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The following is a rough cut of our Q&A with Birk, edited for brevity. Jokes are often not included. There is more depth and discussion in the ear candy.

Intro & Icebreaker

Q: Who are you, how did you get to Fetch and what do you do there?

Birk: Birk Cooper, Chief Marketing Officer. Fetch is an app that rewards you for your everyday purchases. We have 17 million people scanning 9 million receipts a day. These receipts enable them to earn points which can be turned into gift cards. Users can earn more points by shopping with our brand partners.

Q: What do your best users look like and how did it take you to figure out?

Birk: The reality is we don’t use demographics. We do not pay attention to them in our go to market motion. We focus on the behavioral. Our best users are the ones scanning receipts and buying from our brand partners. Product at Fetch used to sit within marketing, which is rather unique. We got really really good at the complexities of our user funnel, like what needed to be true behaviorally for someone to stay and we tied our acquisition to those things. We didn’t lean into demographics, we had Facebook which we used for lookalikes and then quickly expanded into probabilistic display. We got good at finding people who looked like our best users.

Q: Has it become harder to find them with ATT?

Birk: It did for a couple months but then we got really good at SKAd Network. Our CAC is back to 2019 levels and we’re doing really well on acquisition. I think demographics were used as a tool when there was no better tool for targeting and I think if there’s a company doing this to fuel their GTM motion today, they’re going to be lapped by their competitors.

Q: What’s harder for you, finding and acquiring users – or once they install the app, keeping them engaged and turning them into some sort of recurring users?

Birk: Acquiring used to be the hardest but we’ve got really good at it now. 40% of our households retain through a year. But I always believe retaining them is the hardest part. We think it should be at 80%. Retaining people is the name of the game. 

Q: Given current economic conditions, are you seeing more people turning towards savings and rewards companies such as yourself. Also, D2C companies are struggling – have you been onboarding more D2C partners as a result of this as well?

Birk: Undoubtedly there’s macroeconomic tailwinds behind us. But we do well enough when markets are humming. So we’ll always rather not have the pain. D2C I think, inflation has been tough but the big thing was the signal and the targeting. Their CACs doubled or even tripled recently. They were so reliant on older tools that are no longer there for them. When there’s instability in the market, it is an awesome time for brands to grab market share, so we have seen more of them reach out to us. We give brands a better way to reach, attract, and retain customers. We know what people are buying and we’ll give them a better targeting tool to go talk to them. We have that full attribution, so a really effective way for brands to grow their business.

Q: There’s some fierce paid keyword competition in your space. We’ve seen you buying words related to gas, ostensibly to combat Upside and we’ve seen Rakuten buying the keywords Fetch and Fetch Rewards. How big of an acquisition channel is paid keywords for you?

Birk: It’s something we can see and pay attention to. We think about it as defensively versus offensively and we’d much rather be offensive than defensive. We don’t pay a ton of attention to competitors and what they’re doing. I don’t want my teams to over index there. We do some keyword protection but I’d rather spend our money on finding other ways of driving consumers to the app store with Fetch in mind.

Q: How big of an acquisition channel is search are for you? 

Birk: Overall, 30% – 40%. App store search is a small percentage of that though.

Q: I noticed you have Apple HealthKit installed, how have you been leveraging that?

Birk: The real answer is I don’t know, which gives you insight into our culture. We have a phenomenal product & engineering team who are probably trying to solve for something. When that bubbles up to the point where they want to expose it, I’m sure I’ll hear about it. Our teams have free rein to do what they feel is best for their area. 

Q: Let’s talk about creatives. How do you iterate on creatives? How short lived are they before you end up having to swap them out? How do you go through that process?

Birk: We give our creative and acquisition teams a lot of bandwidth to play with brand. We’re not highly protective of the brand because you never know what’s going to work. We let the data speak for itself and give a lot of leeway. It creates a high velocity of creative trial. Some never make it off the ground. Others last for days/weeks. Maybe run it for a year. Creative is one of the levers you can pull but we recognize that one creative might not work on one display partner but it could work on another one. We watch all of our go to market channels all the way down-funnel, which ties in the creative. We don’t look by creative all  the way down funnel but we do look by channel. But by default this lets us know what creative is working best to retain users. We slice our retention every which way. By channel, by device, etc.

Q: Do you think the Pinduoduo strategy of getting people to buy in bulk together could be successful in the US in the next few years or at all?

Birk: Yes. I think it already has been. I think Groupon kind of invented this space. Groupon had success but retailers struggled and couldn’t retain users. TikTok is also trying to do group shopping. Fetch is actually working on collaborative buying features as well. I think it will be a wave, a huge part of where everything is going.

Q: Who would you like to hear from in the mobile app space? Who should I send an email to, to get on this show.

Birk: The founder of the Gas app, Nikita Bier. He’s clearly cracked some product fit code for the younger demographics. I think he has some interesting thoughts on K-Factor and younger demos.

Game Time: Two Apps And A Lie

You can listen on SpotifyAppleAnchor and more.