Future Of Marketing Is In Personalization And AI

by Wrik Sen    Aug 29, 2016

Sachin Bansal In the new age of marketing and mobile advertising, the channels that a marketer needs to look into has changed manifold. Now, there is the desktop site which users access, apart from mobile sites, iOS app, and even the Android app that can be further broken down into push notifications, in-app notifications, web-push notifications, and SMS as well. It is thus paramount that marketers have a platform which is simple enough for consumers that is highly interactive, but effective as well. In an exclusive interview with CXO Today, Sachin Bansal, Co-Founder of Q-Graph talks about the company’s technical value proposition for marketers in this mobile age.

Please elaborate on the core capabilities of Qgraph, and the value addition to customer marketing operations? 

Qgraph is a Segment-of-One Marketing Automation platform for the new mobile era. It enables B2C marketers to send beautiful, interactive and personalized messages across channels through push notifications, in-app notifications, email, web push notifications and SMS.

At QGraph, we believe in delivering great user experiences, which means our marketing messages not only look great but are also incredibly relevant to the user. We do this by focusing on two things – design and data.

We offer some of the most beautiful and interactive push notification formats and floating in-app notifications. Our design principle is simple - a message should add to the overall user experience and also make the marketers work simpler. We have pushed the boundaries of what can be achieved with push notifications and will continue to do so in the future.

From a data perspective, we offer one-to-one personalization where marketers can hyper-personalize every message sent to each user. Minimizing the reliance on the tech team means that the marketer can deliver on their plans with no delay. All of this adds tremendous performance improvements. In fact, we are seeing that app users who interact with our custom creatives, have at least two times higher clicks on push notifications.

What are the emerging technologies that are making a difference in the world of marketing automation?

In the desktop era, a digital marketer had to worry about one property i.e. website and two marketing channels - advertising and email. Now, there are 4 properties - desktop website, mobile website, android app and iOS app. As for marketing channels, in addition to advertising and email, there are push notifications, in-app notifications, web push notifications and SMS. And there would be new channels like messaging that will open up in the near future. Just imagine a marketer’s life with so many properties and marketing channels.

Until now, marketing automation was all about automation, i.e. make the marketer more productive by automating tasks and workflows. That definition of marketing automation is passé. The future will be about personalization and artificial intelligence (AI). This transition will be in two phases. The first phase would see personalization being driven by automation. Basically marketers deciding what’s relevant for the user based on their experiences and system performing the heavy lifting. Personalization needs to and will go beyond just using a user’s name in the message and evolve into content personalization. This would then be followed by AI becoming prominent and taking a lead on content personalization.

Which are the main market segments where your services are expected to grow?

We are seeing strong growth for our product in the ecommerce industry. Ecommerce marketing is very different from other industries. On one side we have users who are overwhelmed with thousands of product choices. On the other side, ecommerce marketers struggle to reach out to their users with relevant products and resort to bulk marketing. Considering that a typical ecommerce player carries tens of thousands of products in its catalogue and has millions of users, it’s a problem of plenty that both ecommerce users and marketers face today. There is a gulf between what the user needs and expects and what the marketers are able to deliver. At QGraph, we are bridging this gap by enabling product discovery and engagement via our dynamically personalized marketing messages, at scale. We have built a separate ecommerce module that focuses on product discovery across different marketing channels.

What industry specific challenges do you notice in India?

Marketing automation in India is still in its infancy. In fact, digital marketing industry is not too old in India. As with the developed markets, India hasn’t witnessed the transition from desktop to the incredibly personal mobile. So, an Indian digital marketer is suddenly thrust into a world with multiple touch points and has too much to learn in a short span of time. This translates into most marketers’ definition of marketing automation as being able to just blast a message to all users.

Our biggest challenge ahead is to make this transition quick, seamless and enable a marketer to leverage the meaningful and performance driving opportunities available on mobile. Essentially adding the smarts to marketing automation. All the while ensuring that the user is delivered a world class experience.

What are future growth avenues that you foresee for the company?

As I mentioned earlier, the future of marketing automation is personalization and artificial intelligence. Our platform offers the most advanced personalization available today anywhere. As mobile usage increases and users’ expectations from marketers rise, we foresee more and more marketers evolve from bulk or blast marketing to personalized marketing.

We currently have customers across the globe including leading internet companies in Spain, Turkey, Singapore, Germany, Indonesia, Brazil and India. We foresee most of our future growth to come from outside India where marketing automation has already evolved over the years.