Client Spotlight: Brooke O'Brien at Ibotta

January 29, 2020

Ibotta is a Denver- based mobile technology company that enables it’s app users to earn cash back on groceries, online purchases, and more by submitting receipts or linking retailer loyalty accounts.

Tatari sat down with Brooke O’Brien, Ibotta’s Marketing Manager - User Acquisition, to learn more about her journey with TV advertising.

Tell us about your background and how you ended up at Ibotta? What is your role now and how long have you been at Ibotta?

I studied advertising and digital media at the University of Colorado - Boulder and ended up moving into the digital advertising space after graduating. Prior to Ibotta, I have worked in both agency and in-house roles doing all types of marketing and advertising.

I’m currently the Marketing Manager - User Acquisition at Ibotta and have been working here for almost 2 years. We’re a digital and direct response focused user acquisition team, so Tatari was a good stepping stone to get us advertising on TV, because we are able to track and measure our main KPI’s. 

What’s something specific about your industry in terms of marketing that you didn’t see at a previous company? Do you notice any patterns or trends (seasonality) that impact behavior?

We’re a mobile-first company, so tracking, attribution, and advertising, in general, are very different from web marketing, which is what I was doing in my previous position. In terms of seasonality, we typically tend to see higher activation rates during the beginning of the year, when people are making resolutions to save more, in addition to the summer months when parents have more time on their hands to shop and earn cash back.

How do you approach customer acquisition at Ibotta and what channels (social, search, TV, etc) do you primarily use?

Earning cash back for everyday shopping resonates with many people and we meet those audiences where they are through ads on a variety of channels. Our acquisition strategy is very direct-response focused and spend is allocated based on channel ROI and down-funnel performance. Our channels are primarily digital (social, search, and ad networks), but we also have a robust affiliate program. TV and mass media will be a larger chunk of our overall budget in 2020 than they have been in the past, so I am excited to see how that evolves.

Now that you're doing TV, how has it affected the business in general?

We’ve acquired a lot of users through TV at a reasonable CPI and have seen a significant lift in installs by running higher-reach spots during key seasonal windows. We’re in the process of working with our analytics team to better understand the halo effect TV has on other channels in addition to the impact on user retention. 

Not sure how much you can share, but do you see TV as being a big component of the business as you go forward, or are you planning to do it equally as much as other channels?

TV spend will be on par with some of our largest digital channels in 2020. We are seeing a big return from running high-reach linear and streaming opportunities, so we will likely continue leaning into those. 

Amit Sharan

I run marketing at Tatari and have the world's cutest french bulldog.

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