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Braze is a customer engagement platform that connects people to the brands they love. We use technology to empower companies to create brilliant customer experiences.

Braze is committed to creating a space where complex ideas become approachable, and our goal is to bring an honest, yet playful, voice to the conversation.

Aug 25, 2020

Cara Fischer from Ibotta shares the world of the Technical Marketer. Rather than her focus being on strategic messaging and campaign building, she gets her hands dirty with webhooks, paginated HTML in-app messages, and Liquid personalization. Listen in to learn more about the technology behind great customer experiences. *Hosted by Taylor Gibb and PJ Bruno LIVE at LTR 2019*





PJ Bruno: Hi again. Welcome back to Braze for Impact, your MarTech industry discussed digest. We're back again with another episode of our humanity series. So thrilled to have with us today, Cara Fischer, who is on the Marketing Automation team at Ibotta.



Cara Fischer: Hi everyone. How's it going?



PJ Bruno: So good. Thanks for being here. And also with me to my right, good friend and coworker from the success orb, Taylor Gibb.



Taylor Gibb: The success orb, coming to you live.



PJ Bruno: I'm trying to make that stick. It's an orb, we think spherical, we think-



Taylor Gibb: Yeah. We're in there, we're ideating. This is what the podcast booth is all about. And thank God, Cara is here with us to witness this innovation.



PJ Bruno: Exactly. Cara, thanks again for carving out some time with us. So you're from Ibotta, so for folks out there who don't know, why don't you give them a little snippet of, what is Ibotta's mission? What do you guys do? What's your focus?



Cara Fischer: Sure. So Ibotta is at its root, a rewarded shopping ecosystem, if you will. We provide real cash back rewards for shoppers and users who use our app. And I think that's really important to them that it's not some confusing points system where you have to do the translation, like a hundred points is a dollar or something like that. If we tell you you're going to get $2 back, that's exactly what you're going to get. We have writer... Sorry, we have users who write into us every day on our social channels and whatnot, telling us how they're Ibotta earnings help them with their day to day lives. Maybe they had an unexpected car repair that they needed to pay for, or they wanted to take their family on a vacation or wanted to buy gifts for their children for the holidays or something. And that's how Ibotta helps them.



PJ Bruno: Nice.



Cara Fischer: And then on the other side, where marketing comes in is we have so many offers in the app and how do these users, if they don't have the time to go through the app all day, marketing, with the help of Braze, can surface the content that's relevant to them. And use our learnings to personalize the content so we can get those offers in front of them.



Taylor Gibb: Wow.



PJ Bruno: Love it. That's great. Talk about humanity too. You guys are bringing this to these busy users who may not be able to get the impact of your app by going in every day. I think that that's a very thoughtful way to approach your messaging. And it sounds like you're really making a difference in people's lives.



PJ Bruno: I love it. But you mentioned before we started that you were very much on the technical side of things. So you're not going to tell us about crafting a message today. You're going to tell us about something different.



Cara Fischer: Absolutely. So we use Braze webhooks in a few different ways to bring new content to our users. One of the ways we do that is we connect the webhooks with our internal database, and we're actually able to trigger new rewards for users based on their actions or inactions. So an example, maybe we have a new product piece and we're trying to push forward adoption of it. If a user tries it out for the first time, and then maybe they don't try it out for a second time for another three days, we can automatically trigger a new incentive, a bonus for them to try it out again. We can also do it if they've never tried it and maybe they're 20 days after registering and we want them to try a piece of the app that they haven't tried, we can make an incentive for them.



Taylor Gibb: Wow. That's so advanced. I got to say, I'm geeking out as a member of the success team. Using webhooks for something like that.



PJ Bruno: Webhook is serious.



Taylor Gibb: Inspired.



PJ Bruno: That's sophisticated business.



Taylor Gibb: Inspired. I think that's great. And so it sounds like you've got, users have purchased X item or maybe have not done X engagement in a while. Do you build journeys and personas based on these as well? Or is this just kind of action-based learnings?



Cara Fischer: It's definitely very action-based. I believe in the future, we are looking into more journeys. We do use a few nurture tracks based on different purchases you make, whether maybe you purchase from an apparel retailer or a travel retailer. If you bought a flight through us, we have an idea that you're going to be traveling soon so we can send you messages based on that.



Taylor Gibb: That's so great. And I also have to say, geeking out again, that your Canvas flow for onboarding is one that I like to kind of tout to all of my customers and tell them to go download the app and see how warmly they're welcomed in.



Cara Fischer: Oh, that's fantastic.



Taylor Gibb: So you guys are doing great.



PJ Bruno: She brags about it. She knows intimately your Canvas flows.



Taylor Gibb: Absolutely. I dream about them at night. It's really, I'm just defending your Colorado stance as well. As a fellow Coloradan, we got to stick together.



PJ Bruno: That's good. Buds for life. Well, since you mentioned webhooks, I mean, we're already in the vein. Let's talk multichannel approach.



Taylor Gibb: Nice.



PJ Bruno: You guys go across many different channels. So how do you leverage the channels that you do have to reach users and regenerate interest when they've gone silent?



Cara Fischer: Well, I'm glad you brought up Canvas. We made that transition to using disparate Campaigns, to using Canvas for our early life cycle about a year ago. And I'm so glad we made that change because it's so much easier to iterate when you're using a Canvas. We definitely use the full suite of emails, pushes, in app messages. We have been recently using custom HTML paginated or swipeable in app messages.



Taylor Gibb: Yeah.



Cara Fischer: And I think those are performing really well, especially when we have new pieces of the app that we want to educate our savers about.



PJ Bruno: Wow.



Cara Fischer: Yes. And we have a joke on our team, can we do it with webhooks? It's just a thing we talk about all the time. As the more technical side of the team, as opposed to the marketing strategy.



PJ Bruno: Right.



Cara Fischer: Different members of our team will come up to me and be like, "Can we perk it in this way?" And I'm like, "I think I can do it with a webhook."



PJ Bruno: Right, right. It's cool, because a webhook, it's almost like a gorilla approach. It's kind of strapping things together, but in the same token, it is automation and it can scale if you do it the right way.



Taylor Gibb: And so I'm curious to hear about the ways in which you interact with your marketing team. As being on this tech team, it sounds like you guys have a good thing going, right? They're saying, "We're going to provide some messaging. We're going to be building all these different automations, but we want you to help us iterate on the best way to optimize this." Is that the way that things kind of go?



Cara Fischer: Yes, I would say so. I really value the way Ibotta's marketing team is set up. We're very specialized, where I work very technically and can provide that kind of consulting with other members of our team.



PJ Bruno: Love it.



Cara Fischer: And we do try to cross train a little bit so that they understand some of our capabilities, but I think the specialized roles really help everyone to get really good at what they're doing rather than a jack of all trades type of marketing team.



Taylor Gibb: Totally. You guys are like the Avengers of marketing over there.



PJ Bruno: So what do you guys see as far as expansion into channels? Is there anything that's on the docket for next to explore? I mean, the fact that you're talking about HTML, I mean to me, when someone says they're doing HTML anything, I'm like, "That's a sophisticated team. They're probably doing it the right way." So I'd love to hear what you guys are looking to the future and what's exciting.



Cara Fischer: We actually are building out our HTML dev team on our... So we don't even have to worry about that so much.



Taylor Gibb: That's ideal.



PJ Bruno: Let's go.



Cara Fischer: Yeah, it's really tremendous. We're very fortunate for that. Next, we're definitely excited to use content cards. We're learning more about SMS, as you all are developing that tool.



Taylor Gibb: SMS, that's the hot topic today.



Cara Fischer: Yeah. And we partner with Radar, a third party geolocation provider.



PJ Bruno: Love it.



Cara Fischer: And they just released a new piece to their product where we can look at segments of users who are frequenting different locations and target our content with that.



PJ Bruno: Nick Patrick at Radar, they're doing a great thing over there.



Cara Fischer: Mm-hmm (affirmative).



Taylor Gibb: That's one of our Braze alloys too. And the ability to segment based on people's habitual going to different locations, do you have any plans for that? Are you going to target someone like me, who is ironically addicted to Target the store, differently than you would someone at Walmart or something like that?



Cara Fischer: Most likely. I probably can't speak too much to that just because of my role of being less the marketing strategy.



PJ Bruno: She's winking right now. You can't see that but she knows. She's just not going to tell us.



Cara Fischer: But I am excited when the rest of our team says, "Cara, we want to do this with the new Radar feature. Can we do it?" And then I'll get to test it out, write the Liquid. Excited for that.



PJ Bruno: I love it.



Taylor Gibb: You're writing the Liquid too?



PJ Bruno: Oh, you're writing the Liquid?



Cara Fischer: Oh, yes.



PJ Bruno: Wow.



Cara Fischer: I guess we haven't talked about that yet.



PJ Bruno: We haven't talked about that.



Cara Fischer: Yes, all about the Liquid.



PJ Bruno: We both, we love Liquid.



Taylor Gibb: We live in Liquid.



PJ Bruno: I did a speaking session at LTR last year on Liquid. She wrote the book on Liquid. You did. I mean, she wrote the updated deck to train ourselves internally on Liquid.



Taylor Gibb: That's more like it. Yeah.



PJ Bruno: For those of you who don't know, Liquid is a templating language created by Shopify back in 2006. But it's so cool.



Cara Fischer: Is it that old?



PJ Bruno: It is that old, yeah.



Cara Fischer: I had no idea.



Taylor Gibb: It is, yeah.



Cara Fischer: Okay, wow.



PJ Bruno: Fact check me if you want.



Taylor Gibb: Constantly iterating though.



PJ Bruno: That was literally copy paste from my deck. So it just stuck.



Taylor Gibb: The more you know.



PJ Bruno: That's just so cool though because it makes sense to me now, because you're a tech person, you deal with Liquid. But in my head, I guess I just want to facilitate marketers and crafters of messages to be able to use it too. But that's rad. You're a consultancy within your company, basically.



Cara Fischer: I love that.



PJ Bruno: You love that, don't you?



Taylor Gibb: Somebody get this girl a raise.



PJ Bruno: That's brilliant. Cool. Well Cara, thank you so much for joining us for this brief moment in time to share with us what you're doing at Ibotta.



Cara Fischer: Thanks y'all.



PJ Bruno: And Taylor, always, thank you for the company. Thank you for the color commentary. Thank you, my compatriot.



Taylor Gibb: Oh my gosh. Anytime.



PJ Bruno: And thank you all for joining us. Take care.