Appboy is making moves to become a more complete citizen of the marketing ecosystem.
The mobile marketing platform is doing so by launching today a new data exchange called Open Access and by unveiling mobile personalization.
First, Open Access.
Essentially, it opens up the data spigots on the platform, so marketers can readily send and target mobile messages using Appboy — but from the dashboard of another tool, like a content management system (CMS).
Before this launch, Appboy’s APIs were much more limited, customer services head Spencer Burke told me.
A marketer on a CMS dashboard could tell Appboy via an API to “send this message,” he said. But it was “not targeted, not assigned to a campaign, and you couldn’t view reporting afterward.”
“The CMS [didn’t] know anything about mobile users” profiled in Appboy, he pointed out.
Now, cofounder and CTO Bill Magnuson said, “any data in Appboy” — including profiles, segmentation for message targeting, or whether an email was opened — “is available in any [integrated] application.”
In other words, a marketer can now use her CMS dashboard to compose and automate the sending of a mobile message, taking advantage of what’s in Appboy.
Example: In a CMS or other integrated dashboard, a marketer for a publication like USA Today composes and sets the automated conditions for sending a mobile notice to basketball fans when the site publishes a March Madness story.
The fans’ profiles, the message sending — as a push notification, in-app message, email, or card in a newsfeed — and the feedback on user response is all run through the Appboy platform.
As noted in VB Insight’s recently published Mobile Marketing Automation report, the New York City-based company has positioned itself as part of an omnichannel strategy, so that, for instance, an app created for Urban Outfitters would know from the customer relationship management system that the mobile user bought a jacket from the retailer yesterday.
The report determined that Appboy was the mobile marketing vendor with “the greatest array of features.” But the new Open Access means the Appboy platform becomes a more fully realized marketing automation tool.
It’s also joining other marketing tools today with its new capability to personalize messages.
Before, all Appboy messages to users in the same targeted segment — say, mobile game players on the West Coast under age 30 — received the same message.
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Now, the messaging can be personalized to the individual — by name if that’s known, or by profile characteristics, if anonymous.
Since it’s better integrated with other tools, that personalization can grab content dynamically from another platform, such as coupons, personalized product recommendations, or a March Madness update.
Extensive personalization has become commonplace among websites and has been evolving in the mobile world, where apps dominate.
Compared to the personalization offered on competing mobile marketing platforms, Magnuson said that the “level of data we collect automatically gives our personalization a lot more power.”
This includes, he said, the capability to dynamically call up the appropriate language for the recipient, store an unlimited number of attributes about each profile, and now provide full integration with external systems.