Interview with Rami Alanko, CEO, Beemray

Rami Alanko Beemray
interviwes
Rami Alanko
Rami Alanko
Founder and CEO, Beemray
BEEMRAY

“Location data should not be considered merely as coordinates of a device. Coordinates do provide a precise point of a device but the interesting thing is the context. “

On Marketing Technology

MTS: Tell us about your role and how you got here? What inspired you to start an audience intelligence company?
I am the CEO and founder of Beemray. I have been an entrepreneur more or less all my life having different types of companies over the years. When my video platform company got acquired, I started researching areas that I found most interesting. I then realized that the potential of location was, and still is, a largely untapped opportunity. The other quite obvious discovery related to mobile devices and their endless capability of collecting contextual data. So the combination felt exciting, with a great variety of potential use cases. So we began building our customers a tool to discover audience intelligence in its broad sense, which is both a start and vision. Already we have come a long way to analyze people movement in realtime, across the globe, and the more we build, the more interesting it gets. The ever-changing tech environment and customer needs make it challenging, and therefore rewarding.

MTS: How does Beemray integrate location data, product automation and customer experience for better attribution?
The key components are 1st party data and realtime processing. We do enable 3rd party data sources occasionally but primarily rely on location and context to profile a device. These components enable our customers to automatically enable audiences that can trigger personalized ads or content. Attribution is best understood when one can track all aspects of the journey from location to context and content. Note that I talk about devices instead of persons as we pride ourselves to be GDPR compliant.

MTS: How should CMOs build their content automation and personalization strategies based on location data?
Location data should not be considered merely as coordinates of a device. Coordinates do provide a precise point of a device but the interesting thing is the context; where did that device come from, where does it go to, what is happening around it, what content it consumes in that particular location and is the location a random place or a part of a behavioral pattern. If one looks at location from various angles and as a part of a bigger picture of the device’s journey, the odds are that you get interesting profiles, even the kinds you did not know you have.

So if you then have the capability of analyzing a device in realtime in its full context, it provides a path to various use cases ranging from ad targeting to content personalization. Retargeting based on the location-based profiling is naturally an obvious one but I think it gets more interesting and engaging when realtime capability is introduced to provide better user experience in the correct context.

All this requires a willingness to think out-of-the-box and to experiment but the improvement of marketing efficiencies desperately needs new approaches, with location playing an increasingly vital role.

MTS: What are the major components of the Audience Intelligence Platform (AIP)? How does AIP help in custom audience segmentation?
The data flow starts with our web or app SDKs collecting 1st party location and attribute data. The platform then processes all incoming data in realtime and benefits from a growing number of machine learning along the way in order to fulfil custom or automated audiences. Integration with external platforms such as DMPs, ad servers etc. is obviously an elemental part to make the data actionable. The process data also enables valuable insights for planning and BI, all available in the self-serve UI. To put it in a nutshell, our AIP enables a multitude of use cases, and new products.

MTS: What startups are you watching/keen on right now?
I follow closely the products of our partners such as Lotame, mParticle and Cint. I think it is very important for us to maintain and develop further a frictionless ecosystem to lift up our joint customers marketing efforts. Outside of the ecosystem, I follow quite intensively some machine learning / AI scenes to stay up-to-date on the latest progress.

MTS: What tools does your marketing stack consist of in 2017?
As a tech start-up, I cannot say that our marketing stack is too thick. Quite the contrary, MailChimp for email marketing, Twitter/LinkedIn for social media and a great PR agency to manage publicity. And naturally, we use our own platform for audience building and customer insights. Generally speaking, we do a lot of targeted events that we find most rewarding and stay away from wider brand marketing, at least for now.

MTS: Would you tell us about your standout digital campaign?
We haven’t run many large scale digital campaigns, but our lead generation is good, mostly thanks to rigorous target audience pre-selection.

MTS: How do you see the audience intelligence industry for B2B customers growing by 2020?
The modern consumer is a clever beast, meaningless retargeting is useless, even irritating. Intelligent, contextual consumer profiling is the only way going forward to improve engagement and experience. There is massively disruptive change about to take place compared to the current, stagnant martech sector.

In terms of numbers, it is hard to predict any growth figures. Exponential surely but the bottom line is that I do not think any marketer can afford to underestimate the change.

This is How I Work

MTS: One word that best describes how you work.
Nonstop

MTS: What apps/software/tools can’t you live without?
Any really. It is great to ditch an old one and start using a new one instead. I find it inspiring.

MTS: What’s your smartest work related shortcut or productivity hack?
Sleep. When you give yourself the luxury of enough sleep, two things will happen: 1. You are more productive, 2. Your brains work on your projects during the sleep anyway, and usually make paths for something new during the night.

MTS: How does being part of a successful band compare to being a business leader?
Strangely enough, it does not really differ too much. Both sides are based on a vision and milestones with a continuous effort of getting better. But clearly, I do not have thousands of singing people in my business meetings

MTS: What are you currently reading?
Spanish dictionary. It is a never ending read, I start all over again once finished. The other book I just started is Nick Bostrom’s Superintelligence. The second time around!

MTS: What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
Focus on things you love.

MTS: Tag the one person in the industry whose answers to these questions you would love to read:
Andy Monfried

MTS: Thank you Rami! That was fun and hope to see you back on MarTech Series soon.

Rami is the Founder and CEO of Bbeemray. He is an advisor at SingOn Ltd. He also founded and is Chairman of the Board at Gramofoni.

BEEMRAY
Beemray enables publishers & broadcasters to build 1st party audiences based on precise locations, content & context; across the entire inventory. Then send them to any partner for targeting and monetisation. Web and App. In realtime (& historical).

The MTS Martech Interview Series is a fun Q&A style chat which we really enjoy doing with martech leaders. With inspiration from Lifehacker’s How I work interviews, the MarTech Series Interviews follows a two part format On Marketing Technology, and This Is How I Work. The format was chosen because when we decided to start an interview series with the biggest and brightest minds in martech – we wanted to get insight into two areas … one – their ideas on marketing tech and two – insights into the philosophy and methods that make these leaders tick.

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