Industry Innovator: Cheetah Digital

We designed the Sparkfly platform to seamlessly integrate with all kinds of partners so that we can create a customized marketing experience for merchants and the very best customer experience for end users—but that doesn’t mean we team up with just anyone. As we mentioned in the first installment of our Industry Innovator series, there are specific traits that we look for when we decide to align with and advocate for a new partner. After all, our customers deserve every cutting-edge innovation we can give them.

And we’re so glad our partner Cheetah Digital feels the same way.


Founded back in 1998 in Chicago, Cheetah Digital now has 26 offices spread across 13 countries and over 1,400 employees who specialize in cross-channel customer engagement solutions. The Cheetah Digital Customer Engagement Suite enables marketers to create personalized experiences, cross-channel messaging, and loyalty strategies, underpinned by an engagement data platform that can scale to meet the changing demands of today’s consumer. The Cheetah team has helped some of the world’s biggest brands—including Hilton, Neiman Marcus, Walgreens, and Williams-Sonoma—drive more revenue and build lasting customer relationships throughout the entire customer lifecycle.


Cheetah began as email marketing pioneers all the way back when HTML was a brand new innovation and years before any kind of spam legislation protected our inboxes from irrelevant junk mail! The company has been on the cutting edge ever since, expanding its solutions as marketers expanded their needs, wants, and expectations. Cheetah has transformed from an email marketing leader to a digital innovator by creating in-depth data management and cross-channel capabilities designed specifically for B2C marketers.

And their hard work has not gone unnoticed. In 2019, Cheetah Digital was named a Leader in the Forrester Wave™ report for Loyalty Technology Platforms, and in 2020, Forrester Wave™ named the company a leader in Email Marketing Service Providers. Gartner also named Cheetah a Multichannel Marketing Hub Challenger in its Magic Quadrant in 2020. Those are just some of the accolades they’ve received over the years. We could go on, but you get the idea—this team is talented.


Cheetah and Sparkfly both believe that digital transformation is one part actionable data, one part personalized experiences, and one part lifetime customer value. Add them together and we’re proud to work with Cheetah to help our clients accelerate their digital transformations and maximize their marketing platforms and mobile apps.

How does it work?

Cheetah’s customer relationship management (CRM) and data solutions are designed for global enterprises and, more importantly, are designed to scale when customers’ demands change (as they so often do!). Combine that with Sparkfly’s real-time, bi-directional point-of-sale integration technology, and you end up with new integration possibilities, upgrades to existing loyalty offerings, and a higher level of overall sophistication. Sparkfly and Cheetah integrate to support real-time bi-directional integration for loyalty member tracking and 1:1 offer/reward distribution, validation, and redemption—including using individual customer purchase data to support future segmentation and personalized retargeting.

If you’ve ever taken advantage of a loyalty offering from Outback Steakhouse, Carrabba’s Italian Grill, or Bonefish Grill, you’ve gotten a taste of Sparkfly and Cheetah’s partnership. In true Industry Innovator form, we kicked off our collaboration with Bloomin’ Brands, one of the world’s largest casual dining companies with approximately 93,000 team members and more than 1,450 restaurants worldwide. Together, we created a full-scale upgrade to Bloomin’ Brands’ existing loyalty offerings across their portfolio of restaurants in-store, online, and mobile loyalty offerings.

Sparkfly and Cheetah don’t just share technology visions, though. As part of the true compatibility of our organizations, both companies share many of the same core values—as evidenced when our founder and CEO, Catherine Tabor, was invited to write a powerful blog post on Cheetah’s website in honor of International Women’s Day about how female entrepreneurs can advocate for themselves and bring their own kind of something special into the world.

What else do we have in common?

  • We both believe in empowering marketers so that they can innovate faster, meet ever-evolving customer expectations, and make every interaction a memorable one.
  • We both know how important it is to be agile. Even before COVID-19 completely transformed customer expectations and experiences, we knew that customers were interacting with brands in so many different ways—from in store to in app, mobile messaging, social media, and more. That’s why we focus on dynamic, seamless technology.
  • We both know that data is the key to the kingdom. Without it, there’s no way for merchants to learn more about their customers and design the personalized interactions that customers crave. And if the data isn’t available in real-time, marketers will always be one step behind.
  • We both believe that marketers and their customers deserve the very best. In fact, they’ve come to expect nothing less. 


The pandemic forced casual dining and quick serve restaurants to accelerate their digital transformations and pivot to meet new needs. Now that customers have gotten used to having all of their cravings a finger tap away, the industry will have to keep up its pandemic pace of innovation post-pandemic. Industry Innovators like Cheetah and Sparkfly will be there to give marketers what they need so that they can continue to create new ways to build relationships with their customers.

Be sure to revisit our blog as we highlight more creative partners in our Industry Innovator series.