Good morning, Marketers, and have you tried being a consumer lately?

It’s something we all have to do when we need to buy something. And it’s a great way to see data at work.

I recently moved and was looking to purchase a new TV. I chose to buy from a national retailer and decided to purchase in-store for the big-ticket item. It was over the July 4th holiday, and I was surprised that there weren’t any holiday sales for the TVs I was considering. It was almost like they knew I was going to buy a TV and didn’t need to lower their prices substantially to incentivize me. But how did they know that?

I asked the salesperson, “Why no sales?” He said it was beyond him but that the company uses predictive analytics to determine when items should go on sale. Maybe it was the beginning of the month and other renters like me were buying up TVs. The point is that they knew. And nobody needed to know how they knew, not even at the store. For pricing, it’s not about interpreting buyer psychology. The right price, and the sale, can be helped along by letting the data speak for itself.

Whatever technology solution the retailer was using: it worked. I just wanted the TV before basketball season ends. 

Chris Wood,


AmEx takes their MGM referral program to another level

American Express’s referral program, known as “Member-Get-Member” (MGM) is nothing new, of course. The referral program kicked off in 2011 as an easy way for members to refer their friends to AmEx and get rewarded for doing so. But recently it’s seen startling success with younger age groups. Some 79% of referrals through the program represent the Millennial or Gen Z age groups – and a statistic like that can hardly be a coincidence. It’s become AmEx’s second-largest customer acquisition channel (second only to partner channels).

“At the center of the program,” said Jean Castanon, AmEx’s VP of Product Referral Marketing, “is a short referral link that members can share with their friends, and when somebody gets approved for a card, both of them get rewarded. That’s the program in a nutshell.”

AmEx has a range of acquisition channels, digital and traditional, such as paid search, display, affiliate channels, and in certain markets direct mail. “What has driven the success of the program is that it’s digitally native,” said Castanon. “Our mobile app is now driving the majority of the referrals. We do a couple of things from a personalization standpoint. We want to be in the right place with the right message for the right person, so there’s an aspect of personalization.”

There’s also the aspect of relevancy. “We offer certain card members more relevant incentives to refer a friend.” These incentives can be product-based – for example, a Gold Card member might be offered a larger number of reward points – but also contextual. “During the pandemic, we had a successful campaign where we were offering card members and prospects home furnishing discounts.”

Read more here.


Seizing your data destiny: Google delays third-party cookie phase-out

Everyone agrees that third-party cookies aren’t perfect – they’re household, not individual, identifiers. Moving past cookie-based marketing makes philosophical, ethical and practical sense. However, this year-long reprieve enables companies to continue developing their own solutions and to make up lost ground and lost time.

After all, personalization, measurement, and general customer experience (CX) are getting harder to execute effectively. The pandemic accelerated people’s desire for meaningful, relevant and personal experiences – without sacrificing privacy and protection. Google is simply giving a temporary stay of execution, not a pardon.

Read More »


Yelp launches new platform: Yelp Audiences

Yelp, the popular local business discovery platform has launched Yelp Audiences to connect national and regional advertisers with consumers based on Yelp search activity. This creates the opportunity to target high intent Yelp users outside the Yelp platform and at any stage in the purchase cycle.

By working directly with advertisers, Yelp reduces the need for them to purchase consumer data from third parties. Yelp Audiences also protects user privacy by not sharing personally identifying information with advertisers. Yelp partners with DSPs to target ads based on Yelp searches. 

Ads are delivered across channels, including websites, mobile apps, and video streaming through CTV.

KitchenAid previously partnered with Yelp by using Yelp Audiences to promote women-owned restaurants. A study by Kantar, a third-party measurement company, found that respondents who saw KitchenAid’s Yelp Audiences ads showed a 12 point lift in the perception that “KitchenAid is made for people who love to cook,” a 5X higher lift compared to the industry benchmark for brand attributes.

Why we care. Yelp has long served local businesses. This is part of its ongoing pivot to serve national and regional businesses at the local level. And of course, Yelp is yet another company that happily finds itself sitting on an awful lot of logged-in first-party data, not unlike, say, Facebook.


Salesforce Webinar: The Top 5 Customer Journeys To Keep Them Connected and Coming Back

Customers are craving a personal connection. It’s up to marketers to identify the moments that define the customer journey and use them to power those one-to-one relationships. Digital channels like mobile devices bridge the gap between the online and physical worlds and provides marketers with plenty of opportunities — aside from email — to captivate customers with personalized messaging right in the palm of their hands. Join this Salesforce webinar and learn more about mobility services that will surprise and delight your customers.

RSVP Today »


Snowflake goes all-in on Unified ID 2.0

Snowflake, the cloud data platform, has announced its support for Unified ID 2.0, developed by The Trade Desk as an open-source alternative identifier. With its addition to the Snowflake Data Marketplace, Snowflake customers will be able to directly activate audiences on any platform that has adopted Unified ID 2.0 using Snowflake’s data-sharing technology.

Among the many platforms which have adopted Unified ID 2.0 to date are Oracle, Nielsen, The Washington Post and a number of CTV providers. Snowflake customers will be able to connect ad exposure with purchase data tied to Unified ID 2.0 profiles without breaching consumer privacy. 

Why we care. This is unquestionably another win for Unified ID 2.0. Snowflake has an extensive customer base, including some 187 of the Fortune 500 companies. The Trade Desk CEO Jeff Green has said that he does not want or expect Unified ID 2.0 to become the single universal identifier on the market. But right now it’s winning a lot of market approval.

Read Jeff Green’s recent remarks on the open internet.


MarTech registration is open! Grab your free pass now.

Join thousands of senior marketers online — September 14-15 — at MarTech! This two-day training experience will equip you with actionable tactics and proven strategies for overcoming critical data and marketing challenges.

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Brand choice: Marketoon of the Week

This week’s Marketoon reminds us to maintain a balanced approach when evaluating the effects marketing has on consumers.

Fishburne’s take: All of this corporate research — shopper decision trees, category management decks, and the like — can be valuable. But followed too closely, they can lead to marketing myopia.  Consumers don’t think about brands nearly as much as the marketers of those brands think about the brands.

Why we care: Brand success is, to a large degree, in the eyes of the customer. They don’t particularly care what pains marketers took in designing the packaging that caught their eye. There is also a new marketing playbook that accounts for the increase in research that consumers do online themselves. Nearly half of consumers currently do some kind of research on social media, for instance. So, remember that the customer’s decision process is constantly changing, and do your best to keep up by using data in a smart way.