April 14, 2022 | 4 min read

Customer Spotlight: Andrew Spencer at Alaska Airlines

Andrew Spencer is using Amperity at Alaska Airlines to optimize marketing campaigns.

Amplifiers Spotlight: Andrew Spencer at Alaska Airlines

Our customers are our biggest source of inspiration. We love catching up with them to learn more about how they work and play so we can share it with our community.

Andrew in five: 

  • Media Analyst at Alaska Airlines

  • Began his career as an integrated marketing specialist at Alaska seven years ago and now oversees digital advertising and media analytics

  • Utilizes first-party data to identify which segments they should be targeting on TikTok, a new channel for Alaska

  • Uses Visual Query Editor to research, discover new insights, define audiences, and determine which ad platforms to target

  • Loves fishing, rock climbing, and golfing in his free time

What are you responsible for as a Media Analyst?

There are a few different aspects to what I do, but primarily I oversee digital advertising and media analytics. I’m in charge of monitoring and reporting on marketing campaign performance and monitoring our digital advertising program to ensure media is optimized and performing well. One of my main responsibilities is to make sure each of our marketing channel leads has access to data that’s beneficial to their respective workstreams. 

How long have you worked at Alaska Airlines and what was your career trajectory?

I’ve been with Alaska for seven years now. I began my career here as an Integrated Marketing Specialist leading various marketing department projects. A little over a year later I transitioned to Digital Advertising where I developed a keen eye for performance, data, and media. 

What teams do you work with or support? What does this entail?

I work with just about every team across the Marketing department! I’ve assisted our Food & Beverage team by developing dashboards to showcase what foods are popular on specific routes, our Guest Communications team to help automate email segments, and of course, the digital advertising team to develop audience strategies, identify media opportunities, and optimize campaigns.  

Has the way you support other teams changed at all since your implementation of Amperity? 

Yes, definitely. We have way more questions pop up from them now and Amperity has made it incredibly easy to find  the answers. My team is the de facto go-to for other groups within the organization who need to learn more about guest habits. Since onboarding Amperity, our team doesn’t work in silos anymore.

As part of your program, you work with agencies and media partners. How does Amperity impact your work with them? 

Amperity has played a significant role in the orchestration of audiences to our partners. Many of our strategies lean heavily on the activation of first-party data. Before, we didn’t have the tools to update guests on policy changes or promote unique fare sales or discounts — now it’s simple! Amperity also helps us ensure our audiences are refreshed across ad platforms, which is an important piece of media optimization. 

Has your use of Amperity changed how you get work done? 

We’re using first-party data significantly more than we used to, which is especially important with the looming deprecation of third-party cookies. We’ve also been able to reduce the speed to market for many of our teams. For example, we rolled out an update to a promotion a few weeks ago that impacted travelers after they returned from a trip. It took us less than five minutes to update the segments within Amperity, and after a few hours of making the updates, the new messaging reached hundreds of additional travelers. 

"We’re using first-party data significantly more than we used to, which is especially important with the looming deprecation of third-party cookies."

With the increased speed to delivery and access to customer insights, what are you spending the extra time on?  

Curiosity — I now have time to be curious about things that I was unable to explore previously. Not only that, I’m able to feed that curiosity and actually have the resources now to look things up. I can ask more questions, and dive into anything I want to learn more about.

What’s the coolest thing you’ve been able to do with Amperity data?

Now, we have a holistic view of our guests that we can tie to our web analytics and marketing platforms in order to uncover really cool insights. One of the cooler things we’ve done is partner with a data analysis firm to develop unique machine learning, lifetime value, propensity, and churn models that are being used across several of our marketing channels.

Do you have any campaign examples that have been particularly successful because you had access to your customer data from Amperity? 

Over the years we’ve done a lot of testing on custom audiences compared to third-party audiences. In almost all of these tests, custom audiences and lookalikes outperformed. During a recent promotion we ran, our Custom Lookalike segment using insights found within Amperity outperformed the third-party in Market audience, and resulted in a 16% lower cost per acquisition. Even better, the custom audience that we targeted had a 43% lower cost per acquisition too.  In almost all cases, using first-party data outperforms what we see from other third-party sources. 

What is your favorite feature or capability in Amperity and what do you use it for? 

The Visual Query Editor. I’m often asked questions like, “How many people are in X, Y, Z group?” Rather than writing the query in SQL from scratch, nine times out of ten I’m able to build a Visual Query in just seconds. 

It makes it much easier to run market research and get to know our customers. I can also easily identify insights to help define audiences and determine which ad platforms we should target based on information such as where customers are located geographically. 

What sort of things are you doing with the segments you are running? 

We use segments in a number of different ways ranging from market research, managing email segments and marketing analytics, and generating Custom Audiences for use across popular ad networks.

We’re currently working with agencies right now on a project to boost our presence on TikTok. We’ve identified that it’s  a growing market opportunity for us so we're using first-party data to identify which segments we should be targeting, eg. Alaska loyalists to build up  our brand presence on the platform. 

Tell us about a hobby or something you like to do outside of work.

In my spare time you’ll either find me out on the golf course, fishing around western Washington, or rock climbing at Seattle Bouldering Project. My golf goal for the summer is to break 80 — wish me luck… I’ll need it!

Andrew Spencer holding a fish on a boat smiling at the camera