When LendingTree, the online lending marketplace, started out 22 years ago, it offered exactly one product: home mortgages.

“And a mortgage is not a product that consumers buy very frequently,” noted Akshay Tandon, LendingTree’s vice president/analytics, at KNect365’s Marketing, Analytics and Data Science (MADS) Conference in San Francisco, California.

Not surprisingly, the company originally focused on optimizing discreet transactions. But as LendingTree’s offerings have diversified over time, so it has helped over 100 million customers acquire more than $50 billion in loans – be it for a home, a new car, or to grow their small business.

“Now, we cover the full gamut of lending products – personal loans, home equity, mortgage, credit cards – a very diverse product set,” Tandon said. “With that came multiple repeat transactions.”

That evolution, in turn, led LendingTree to shift its focus from the value of individual transactions to customer lifetime value, a move Tandon said has sparked dramatic changes in its marketing and internal operations.