TechBytes with Samir Addamine, Founder and Chairman, FollowAnalytics

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Samir Addamine

Samir Addamine
Founder and Chairman, FollowAnalytics

In March 2017, Forrester Research recognized FollowAnalytics as a leading Mobile-First Commerce and Messaging platform. The allure of mobile marketing continues to grow with marketers increasingly looking out for powerful “Mobile Moments” that satisfy customer’s desires effectively. We chatted with Samir Addamine, Founder and Chairman, FollowAnalytics, to understand the trends in the mobile marketing automation market and the importance of ‘Mobile Moments’ in marketing campaigns.

MTS: What are the different mobile marketing automation capabilities that FollowAanalytics provides for Mobile-First engagement?
Samir Addamine:
We offer three main areas of automation:

  • Analyze: Our customers fully understand how people use their app so they can make data-driven decisions about how to interact with their customers. Through event flows and funnels, they can see where users drop off so they can optimize customer journeys.  They also have a real time 360° view of their customer across devices, channels, and geographies.
  • Engage: Build personalized customer journeys that boost long term engagement. Contextual campaigns can be triggered by customer behavior, in-app and custom events, location, profile information and just about any set of inputs, all in real time. Plus because we have native connectivity to CRMs and other tools in your stack, we enable true omnichannel marketing.
  • Optimize: Our smart multivariate testing lets you make data-supported decisions that ensure you are always sending the right message to the right user. We leverage machine learning to take the guess work out of testing and to continue optimizing your campaigns. 

MTS: How suitable is a mobile marketing automation platform for re-engagement and re-targeting?
Samir Addamine:
Mobile Marketing Automation is your ace-in-the-hole for re-engagement. First, we suggest you start with good analytics.

By using funnel analysis and smart segments, you can identify groups that have gone quiet and analyze why. Perhaps the messaging wasn’t appropriate. Were you using millennial slang to a baby boomer crowd? Maybe the timing was wrong. Had you messaged them too soon and too frequently after a recent purchase?

Next, you can create re-engagement campaigns designed to bring them back into the fold.  A Good MMA suite should provide a full view of the customer, including CRM data, behavioral info, preferences, demographics, etc. So you can and should be creating personalized journeys that speak to each customer in the way they’re best able to receive your message. At FollowAnalytics we like to talk about segments of one. That’s how you should look at your customers. They’re individuals and automation done well gives you the ability to approach them that way.

How does FollowAnalytics make this possible? 

Our Analytics suite will surface where you have holes in your funnel. Our Engagement suite will help you build campaigns to re-engage your users and our Optimization tools will help you test and continue to improve them.

MTS: We have heard a lot about “Contextual Campaigns.”  How does FollowAnalytics help achieve contextual campaigns?
Samir Addamine:
There are basically two ways to campaign that use push and in-app notifications, transactional and contextual.  Transactional are the most basic. Think of them as system messages. You complete an action, you get a confirmation.

Contextual are the ones I find more interesting because they’re how we create personalized journeys. They let us build great communication based on variables and triggers. An example would be to send a coupon to customers in the midwest who like soft drinks when they are within a mile of a convenience store and the weather is over 75°F.

That campaign is going to do much better than a batch-and-blast because it’s personal—you know they like soft drinks; relevant—it’s hot out and they’re probably thirsty; and contextual—they’re near the store anyway.

MTS: How do geolocation and analytics govern customer experience in mobile marketing?
Samir Addamine:
Geolocation is important because it’s a huge determination of context.  (That’s why so many apps ask permission to know your location!)  How useful would a weather app be if it gave you updates for the wrong area?  Geo is one of the advantages that mobile apps have over the web.  Apps can get much more precise, down to what aisle you’re on in a store.  With this information, app owners can provide such extreme value (like helping users find something in that store).

Analytics are absolutely critical to understanding what’s working and why. You need to understand what messages are boosting conversions, which are creating opt-outs, where are people getting lost in the app, where are crashes happening, are there points in the funnel where users are dropping off?

MTS:  What are “mobile moments” which could enhance brand value?
Samir Addamine:
Forrester defines mobile moments as the “point in time and space where someone pulls out a mobile device to get what he or she wants, immediately, in context.” Our customer, Louis Vuitton is doing a beautiful job creating mobile moments with their City Guide app.  The app acts as a personalized tour guide providing curated experiences of 25 cities, worldwide. It pulls in CRM data to make recommendations based on user preferences and educated guesses based on segments. Then, when the traveler is near an attraction, it makes recommendations in real time.  The result is a customized tour that is unique to each user. The traveler gets this very elite and concierge-level service that is in alignment with the LV brand.  It’s quite elegant.

MTS: What is the next possible disruptive technology you see in mobile marketing and automation?
Samir Addamine:
Without a doubt, it’s going to be machine learning and AI.  When we start talking about personalization and 1:1 customer journeys we are talking about executing on something that gets extremely complex.  There is no longer a concept of one generic customer journey that marketers map on a white board and they’re done.  Every user is an individual and they interact with your brand across different paths, channels and devices, all in their own time and their own way.

Machine learning and AI are going to be necessary to help marketers keep up with this.

We’ve already introduced AI into our A/B testing tools in order to help marketers test messaging against the infinite number of ways they can segment their database and then continue to optimize the messaging.  We see the concept of the “Self Driving Campaign” as the future.

MTS: Thanks for chatting with us, Samir.
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