Saving $1M in Marketing Spend with a Composable CDP powered by Hightouch
Learn how IntelyCare drives rapid experimentation and omnichannel personalization using Hightouch to activate their data in Snowflake.
April 10, 2023
Customer Data Platforms (CDPs) have long been hailed as an all-in-one solution for marketing teams. However, thanks to the rapid adoption of the cloud data warehouse, companies in every industry (regardless of size) are now realizing that it no longer makes sense to maintain a bundled CDP. Instead, they’re turning to Hightouch, a Data Activation platform built with the marketer-first features needed to explore, manage, activate, and analyze customer data directly from Snowflake.
Learn how IntelyCare leveraged Hightouch to save over $1M in marketing spend while enhancing in-app personalization, ad targeting, and lifecycle marketing.
The nursing profession is a massive labor market. According to the AACN, there are 4.2 million registered nurses in the US alone and 25,000 nursing homes looking to staff multiple shifts. IntelyCare, often referred to as the “Uber for nurses,” addresses this with a two-sided marketplace that matches nurses with healthcare facilities. By connecting nurses with shifts, Intelycare ensures that healthcare providers are fully staffed while also providing a flexible schedule for nurses who want to choose their own shifts.
Data is extremely important for IntelyCare because it powers every aspect of the company’s business operations. With over 50,000 nurses using the app and more than 2,000 facilities requesting nurses consistently, IntelyCare needed to not only improve in-app personalization, but also optimize ad retargeting and improve lifecycle marketing campaigns.
Why a Traditional CDP Wouldn’t Work
After building out a modern data stack and centralizing all of their data into Snowflake, IntelyCare’s data team was hesitant to implement a bundled CDP because they didn’t want to purchase another platform that would be in conflict with their data warehouse, which they were investing in to act as their “single source of truth.” The team wanted to capitalize on their existing data investments and activate all of the customer data already organized in Snowflake.
Intelycare also knew from past experience that purchasing a traditional CDP would mean undergoing a long, drawn-out implementation and onboarding process–thus locking the company into a single technology that didn’t necessarily fit or address the needs of the business and scale in the long term.
Ultimately, IntelyCare wanted the native capabilities that a CDP provides (e.g., audience creation and activation) without all of the underlying baggage that the platforms entail.
Customer Studio gives our marketing teams the tools they need to activate customer data, enabling them to personalize marketing campaigns, optimize ad performance, and drive experimentation across our digital properties
VP of Data Science
Building a Composable CDP
IntelyCare’s data team was already able to collect, transform, and model data in Snowflake extremely efficiently. However, they were missing the key ability to take that data out of Snowflake and push it to the marketing platforms which powered the business.
Since Snowflake is a technical tool accessible by SQL, the marketing team had little ability to self-serve, build audiences or experiment with campaigns. Any time the team wanted to run a marketing campaign, they had to request a manual CSV file from the data team–a workflow that was extremely inefficient and unscalable.
Inevitably this created a twofold challenge: the data team wanted to automate data syncs from the warehouse, while the marketing team wanted the ability to build audience segments and drive experimentation.
Rather than adopting an off-the-shelf CDP, IntelyCare turned to Hightouch and its suite of no-code marketing features with Customer Studio to solve this challenge of activation and audience building. Hightouch simply connects to IntelyCare’s existing data infrastructure and provides a visual interface allowing the marketing team to build audiences and sync them to any destination for activation.
Customer Studio has many different features, including:
- Audiences: define and sync audiences out to any marketing platform
- Splits: build randomized audiences for A/B testing
- Performance: analyze audience and experiment performance over time
- Traits: create pre-calculated fields for personalization (e.g., last login date)
- Overlaps & Breakdowns: analyze audience composition
- Priority Lists: orchestrate and prioritize audiences for specific funnels
Hyper-Personalized Audience Targeting
Before adopting this Composable CDP architecture with Hightouch and Snowflake, IntelyCare could only run around marketing six experiments per year. With Hightouch in place, IntelyCare’s business teams have access to self-serve experimentation and audience building using Customer Studio. Everyone business unit is more efficient, and experimentation has increased by nearly 10X, leading to huge returns in marketing spend.
One-third of our Hightouch users are on business teams like marketing, support, and sales. They’re able to build audiences without ever having to interact with the data team. Hightouch is powering audiences for emails, texts, in-app messages, and even ad retargeting across Google and Facebook.
VP of Data Science
IntelyCare recruits many nurses and processes many applications, but due to the many regulations around healthcare, nurses have to submit multiple documents and wait for their licenses to be verified. This barrier to entry causes a steep drop off in application completion rate because many nurses who sign up for the app never end up completing a shift with a nursing home.
To improve throughput in the recruitment funnel, IntelyCare would offer a $100 bonus for the first shift. Like many business decisions, this number was based on a hunch, and the company had no way of verifying whether there was a direct correlation between the bonus and a higher application completion rate.
To solve this problem, IntelyCare leveraged the Splits functionality in Hightouch. The feature enabled them to define their desired experimentation and control groups in Hightouch to see how the bonus amount would impact the application completion rate. Hightouch then randomly distributed users into each group and automatically synced them across IntelyCare’s marketing channels.
After running the test for six months and testing different bonus amounts with different audiences, the data team uncovered that there was a stark difference in performance between nurses and nursing assistants. The size of the bonus didn’t matter nearly as much as the presence of a bonus, and in some cases, the higher bonuses negatively impacted the application completion rate.
Since running this experiment, IntelyCare has optimized how bonuses are priced, saving the company over $1M in marketing spend, resulting in higher pay rates for all nurses.
We ran an experiment around first-shift bonuses and followed different test groups through the application process to see how much the bonus influenced shift completion rate. Without Hightouch this experiment cost us $1.3M. With Hightouch, we’re able to intelligently target applicants and achieve the same incremental gains at an annual cost of $260k.
VP of Data Science
Bonuses aren’t always enough to encourage nurses to use IntelyCare, and many nurses that apply end up getting stuck somewhere in the funnel. Previously, IntelyCare would re-target and engage with all users to encourage them to convert.
It can take anywhere from one to six months for a user to complete their first shift because they often get stuck at various points in the funnel along the way.
Looking for a way to optimize return-on-ad-spend (ROAS) IntelyCare used Hightouch to perform multivariate testing on different audience groups. Doing this, the marketing team quickly found that there was a huge increase in ROAS for users who had engaged in the last 2-4 months that were currently middle of the funnel. Likewise, there was a stark decline in ROAS for new users and users who had no recent app activity.
This level of granular targeting allows IntelyCare to optimize all ad spend so it’s not wasted on users who will inevitably complete their application process. This change has created huge improvements in efficiency–and, in some cases, a 20X ROI for specific audiences.
Last-minute nurse cancellations can have huge downstream impacts that negatively affect the company's ability to serve nursing homes. The data team had built robust models to predict cancellations, churn, demand, supply, etc., but leveraging this data in a meaningful way was very challenging because it all lived in Snowflake.
With Hightouch, IntelyCare ingests these metrics into tools like Marketo, Pendo, and Salesforce. IntelyCare’s business teams proactively use this data to personalize outreach and human touch to reduce cancellations.
With no incentives and just personalized outreach, IntelyCare has already seen a 15% decrease in nurse cancellations. IntelyCare also uses similar in-app popups to collect more data on nurses to ensure that all in-app experiences and ads can reflect attributes that are unique to each individual nurse.
It’s really easy to build bridges to nowhere in data science. We have a model to predict customer churn. That’s great, but now what? Hightouch makes it easy for us to take action based on these models. We send a churn-prediction score to Marketo, Pendo, and Salesforce, and teams throughout the business take action.
VP of Data Science
Collaboration: Previously, IntelyCare’s technology team didn’t interact with the business teams because they could not address downstream use cases and move data out of Snowflake. Since adopting Hightouch, the business has undergone a complete shift, and data and marketing teams now work in close collaboration creating a feedback loop for each team.
Time to Value: Implementing Hightouch took IntelyCare’s data team only two days, compared to the six-month implementation time of a CDP. With out-of-the-box features like Splits and Performance, teams can stand up omnichannel experimentation faster than ever before.
Cost: This simplified architecture, known as the “Composable CDP”, enables IntelyCare to avoid paying for an expensive and duplicative storage layer in a traditional CDP because the business teams can simply leverage all of the data already living in Snowflake.
Data Availability: IntelyCare leverages any and all customer data, not just the event stream data that a traditional CDP would provide. With Customer Studio, the marketing team can build self-serve audiences and spin up ad-hoc experiments and marketing campaigns in minutes. The data team no longer has to worry about anything other than ensuring that data models are clean and ready for use–and every data sync can be automated and scheduled.
IntelyCare's adoption of Hightouch has helped the company save over $1 million in marketing spend while enhancing in-app personalization, ad targeting, and lifecycle marketing. By leveraging the power of their Snowflake data investments and Hightouch's no-code marketing features, IntelyCare is able to activate customer data and personalize marketing campaigns, optimize ad performance, and drive experimentation across their digital experiences.
The success of this Composable CDP architecture with Hightouch and Snowflake has enabled IntelyCare's business teams to self-serve experimentation and audiencing, resulting in a significant increase in efficiency and returns in marketing spend. Ultimately, IntelyCare's case study serves as a prime example of how a modern data stack combined with a no-code marketing platform like Hightouch can help businesses unlock the full potential of their data investments to drive significant ROI.
Interested in trying out a proof of concept of Customer Studio for your own organization? Request a demo today.