CMO Interview: Data Driven Marketing at a Mortgage Provider



If Zara Cobb were ever to take on a CMO role, there was a good chance it would be in a data-driven organization.

Cobb began his career over ten years ago holding media agency positions in London and Australia, most notably as Head of Strategy and Analysis at Match Media. Now she finds herself in the role of CMO at fintech, Lendi, a mortgage lending platform that uses data to match loans to the specific needs of borrowers. The six-year-old company has grown rapidly and is on track to hit $ 10 billion in settlements this year.

It is a heavily data-driven organization, with a business intelligence and analytics team operating across all divisions of the business. This makes them a company well suited to Cobb’s skillset.

“As a fintech, what was needed was someone who understood the mechanics of marketing, but who also had strategic and creative thinking, but who was not afraid to go into details”, she says. Marketing director. “I don’t do anything without numbers. ”

The numbers that matter most to Cobb may also be somewhat different from those often associated with marketing.

“I don’t think I even had a conversation about the impression volumes and share of voice I would have had with other clients in different industries,” she says. “The conversations we have are about the quality of leads and first contact and how far they’ve gone in the platform. It’s much more quantitative and much more real than other marketing metrics. ”

Mass media reach

This end-to-end approach means that when leads arrive overnight, they are immediately passed on to sales teams for follow-up the next day. Cobb says this gives him a clear picture of the results of his marketing spending, which includes free TV.

“It’s the fastest, most direct way to make sure your brand is in front of potential customers,” Cobb explains. “We’re for everyone, so TV is a great way to do that. The biggest challenge in my role is how to explain the complexities, nuances, algorithms and drivers of a fintech to a client. within a 30 second TVC.

To achieve this, this Cobb made significant changes to Lendi’s creative content, breaking up its value propositions into more digestible chunks.

“We handle what we call the brand response, as opposed to the direct response, which tells them a little bit about who we are and why we’re different, but ultimately brings them to our website,” she says. . “And that pays dividends for the company. We have seen some very good growth figures over the past six months. ”

Lendi has also made significant investments in its online marketing stack, based on Salesforce CRM and DMP Krux.

“It’s going to really energize what we’re able to do,” she says.

Interestingly, Lendi has taken the position of having no agency apart from the one she uses for television, AdAd.

“We didn’t really want to put the future of the business in the hands of someone else who doesn’t have the skin in the game like we do,” said Cobb. “And I just think there is less and less need for this agency / client relationship. ”

The focus on marketing ROI also ensures that Cobb has a strong voice in Lendi’s overall decision-making, as she sits on both the leadership team and board meetings.

“There is a clear voice at the table and a real respect for what marketing is doing in this organization,” Cobb said. “Everyone understands our overall contribution to success, and it’s changing the types of conversations my team have on a daily basis. ”

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