Finance Interviews

Global Fintech Interview with Dave Dabbah, Chief Marketing Officer at CleverTap

Global Fintech Interview with Dave Dabbah, Chief Marketing Officer at CleverTap

Hi Dave, please tell us about your role and the team / technology you handle at CleverTap.

As the Chief Marketing Officer of CleverTap, I oversee a team of more than 35 talented marketers who are responsible for growth marketing, communications, brand design and development, social media marketing, and product marketing. Our global team is based in the United States (Silicon Valley), United Kingdom, Asia Pacific, and India.

The team’s overall goal is to make everything we do impactful and memorable in order to drive growth across key verticals, including e-commerce, fintech, social engagement, gaming, healthcare, travel, and foodtech amongst others.

What is CleverTap and what are your services? Which industries do you currently serve?

CleverTap is a mobile marketing platform that provides app owners with real-time data and analytics of their users, which when combined with our omnichannel customer outreach capabilities, enables optimized customer acquisition, engagement, and retention of customers plus effective and informed monetization.

Our biggest differentiator is that we’re able to provide a unified approach to common challenges such as data silos — and enable businesses to quickly experiment, learn and optimize mobile application strategies for increased user engagement and retention.

Our clients belong to a range of industries, including foodtech, fintech, media & entertainment, travel & transportation, and e-commerce. Notable clients include Sony, Discovery, Fandango, 7-11, Domino’s, and many others. Over 10,000 mobile brands around the world trust CleverTap to boost their app engagement and unlock growth.

Tell us about your recent initiatives in the Fintech domain?

We will soon be launching a Fintech playbook titled “Clever Engagement Tactics In The Age Of Pandemic Banking” to help fintech companies deliver, adapt, and evolve their marketing strategy and messaging based on consumer insights. This resource is the result of extensive research and exclusive interviews with C-level executives and marketers from more than 15 leading financial institutions and fintech companies across the Asia Pacific, Latin America, and North America, including Federal Bank,, and PayMaya. With this, marketers will be able to access in-depth insights and draw from real-life learnings that are mapped to essential stages in the customer lifecycle.

Also Read: Global Fintech Interview with Alexander George Muthoot, Deputy Managing Director at Muthoot Finance

How is Fintech transforming a CMO’s role? How do you see the evolution in fintech impacting marketing performances?

The current pandemic has highlighted the importance of digitalization. The evolution of fintech – if leveraged smartly – can serve as a powerful tool to optimize this digital transformation process, including marketing performance. However, its execution depends on the CMOs. We need to lead this movement proactively by encouraging internal teams to embrace new tools and create structures that enable adoption.

Having said that, businesses should avoid getting swayed by every shiny new tool in the market, and choose digital solutions that really cater to their unique needs and pain points. So, it’s important to keep teams focused on key objectives, and to use technology as an aid, rather than a crutch.

How do you address the shortcomings in customer communications? What kind of tools / platform help to deliver contextual communication to customers?

Marketing tools and resources have grown more sophisticated and advanced over time. However, effective customer communication remains a challenge because of different customer segments and journeys. Obviously, data is crucial to unlocking new opportunities, and that’s exactly what we do at CleverTap by helping businesses efficiently process millions of data points across their user base.

We connect the dots between critical customer interactions, such as purchase history, app activity, browsing behavior, and device preferences to deliver a consistent end-to-end experience. We believe in bringing the human touch to customer conversations – with our psychographic segmentation tool, we can group users according to their predominant interests and create contextual messages, which has proven to increase conversions by five times compared to sending non-contextual messages.

For instance, Movii is a Colombia-based business that offers digital debit cards through its mobile app. However, one of their challenges was communicating with new app users without pushing them away. Even after signing up for the Movii debit card, transactions were low as users were not confident about taking the next steps and were not understanding the importance of paying digitally. CleverTap automatically segmented their users in real-time based on their psychographics, demographics, referral codes, and more, to provide granular insights into who their users are and help them understand which engagement campaigns to send. As a result, their customers who used to take an average of 4 months before their first transaction, now only take less than a week.

What kind of gaps have you noticed in the marketing campaigns when it comes to understanding customer’s financial well-being? Does it affect buying experiences?

With the wide and ever-increasing variety of choices available in the financial services industry, customer service is key to maintaining loyalty. According to a study by Accenture, 49% of people say that high-quality customer service is one of the main motivators for them to stick with a company. But, companies continue to miss the mark.

Today, the biggest issue with marketing campaigns revolves around not understanding individual customer needs either because of an incomplete customer view or complex IT infrastructure.

Inflexible systems tend to be a major hurdle when it comes to creating automated and personalized customer experiences. A successful marketing campaign in the financial services industry requires ready access to the entire customer journey including buying behavior, preferred channels of communication, common questions raised, and more.

Mapping this crucial data to your campaign helps you understand the motivations and pain points of customers to create impactful experiences.

Your predictions on the role of CMO in the financial services industry:

I expect a dramatic change in the role of CMOs in the financial services industry. Much of these changes are being driven by fintech brands that have embraced influencer marketing and the cryptocurrency revolution, and it’s forcing CMOs to rethink how they present their brands to customers.

Also Read: Global Fintech Interview with Corey Gross, Co-founder and CEO at Sensibill

Your take on AI ML in marketing technology stack — how do you leverage AI ML for your marketing?

There is an increasing need for marketers to consistently stay ahead of the curve, and Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) have become powerful tools to do so. In fact, there are specific ways in which AI and ML can strengthen one’s marketing technology stack:

– Defining Precise Customer Segments: Through Machine Learning algorithms, marketers can define precise user segments based on interests, actions, habits, behaviors, demographics, or any other characteristic to run hyper-targeted campaigns that resonate with users and prompt them to act.

– Predicting Churn: AI-based churn prediction algorithms and advanced segmentation methods can pinpoint customers who are most loyal, at risk of churn, or responsive to promotions, so that marketers can proactively tackle churn or run targeted promotions that bring better ROI.

– Identifying the Optimal Time, Device, or Channel to Send Campaigns: With a clever combination of data science and machine learning, marketers can deliver messages at the exact time a user is most likely to act, via the most optimal devices and channels.

Pinpointing the Optimal Time to Nudge Inactive Users – The use of AI/ML enables the recognition of patterns in user behavior such that marketers can trigger messages based on user inactivity without hindering the user experience.

Also Read: Global Fintech Interview with Dennis Gada, SVP and Head of Financial Services, North America at Infosys

Thank you, Dave! That was fun and we hope to see you back on soon.

Dave Dabbah, Chief Marketing Officer at CleverTap, has more than 20 years of experience building global marketing programs that accelerate growth and catalyze business success within B2B technology and beyond. Prior to his role at CleverTap, Dave held the position of Vice President of Marketing at both Agora, a software company specializing in real-time communications, and Ephox, an in-application editing software platform. He’s also held tenure with the likes of EmailLabs and Lyris, making him an early adopter of Martech and a firsthand witness of how the industry has grown and evolved.

Dave has continually set and raised the bar in terms of what it means to be an accomplished business leader throughout his career. His ability to deliver the right message at the right time to customers has allowed him to develop highly successful brands and lead some of the world’s top companies to new heights. He has driven major brand exposure across a wide range of media outlets including Forbes, The New York Times, TechCrunch, CNBC, Fox Business, and more.

CleverTap Logo

CleverTap is a mobile marketing platform that works with the world’s leading brands to drive engagement and significantly increase user retention for their mobile applications. It is an all-in-one solution, built on top of unified customer profile data, that provides unlimited audience intelligence to deliver real-time personalized customer experiences for over 10,000 mobile brands.

CleverTap delivers over one trillion user interactions every month via its omnichannel platform, in-app orchestration and customer journey engine. This enables a highly personalized experience for every customer based on their unique user behaviors and preferences. CleverTap’s clients include Disney+, Hotstar, Sony, Vodafone, The Premier League, Dominos, Gojek, Fandango and more.

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