Avlesh Singh, Co-Founder and CEO of WebEngage in an interview with Techseen discusses how the company’s latest marketing automation tool ‘Journey Designer’ will help companies implement their engagement plans across users’ lifecycle. He also talks about the future of marketing automation tools and how the technology enterprise space is evolving to utilize multiple channels to address mobile app and web based challenges. WebEngage is a multi-channel user engagement platform which automates communication across users’ life-cycle and enables users to connect with them through Web Messages, In-App Messages, Push Notifications, Emails and Text Messages.
Techseen: You have described Journey Designer as a product that caters from e-commerce to BFSI. Is there a specific industry sector that can utilize the tool the most? How will it work for enterprise-tech companies?
Singh:Journey Designer is going to work for any business which is working towards customer retention. Although the e-commerce surely going to be majority of the clientèle but lately we have closed various names from ed-tech, BFSI and travel sector. It all boils down to whether our product can answer their use-case or not.
Techseen: Every company and every sector has its unique pain points/ challenges, from an enterprise technology angle how do you address these ‘critical use-cases’?
Singh: The market that we are going after is small and mid sized businesses with the annual revenue of more than $5 million. These companies are currently doing their marketing in silos, as in they are using different tools for every communication channel. There is X for email, then Y for push messaging, Z for web messaging and so on and so forth. Now these communication tools do not work in synergy, as in, they don’t talk with each other which reflects in the communication with the user. For instance, if you have conveyed some information to the user via email then your next communication with him via email, push or text should depend on whether the user has opened the previous mail or not. In a nutshell, the communication with the user across his lifecycle is not consistent and cannot be achieved with the current set of tools. ‘Journey Designer’ is answer to that problem.
Techseen: Who would be your competitors or ‘peers’ in this field? What solutions do the uninitiated marketers take onboard for marketing automation and why?
Singh: Marketing automation sector is very fragmented at the moment. There are players across individual categories like for push messaging there is Localytics, for email there is Mailchimp, for web notifications there is Pushcrew and so on and so forth. We, on the other hand are facilitating, engagement across five channels- push, in-app, web messaging, email and text. So there is no head-on competition but rather across categories.
Techseen: How does journey designer work? You claim to be cheaper than Salesforce or Adobe but do you have a similar offering or something that goes beyond typical marketing automation? Why are these tools so expensive and why is your solution more economical in comparison?
Singh: A very simplistic answer to how journey designer works is here. Companies like Adobe and Salesforce are the premier and largest players of the marketing automation industry. They offer very comprehensive solution in terms of data management, analytics, event integration and so on and so forth that explains their their exorbitant yet reasonable pricing. Due to their pricing and ‘enterprisey’ nature they are used and needed only by large enterprises. Companies in the mid-market segment that we are after doesn’t need that level of comprehensiveness as their use-cases are much more simple.
Techseen: Being a multi-channel online user engagement platform, how would you say the landscape of your field of work has changed since your initiation in 2011, from an enterprise technology perspective?
Singh: Earlier, we were just an on-site marketing tool offering engagement only via websites. Evolvement into a mobile product happened naturally for the obvious reasons. Than later we realized that if we have to stay relevant and grow then we need to expand to the other areas of engagement.
Techseen: You said Flipkart has come on-board as a client, is there an onboarding process that you made the company’s professionals go through, as you claim that the product reduces the dependency of marketing on tech functions?
Singh: With Flipkart, the challenge was to impress the utility of the product that convinces them to migrate from their existing solution. There was several weeks of piloting before they consented to come on board and become the first customer. There wasn’t an on-boarding process as such because we are yet to formalize that as the product is brand new.
Techseen: What is the future of marketing automation and how do you think the enterprise technology sector will evolve to cater to the growing demands of online and mobile businesses?
Singh: Future stack of marketing automation solutions are going to be more predictive in nature. They are going to be more intuitive, intelligent and would use the available data set to make recommendations across every user touchpoint. They wouldn’t be need to hard-coded like they need to be done now rather they would learn from the customer behavior and automatically suggest actions based on customer’s interaction so far.
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