Bazaarvoice’s Liz Ritzcovan Joins Foursquare As CRO
"Foursquare needs to deepen our connection with our partners," says Ritzcovan. adding that the location tech platform needs to explain "why it’s critical to leverage more than a single Foursquare solution."
The use cases for location intelligence for marketing purposes go way beyond geo-targeting and advertising — and the first goal of Liz Ritzcovan as she settles into her second week as chief revenue officer of Foursquare, is to make sure clients know it.
Ritzcovan has held several executive posts at companies such as Yahoo, Time Inc, and Parade Media Group, and Sizmek. But her most recent tenure as CRO of user generated content network Bazaarvoice, which she had been at for three years, has presented her with the clearest path to tell Foursquare’s story about the uses of location data.
“There are many analogies between my work at Bazaarvoice—where we enabled better shopping experiences via SaaS software and a UGC database for e-commerce brands, paired with a media business—with that of Foursquare, where [Foursquare SDK] Pilgrim allows developers and publishers to create personalized experiences for consumers, alongside Foursquare’s analytics, insights, targeting and measurement solutions,” Ritzcovan said in a blog post.
In outlining her initial goals, Ritzcovan points to two words: “client centricity.”
“Foursquare needs to deepen our connection with our partners: explaining to business leaders why it’s critical to leverage more than a single Foursquare solution—be it ad campaigns with Pinpoint, measurement with Attribution, or location-based CRM and messaging with our Pilgrim SDK and Places API—by taking all of these parts together and connecting the dots,” Ritzcovan says. “Foursquare is more and more about bundling technology licensing, mapping capabilities, and marketing optimization in a suite of solutions. It’s the reason I joined, to help lead the team into packaging these broad “solution sets” for leading organizations and brands.”
While the value of location data is widely recognized by all major brands, publishers, agencies, and platforms — as Foursquare’s string of varied deals the past year can attest. Some of those alliances include offering its location analytics to Spotify, Tinder, South Korea’s Naver Labs, Uber, and a range of digital publishers like Pandora and Snapchat along with advertisers like tequila brand Patron.
So she arrives at particularly good time in Foursquare’s history. Roughly three years ago, Foursquare was often put in the position of insisting there was no company “deathwatch.” Instead, CEO Jeff Glueck reported earlier in 2018 that the company’s revenues rose for the third consecutive year.
As former Foursquare President Steven Rosenblatt has told us, it was Foursquare’s decision years ago to see location intelligence as its main business, not social media. The true test of location analytics’ value and viability is whether it can transcend clickthrough rates as the primary pricing and measurement mechanism of digital ads versus methods the look to store visits and actual sales, he said by way of Foursquare’s current mission.
“There’s been a huge demand for a company to have an always-on, non-incentivized persistent view that really has a true measure of whether an ad drove someone to a place or not,” Rosenblatt said previously. “Brands are demanding the ability to optimize daily and then have access to lookback windows. We provide a two-day to 30-day lookback window. Tools like Foursquare Attribution is going to move us from the ‘click’ and finally get us out of a click-based economy and into what does real-world measurement act like online as well as offline. This is all about connecting the online and offline world.”
With all that in place, Ritzcovan’s challenge then is to expand the way location analytics are used.
“Liz is known for effectively scaling companies with both enterprise and media solutions, empowering teams for success, and taking a determined approach to excellence in client service,” says Foursquare CEO Jeff Glueck. “We are thrilled she’s bringing her acumen and focus to Foursquare at this exciting time in our growth.”
“In the coming weeks, I’ll be diving deep with the strong team at Foursquare that has driven 50 percent-plus revenue growth over each of the past three years, as well as our clients, to understand how we can better align our processes and products, working hand-in-hand to serve their most pressing needs and helping them to propel their businesses forward,” Ritzcovan says.
“One of the company’s core values is to ‘Invent the Future,’ and it’s amazing to be here teaming up with everyone to do just that,” she added. “We believe our work will not be done until every company, every experience is smartly personalized, contextually relevant and based on a deeper understanding of what users value in their lives.”