Appboy, the mobile marketing automation vendor, is launching several new products today to help marketers develop and deepen relationships with mobile customers. By doubling down on predictive technology and machine learning, marketers can tap into individual user data to better select channels and timing for marketing campaigns offered through the company’s expanded Intelligence Suite. Appboy has also updated its automation and personalization features and built a new web SDK that could provide a rich source of data that mobile marketers can use to fight the blight of the industry today — churn.
Mobile marketers have no shortage of tools available to help them build and sustain user growth. There are app analytics, tools, and platforms centered on user acquisition — as well as Appboy’s category — mobile marketing automation (MMA). MMA is a relatively new concept. Many of the players are one- or two-year-old startups. The grandfather of the field, Urban Airship, is only about six years old, and only recently started adding higher-order marketing automation features. Adobe is probably the most mature company offering marketing automation — yet in a recent study by VentureBeat on the space, Appboy came out as one of the most full-featured players. These new product developments only serve to strengthen that claim.
While an app analytics solution is focused on aggregating big numbers and big data, which publishers then use to infer user behaviors, emotions, and mindset — mobile marketing automation is focused on the user data, which publishers can aggregate into segments. And where app analytics offers after-the-fact data upon which to base future development or marketing decisions, mobile marketing automation provides real-time data which marketers can use to make both real-time and future engagement decisions.
“We need to start from the user level and go up,” Appboy’s CEO Mark Ghermezian said. “It’s really CRM.”
But where CRM is mostly about known customers or prospects, MMA deals with both logged in/registered users and anonymous users. As with a web customer experience management platform, marketers can use MMA to deeply understand unknown users and deeply engagement them.
And, most importantly, monetize them.
Marketers can leverage the Appboy platform to engage customers in a variety of ways. The new Intelligence Suite allows marketers to more quickly amplify successful campaigns and tweak those that are struggling — helping marketers predict outcomes faster and automate decision-making with data as the foundation. This means the tool self-learns which users prefer which types of messaging, at which times, in which format (push, email, in-app messaging, etc.). Marketers using this ‘Intelligent Delivery’ in Appboy’s platform saw as much as a 38 percent lift in campaigns versus control groups. It turns on with a simple toggle, and theoretically improves itself over time. So rather than scheduling messages, the tool uses historical engagement data personalized to each customer to deliver outreach at precise moments.
“Intelligent Selection” is another expanded feature that allows Appboy customers to analyze campaigns and predictively adjust the percentage of users that receive each message variant. Appboy automatically detects variants that are performing better than others and will predictively send that message to more users, while sending underperforming messages to fewer users. Each adjustment is made using a machine learning algorithm that ensures an optimal distribution of messages based upon all available information.
With Intelligent Selection, brands can test more frequently and with greater confidence that their users will see their best message, thus eliminating the need for manual adjustments.
Of course, the outcomes of these messaging efforts are only as good as the segments to which they’re targeted. Appboy has also expanded a comparative segment analytics tool that provides automated insights into the events and attributes that have caused users to fall into particular audiences. Marketers will be able to see how their segments differ from baseline users — for example, users who read a long-form article may be significantly more likely to use the app multiple times per day. By surfacing latent traits that lead to high ROI activities, these insights will encourage marketers to target and foster the metrics that are truly key to their apps’ success.
Finally, Appboy is also announcing a new web SDK coming out of beta. Since upwards of 42 percent of consumers are still engaging brands through web browsers, maintaining long-term relationships with customers requires that brands go multi-channel. This is easy to talk about but it’s quite a feat to install platforms that support multi-channel functionality. Appboy’s web SDK seamlessly links user data and identity between app and website — without the need for manual API integrations — allowing marketers to link information together with one platform. With this new product, Appboy clients can not only send messages to their customers wherever they happen to be, they can further connect customer behaviors and actions and tie them into campaign strategies and messaging initiatives that are far more personalized, relevant and valuable to each consumer.