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Marketing: Where Art Meets Science

6 minute read

As a marketer, some of the things I love most about my job include learning something new every day, telling stories, and working at the intersection of art and science to help our partners win. So it was a great pleasure to discuss these very topics with Renegade, LLC's Founder and CEO Drew Neisser during my recent trip to New York.

Our conversation covered a lot of ground, so I wanted to share my two biggest takeaways:

1. Creativity and data are not enemies

With so much data available to marketers, knowing how to make insights actionable can often feel overwhelming. Over the course of my career, I’ve learned that creativity and data are not at odds with one another. Instead, inspired marketers use their data to inform their creativity as they figure out what content would be the most compelling to the audience they want to influence.

At Cardlytics, we use machine learning and advanced algorithms, but we leverage these to figure out how to help our clients reach likely buyers. We pour a lot of creative energy into using our insights in innovative ways—whether it’s building an engaging targeting strategy or telling data-driven stories that help advertisers better understand their own businesses and opportunities.

For example, in our 2018 Holiday Spend Report, we found that traditional brick & mortar stores were able to slow their loss of seasonal share to e-commerce competitors by driving sales online. So how can marketers engage customers who value the convenience of online channels but are still paying attention to traditional retailers known for their holiday deals? One of our actionable tips from the report is to emphasize the respective convenience factors for both online and in-store channels in your holiday messaging. For online, focus on price matching, gift guides, or free shipping. For physical stores, play up the hands-on experience, verifiable quality, and easy gift returns.

2. Don’t limit yourself by defining “loyalty” too narrowly

Many brands understand their customers through robust CRM systems, but a lot of marketers only know their customers when they are shopping inside their four walls. To avoid leaving money on the table, we need to be thinking about loyalty on a broader, whole-wallet level. Ask yourself: where are my customers spending when they’re not spending with me?

One of our clients—a major auto parts retailer—assumed that customers who purchased multiple times a year were loyal to their brand. In fact, many of these “loyal” customers were actually heavy category shoppers. Using our Purchase Intelligence, Cardlytics was able to see that a full 40 percent of these frequent buyers spent more than half of their category spend with competitors. The retailer had a lot of headroom they hadn't been realizing. To grow market share, they opened up their whole media plan and began to target this “loyal” group. This campaign improved actual loyalty and drove an additional $6M in incremental sales.

When used the right way, data doesn’t have to be daunting. As long as marketers stay clear on the goals they want to achieve and the audience they want to address, data should help them feel empowered to try something new and push boundaries. Reach out to Cardlytics to learn how our Purchase Intelligence can help you make smarter marketing decisions.


Our full conversation is available on episode 104 of the Renegade Thinkers Unite! podcast—an amazing series of thought-provoking conversations with some incredibly inspiring CMOs.

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