TechBytes with Scott Garner, EVP and Chief Commercial Officer, ADARA

Scott Garner

Scott Garner
EVP and Chief Commercial Officer, ADARA

Recently, ADARA unveiled Customer Yield Intelligence (CYI) to unify and super-charge CRM efforts for travel brands, delivering significant impact across the business. In the age of hyper-personalized customer experiences, ADARA’s CYI is a distinctly impactful platform for insights and analytics on customer interactions with travel brands. To better understand how ADARA’s CYI works and their interaction with the existing CRM’s, we spoke to Scott Garner, EVP and Chief Commercial Officer at ADARA.

Tell us about your role at ADARA.  

I am responsible for all commercial aspects of the business which includes sales, client services, business development, and strategic partnerships.

Please define Customer Yield Intelligence? 

Customer Yield Intelligence  (CYI) combines data analytics, audience insights, advertising solutions and measurement tools to help brands engage with distinct traveler personas. The framework uses ADARA’s enterprise data platform that is based on anonymized, real-time search, purchase and loyalty data from more than 190 travel brands, which collects more than 30 data points per travel profile to create a comprehensive – but anonymous – view of the traveler.

Which other customer intelligence and analytics/insights tools do you offer to customers?

CYI is built on 3 pillars: Learn, Act, Measure. These pillars contain ADARA’s primary tools, insights, and analytics.

The Learn pillar includes:
1) ADARA’s Recognized Traveller which aligns all data including a unique identifier at the customer level to provide a single view
2) Traveler Value Score which is a FICO-like score for travelers and uses historical travel purchase data to project future value.

The Act pillar includes:
1) ADARA’s programmatic marketing platform which enables efficient and precise targeting to reach travelers across all digital channels
2) ADARA’s personalization engine
3) ADARA’s merchandising optimization solution

The Measure pillar includes key metrics such as:
1) Share of Wallet
2) Share Premium Index
3) Yield Premium Index

All of which help companies better understand how much business a particular customer is giving the company relative to their total spend and relative to the company’s natural share.

How do you define and measure personalized customer experiences? What metrics do you use for mobile marketing campaigns versus Desktop?

Personalization can cover numerous aspects of how the customer interacts with a website or application and how the company chooses to both engage on these platforms as well as design experiences across them. Personalization at its core is customizing the interaction at the moment to serve the customer’s objectives optimally and place that within a set of broader customer and business context. So it can be as simple as understanding preferences for vacation travel for someone seeking vacation experience and delivering the right content across the steps of that interaction or it can be as complex as optimizing steps of the interaction (or multiple interactions) so that an organization’s desire to present you more services isn’t what is often the case today, a full presentation of the menu that you must go through.

Some people like to order the whole meal this way, but many don’t. And this increasingly changes with all the ways people can experience and be catered to across their actual travel. There are lots of methods and metrics to know if these efforts are successful. Test & hold out methods with direct conversion tracking, incremental sales, reduction in effort to complete a task, engagement metrics, as well as customer satisfaction. There are also longitudinal metrics to understand how you are altering the relationship with the customer across interactions in a single trip and repeat business.

We work with our clients to create independent campaign metrics appropriate to the use case, but often we are fitting into a broader set of longitudinal measurements that our partners share with us and we understand ahead of going into the market with them. We have started to track customer yield in specific ways that keep an eye on how client strategies also move the needle on metrics that can indicate real trends outside of wins at the transactional and service critical moments.

The differences in website vs. application measurement are in the interaction parameters, collection and raw data handling. You will have different specific screen and session type of metrics, but these roll-up to similar methodologies. So CX, ecommerce, revenue management and marketing team(s) will look at channels separately for localized optimization, but also across channels for the ultimate performance of the personalizations in the customer’s experience and business outcomes.

Do you offer any integration with the existing CRMs?

CRM is quite sophisticated today. Many people still think of CRM as the simple service operations and marketing operations (segmentation) that CRM so powerfully automated. CRM often is a lot more like the ad serving problems ADARA has solved and delivers on so efficiently today. How do you value the interaction and select from across a host of content, offers, and interaction patterns to decide what to present at the moment? For instance, many of the emails you receive today are shells with little to no content until the moment you open them. The content delivered should be informed by both CRM and the types of traveler intelligence ADARA provides. We certainly can and do operate in more simplistic models of integration; the industry has a range of CRM solutions and maturity in deploying CRM for different service and marketing applications.

How does Customer Yield Intelligence help better existing audience data and customer data platforms?

Scale, continuity, and incrementality. Scale because we have the largest and most complete view of the traveler’s experience. Continuity because of the way we can bring this intelligence to bear on multiple stages of the customer experience. Incrementality because a given travel providers knowledge of the customer may not be sufficient to serve that customer.

How do you prepare for the disruptions to data management in the post-GDPR era?

Data privacy is at the core of ADARA’s business, in how we collect, store and process data. We understand our compliance obligations under the new GDPR regulation and are working to ensure compliance with all Privacy and Data Protection laws. ADARA has a strong data co-op in Europe and although we expect some fluctuation in the volume of data due to the need for transparency and consent, we feel confident that we will continue to provide the same scale of data and services as we do today.

How could Marketers and Sales teams better leverage ADARA’s Customer Yield Intelligence to close deals? 

Marketers are most successful when they are able to anticipate customer needs and sales teams most successful when they can solve for those needs. Customer Yield Intelligence is exactly that, the ability to learn about and anticipate customer needs, act accordingly and measure the results.

What technologies in AI/machine learning are you keenly following?

Quite frankly we have been quietly leading here. Because the techniques of machine learning and AI are democratizing so quickly, it is really the novel use and problems that they are mapped to in conjunction with the scale, quality and speed of the data entering those data science platforms. ADARA has been living and breathing real-time modeling with the richest travel data for 9 years. We are just expanding the types of problems and platforms we enable this data science on now.

Our ‘propensity scores’ use all the most appropriate machine learning technique for the problem at hand, we are very excited about the things AI is enabling for feature discovery, anomaly detection, tuning models, and generally surfacing patterns in our travel data a human could never cover at scale alone. I do want to assert that there needs to be a fair amount of control exerted given the management of the coop data itself.

What does your product roadmap for 2018-2022 look like?

For the next three years, we are continuing to build out our product roadmap to further support the CYI framework. For the Learn pillar, we are focused on delivering forecasting and measurement products and metrics for the broader travel industry.  For the Act pillar, we will extend our capability to reach travelers at more touch points and at different stages of trip planning.  And for the measure pillar, we are increasing our adoption of additional datasets and access to the data for analytics and intelligence.

Thanks for chatting with us, Scott.
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