Lytics: Creating intelligent solutions with Google Cloud

About Lytics

The Lytics Customer Data Platform is the first smart CDP for marketers. Lytics helps solve the problem of increasing complexity in reaching customers and helps companies deliver relevant, contextual, one-to-one marketing at scale. Lytics is located in Portland, Oregon.

Industries: Technology
Location: United States

By moving databases and other applications to Google Cloud Platform, Lytics grew revenue by 6x and reduced infrastructure spending by 70% while gaining reliability, speed, and scalability for massive data volumes.

Google Cloud Results

  • Increases speed of data streaming up to 10x, and database performance by 4x
  • Reduces monthly cloud infrastructure costs by 70%

Grew revenue 6x in the last year, without hiring more operations staff

The market for data-based marketing tools is competitive today, but the founders of Lytics saw an unmet need to empower marketers with a fully managed warehouse of data from different sources and channels. The Lytics Customer Data Platform (CDP), collocates data from different marketing tools, customer profiles, and more, making it possible to create highly specific segments that marketers can use to create personalized customer experiences.

“With Google Cloud at the core of our infrastructure, we can grow our customer base and revenue without a corresponding increase in support and operations engineers. Last year we achieved 600 percent revenue growth without adding operations headcount.”

Aaron Raddon, Co-founder and CTO, Lytics

Achieving performance at scale

For example, a marketer can easily understand where a user is in the customer lifecycle, and help ensure relevant experiences like suppressing ads for current customers, or refraining from delivering an email article they have already read on the website. Lytics tools can also perform sophisticated semantic content analysis to match customer interaction patterns with content each customer is likely to best respond to. Because customers are more likely to click on and engage with content that’s fresh and resonates with their interests, smart content recommendations have been shown to increase conversions as well as improve customer retention. And according to McKinsey, personalized content can increase revenue by 5 to 15 percent, while enhancing marketing spending efficiency by 10 to 30 percent.

Collecting and processing this volume of interaction data is resource-intensive, and the scale of Lytics data warehouses continually increases as data accumulates. As the CDP continued to grow, the size of all related systems grew too, forcing increases in cloud hosting costs. Lytics needed to find a way to scale affordably while opening up opportunities for performance gains.

“When we first moved to Google Cloud Platform, we were using all the same software. But our data streaming servers were running up to ten times as many megabits of data per second, and our database performance improved by about 400 percent thanks to a faster network and better disk I/O.”

Aaron Raddon, Co-founder and CTO, Lytics

“With Google Cloud at the core of our infrastructure, we can grow our customer base and revenue without a corresponding increase in support and operations engineers,” says Aaron Raddon, Co-founder and CTO at Lytics. “Last year we achieved 600 percent revenue growth without adding any operations headcount.”

When Lytics began testing Google Cloud Platform (GCP), one of the first things the company noticed was dramatic increases in performance. “When we first moved to Google Cloud Platform, we were using all the same software. But our data streaming servers were running up to ten times as many megabits of data per second, and our database performance also improved by about 400 percent thanks to a much faster network and better disk I/O,” says Aaron. Streaming data performance improved from 80 Mbps to 1 Gbps. Lytics also noticed greater stability: apps that used to be challenged by minor sub-second network hiccups now ran smoothly.

Lytics initially focused only on lowering its cloud costs. Moving to GCP reduced its monthly cloud infrastructure bills by 70 percent. However, the company also gained benefits beyond lower costs and better performance. Another benefit is decreased time spent on security discussions with customers. Google’s reputation for security and its toolset helps Lytics customers, who in turn entrust their own customers’ sensitive data to Lytics. In addition to using Cloud Identity-Aware Proxy for more secure sign-ins, Lytics can often point its customers to Google’s own security docs, reducing time spent documenting its security practices and accelerating sales.

After moving to GCP, Lytics decided to replace its existing messaging solution with Cloud Pub/Sub and moved its database to Cloud Bigtable. Not only did this solve some problems with latency, but it freed up time once spent on infrastructure maintenance and troubleshooting for new development. Lytics eventually hopes to reach 100 percent automated infrastructure throughout the development lifecycle.

Driving innovation and transparency

BigQuery has also enabled Lytics to empower its customers with open access to their own data warehouses. After Lytics copies each customer’s data into BigQuery, customers can build their own reports using tools like Tableau and Domo. Customers can even apply their own custom data metrics to create queries in Cloud Bigtable, such as unique customer lifetime value scoring: BigQuery calculates the scores, which then become a permanent part of customer profile data in Lytics, where the scores can be used to inform future marketing campaigns.

“We often get feedback from Google engineers within hours, and changes and improvements we've suggested have been implemented almost immediately.”

Aaron Raddon, Co-founder and CTO, Lytics

Additionally, Lytics anonymously delivers all of each customer’s segments into Google Analytics via its native integration in Google Tag Manager to enrich those segments as custom dimensions within Google Analytics. In this way, cross-channel data, and each customer’s life-cycle aspects can be combined for better reporting.

As Lytics continues to innovate, Google solutions continue to provide new possibilities. Lytics's recently released Content Affinity Engine, a recommendation engine for content marketing, performs natural language processing analysis that can help predict what content different customer segments will respond to. On top of semantic and sentiment analysis, the Cloud Vision API adds intelligent image analysis that allows the Content Affinity Engine to extract semantic data from visual content and enrich its recommendation data.

The next-level product for Lytics is also built on BigQuery: an ambitious new reporting technology that will help marketers better understand individual customers’ interaction lifecycle.

Scalability of Google Cloud solutions is a key driver for this advance, and Google’s responsive support has been enormously helpful as Lytics innovates. “We often get feedback from Google engineers within hours, and changes and improvements we've suggested have been implemented almost immediately,” says Aaron.

Collaborating with intelligence

In addition to building on GCP, the teams at Lytics also uses G Suite for seamless collaboration. “In the end, our data platform is about using intelligence to help customers get the best experiences with the brands they interact with,” says Aaron. “We’re naturally interested in moving forward, working with Google to create intelligent experiences.”

About Lytics

The Lytics Customer Data Platform is the first smart CDP for marketers. Lytics helps solve the problem of increasing complexity in reaching customers and helps companies deliver relevant, contextual, one-to-one marketing at scale. Lytics is located in Portland, Oregon.

Industries: Technology
Location: United States
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