MarTech Interview with Are Traasdahl, Chief Executive Officer of Crisp

Gain perspective on how brands can effectively and courteously measure the return on investment (ROI) of their marketing efforts in both digital and in-store channels
MarTech Interview

1. Are, would you kindly provide a brief overview of your journey to becoming CEO at Crisp?

I have been founding and building companies for over 20 years. Before Crisp I founded Tapad, which helped lead the programmatic transformation in the advertising industry. In 2016, I was fortunate to sell Tapad and spend a year traveling the world with my family, visiting over 30 countries. During our travels, I witnessed first-hand the staggering imbalance of the food system. After hundreds of hours of research and meetings with experts in the industry, I came to the realization that the root cause of waste and inefficiency in the supply chain is slow-moving, inaccurate data. It became clear that the retail industry was ripe for the same programmatic transformation that we had helped lead in the advertising industry at Tapad. And that’s when we founded Crisp.

2. How does the Poppi and Tinuiti collaboration exemplify the impact of real-time data on optimising media investments for brands?

One of the most interesting applications of real-time, store-level data in the supply chain is helping brands reduce waste in advertising spend, focusing dollars where they can drive measurable and more profitable sales. Previously, this was very difficult to do for brick-and-mortar retail – marketers typically do not gain access to store-level sales or inventory data in a timely way to inform media spend or to analyze the impact of campaigns. But with Crisp, Tinuiti can leverage a brand’s sales data to evaluate the impact of digital marketing on in-store sales, and use those insights to optimize future campaigns.

3. Poppi correlated in-store purchases with TikTok ads. Could you share insights on how brands can judiciously use non-endemic platforms to enhance their digital marketing impact on in-store transactions?

The impact of platforms like TikTok or Amazon on in-store sales will likely vary depending on the product, the location, and the retailer. The key to enhancing sales impact is to understand it. Marketers must move beyond typical industry KPIs to measure how campaigns drive business outcomes. With visibility into which digital channels are driving sales at which retail stores, brands can focus future spend where they know it will reach the desired outcome.

4. Recognizing its importance, why is real-time zip code-level retail sales data crucial for brands, and how can they thoughtfully implement it for better data-driven decision-making?

With the impending deprecation of third-party cookies, marketers need a reliable way to measure the impact of their campaigns. Zip code-level data will become an increasingly valuable tool for both targeting and measurement. Zip code data can be used to target store locations, build demographic audiences, and even to ensure that target audiences can find the advertised product in-stock at their nearby store.

5. How can brands measure and replicate the positive “halo” effect on in-store sales demonstrated by Poppi’s case study while maintaining a respectful approach?
It’s very possible that brands are already experiencing a halo effect in-store from digital campaigns – they just weren’t able to measure it. What’s more, they probably haven’t been able to measure which channel works best for their brand or retail partners, which is what makes this data actionable for future campaigns. This is where Tinuiti’s team and model have been so instrumental, overlaying advertising spend onto in-store sales data to uncover those insights.

Another important strategy for brands is to anticipate and meet the demand generated by marketing programs. This helps CPGs ensure that when they’ve invested advertising dollars and driven someone to a store, the product is on-shelf to turn that opportunity into a sale.

Salesmark Global

6. In reflecting on Poppi’s collaboration with Tinuiti, what key lessons can brands graciously learn in adjusting media investments for maximum sales impact?

CPG marketers looking to optimize their media investment may be surprised to find that the data they need isn’t paneled or modeled data, but their own sales and inventory data. Historically, this data has been siloed in legacy vendor-portals that require time and effort to extract meaningful insights from. With Crisp and Tinuiti, marketers can seamlessly access their own daily retail data to see what’s working, what isn’t, and where they should spend their next dollar.

7. Could you kindly share your perspective on how brands can effectively and courteously measure the return on investment (ROI) of their marketing efforts in both digital and in-store channels?

As CPG marketers know all too well, ROI is much harder to determine for in-store channels than for e-commerce. To start, you have to establish a baseline sales period where no ad was run in a given market, and compare that baseline to the test period where the ad was run. The difference between these two is your sales lift, and if you’ve isolated other variables, this will give you the increase in sales for a given store or zip code. The key is the ability to leverage daily data that is granular at the store level for accurate results. You also need data that is timely enough to action on while it’s still relevant. That’s the data marketers have been missing, and that’s the retail data that Crisp provides seamlessly.

8. How, in your opinion, can brands delicately balance traditional and digital marketing channels for a comprehensive and courteous strategy?

The marketing allocation mix is changing rapidly with the rise of retail media. Retail media promises to not only help brands access a retailer’s own channels, but across the open web – all while providing shoppers with a more relevant experience. Brands can apply the same data-driven approach to channels like retail media by overlaying that spend onto real-time, granular sales data from those same retailers. With information on which channels perform best, brands can create a strategy that optimizes spend across channels, enhances the shopper experience, and delivers maximum ROI.

9. As a seasoned professional, what brief and considerate advice would you offer to readers navigating collaborative commerce and data-driven marketing?

As a collaborative commerce platform, Crisp is all about empowering brands and retailers to work together to serve consumers and grow their business.We see digital marketing as an important part of this relationship, where brands invest in making their retail partnerships successful. The ability to bring data to the table that shows retailers that you’re driving sales at their stores – and that you’re seeing measurable results – can put you at an incredible advantage with retail buyers. This is important for established as well as challenger brands like poppi, who can use innovative marketing strategies and data-driven insights to their advantage.

10. In concluding our discussion, are there any considerate insights or key takeaways you would like to share regarding the future of collaborative commerce and its respectful impact on the intersection of digital marketing and in-store sales?

With collaborative commerce, the retail industry can make zero-waste supply chains a reality. When data is shared seamlessly between retailers, suppliers, and distributors, all parties can collaborate to efficiently meet demand, reduce waste, and grow profitably.

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Are Traasdahl, Chief Executive Officer of Crisp

DCrisp Founder and CEO, Are Traasdahl has more than 20 years of experience in mobile and digital technology. Prior to Crisp, he was the Founder & CEO of Tapad Inc. In 2016, Telenor Group acquired Tapad for $360M, making it the fifth largest venture-backed M&A exit in New York since 2009. Prior to Tapad, he founded Thumbplay, a mobile entertainment service that he grew to more than $100M in revenue in less than 3 years before he exited the company. The company, later acquired by Clear Channel, is now called iHeartRadio. Traasdahl has been featured in Forbes, the Wall Street Journal, Ad Age, NASDAQ, Food Logistics, Supermarket Perimeter and other major news publications. He was named Global Startup Awards™ Founder of the Year in 2016 and EY Entrepreneur of the Year in 2014. He founded Crisp in 2016 to tackle the critical issue of food waste through technology. Crisp connects CPG brands and developers to real-time data from 40+ retailers and distributors, delivering store-level sales and inventory reporting to BI tools, cloud-based platforms, interactive dashboards, and more. Hundreds of brands count on Crisp for actionable sales and supply chain insights to grow sales, streamline operations, reduce waste, and skyrocket profitability. LinkedIn.
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