Fusing analytics and engagement is key to contextualising: Anand Jain

Anand Jain, co-founder of CleverTap
Traditionally, product managers have been using analytics while marketers use engagement as a tool to run their campaigns. To maximise gains it is critical to use the two platforms together, CleverTap co-founder ANAND JAIN tells Sangeeta Tanwar.

CleverTap claims to connect with their consumers more effectively. What’s the key to effective consumer engagement?

The use of mobile apps has grown by leaps and bounds. The next generation is hooked to it. So, it is important for an app to first get noticed and then get downloaded. Most importantly, the onboarding process of a user is critical to the success of an app. If an app manages to deliver a hassle-free onboarding experience, chances are that the user will end up using it more frequently. It is important that an app is easy to download and navigate. The learning curve for using an app has to be really short and hassle-free. Brands can create short videos which can walk through users across the app.

Also, app developers do not have patience. Users should be given the chance to explore an app. Let her use the app before flooding her with pop-up messages.

You say data analytics plays a key role in driving engagement. Can you expand?

No marketer can run brand engagement campaigns or pursue digital marketing effectively without data analytics. Fusing analytics and engagement is key to contextualising and real-time action. Traditionally, product managers have been using analytics while marketers use engagement as a tool to run their campaigns. However, to maximise gains it is critical to use the two platforms together. It is important that one understands the user before running engagement programmes. This helps in contextualising. For example, if you know that a person buys shirts of size 40, there is no point in showing search results and plus-size offerings. The right kind of data set helps brands in pursuing meaningful up-selling and cross-selling of products. For instance, if I am a gold customer — it means that I am a loyal customer; therefore a brand should avoid sending frequent promotional or membership mails.

How best can brands contextualise and create personal experience for buyers?

Contextualisation has to be in the moment, that is, it has to be a real-time phenomenon. If a user has already bought a product and opted for a service and your brand message reaches her after the purchase it is not communication but spam. Therefore, contextualisation has to be instant. Similarly, personalisation goes beyond all the layers of the app. For instance, in the case of a cab app, if I’m often availing of a cab from the airport to home, then brands have to be careful not to send notifications for availing of outstation cabs or local autos. Apps need to put irrelevant offers behind digital walls.

How has the app landscape transformed from the time of your first local listing venture, Burp, from 2006?

Burp was a business to consumer (B2C) offering. At that time, there was no Facebook or Twitter. For a company that was boot-strapped, using billboards to reach out to customers was an expensive proposition. Since we did not have deep pockets to market ourselves, the product had to speak for itself so that we did not have to market the product hard.

With CleverTap the challenge that we took on was can we build a successful business to business (B2B) company through word of mouth. For the first three years, CleverTap did not have a single sales personnel. We purely depended on a product guy or marketer to recommend our offering to others. Also, earlier, as a B2C player we struggled to monetise the product. But with CleverTap, we have learnt to monetise the product with banner advertisements etc.

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