry-wide focus on clicks as an approximation of return on ad spend (ROAS). The goal for most companies is not cost-efficient clicks but real revenue driven by in-store sales.

Through our analysis (we have lots of data scientists in our office), we see that there is little relationship between post-impression clickers and post-impression spenders. We use a proprietary methodology to link ad exposure to offline – brick & mortar – spending behavior that measures the actual sales revenue the campaign generated.

We believe there is no better way to measure campaign performance than tying it back to the actual sales revenue it generated, giving a true ROAS.

 QUESTION #3: How do you help marketers measure engagement with their customers across all marketing channels and devices?

Cardlytics’ measurement solution connects advertising to both offline and online sales, providing ROI metrics. We don’t use GPS, beacons, surveys, or proxies, but rely on real 1:1 purchase data provided in aggregate to ensure consumer privacy. Once we securely connect our data sets, Cardlytics can measure results for any digital channel or device. We can measure campaigns separately or in combination to show overall impact.

Advertisers can compare spend, transactions, and average basket size across segments to tailor their marketing strategy to drive revenue growth. With a view into billions of transactions annually, our scale enables us to help marketers compare performance, optimize, and improve ROAS across all channels.

We work with our clients to provide campaign and audience measurement on a market, channel, placement, and/or creative level to help them understand the impact their ad campaigns are having, and to inform their audience-targeting strategies for campaign optimization across all connected media, including display, mobile, video, social, email, and TV.

QUESTION #4: What are some best practices for measurement?

Being clear on measurement goals before beginning the campaign set-up process is key. Knowing the KPIs you want to measure prior to launch ensures you can measure them on the back end.

Another best practice often overlooked is making sure your measurement reporting is translated into action. The goal of these insights is to create baselines and then optimize and build a strategy based on total performance. Make sure your measurement is actionable, learn from it, and then execute against it.

Finally, to get a full picture of the sales impact by campaign, you need to measure both in-store and online purchases. Without brick and mortar representation, you are missing out on a potential 93% of impact driven by your campaigns.

QUESTION #5: Why did you decide to partner with LiveRamp and what new things can be accomplished?

Our partnership with LiveRamp allows us to connect with brands and other partners efficiently and in a privacy-safe manner. For the many brands already integrated with LiveRamp, it’s now easier for them to be able to plug into the Cardlytics platform, since the integration work is already done.

This enables us to make data matches quickly and allows clients to use our targeting on the DMPs and DSPs of their choice. It also opens up a pathway for reporting via log files, using purchase data to extend measurement beyond customers in the CRM. 

QUESTION #6: What trend or development from the last five years has surprised you most?

The speed at which media buying has evolved to be data-informed through programmatic buying strategies and the evolution of savvy new data-driven advertisers, agencies, and platform partners who are using data to inform better marketing decisions.

On the programmatic side, the efficiencies that have been created by enabling brands to bid upon whom they really want to reach have been fun to watch. The creation of PMPs, and other buying strategies that have popped up to answer clients’ needs (“I want X% visibility…but I’d like to reach consumers in just these types of outlets”), has also been interesting.

On the data side, the rapid pace at which companies are figuring out how to use data to inform smarter business decisions then measure those results on the back-end is impressive.

I have a colleague who likes to say that our platform enables ‘marketing even a CFO can love.’ The relationship between CMOs and CFOs has gotten closer, and the ability to use data to market and measure has come a long way very quickly.

See Cardlytics at RampUp 2016

Cardlytics is a Gold Sponsor at RampUp, the premier conference for AdTech leaders. Join us in San Francisco for RampUp 2016 where major players in digital marketing, including Cardlytics, will all be gathered in one place to discuss the challenges and solutions facing the industry right now.

Don’t miss out, seats are going fast so register today.