[Product Roadmap] Starting with SMS, how Netcore now manages nearly 50% of messaging traffic in Asia


In 1997, Rajesh Jain founded Netcore with the goal of revolutionizing the way marketing and product teams interact with consumers.

The team realized that with increasing digitization, the role of marketing and growth directors has become the key to the success of every organization. Despite the increasing complexity of the role, the tools do not give marketing managers and growth managers a fully unified view of their customer’s intentions, preferences and journeys.

“At Netcore Cloud, we empower new era marketing managers and growth leaders with a range of products that help acquisition, engagement and retention. We help them create a unified view of the entire customer journey across all touchpoints, providing critical insights for marketing directors and growth leaders to make important decisions, ”said Kalpit Jain, CEO of Netcore Cloud group. Your story.

Rajesh Jain, Founder, Netcore

He adds that Netcore Cloud is one of the largest marketing technology companies in Asia. Its mission is to help brands build faster and stronger relationships with their customers across all digital platforms.

“To do this, we work on the cutting edge of modern technology, be it AI / ML, hyper-personalization or data analysis, in our multiple product suites for marketers. and those responsible for growth. We are also building the next generation of the “Customer Experience (CX)” and Product Experience (PX) product suite that is most relevant to today’s digital world, ”he adds.

“When we started in 1997, our main mission was to help brands communicate effectively with their customers. At the time, the Communication as a Service (CPaaS) platform did not exist and there was no platform that helped businesses achieve scale and efficiency in terms of communication ” , explains Kalpit.

The team declares eight out of 10 unicorns use Netcore cloud products. The company claims to have more than 5,000 customers in North America, Southeast Asia and India. Almost 75% of email traffic in India and 50% of email traffic in Asia goes through Netcore Cloud.

The Netcore team

Start with SMS and email

Kalpit adds that with the introduction of SMS and email marketing platforms, brands have been successful in expanding their reach and refining their communication, dramatically increasing engagement and improving the consumer experience.

To take advantage of SMS, which was the most popular medium at the time, the team created a Pub / Sub platform called MyToday in 2008.

A free SMS subscription service, MyToday Dailies had a cumulative reach of 10 million people every day. The platform has seen more than 3.5 million subscribers spread across the country. Using MyToday, consumers could subscribe to daily newspapers on topics such as News, Sensex, Cricket or even the Bhagavad Gita.

“There would be an editor who would send them updates on whatever theme they opted for. It eventually turned into an enterprise SME platform, ”says Kalpit.

In 2011, the team realized the need to create a single unified platform that would allow marketers to move from a “batch and blast” communication approach to a smarter communication medium through automation..

Working on the omnichannel model

“We built an omnichannel communications platform that allowed marketers to design journeys involving all three channels – email, SMS and voice, on one platform, seamlessly. For example, our customers could flash numbers on TVC for consumers to make a missed call, which would cause them to receive a linked text message. As a result, the business would now be connected to genuinely interested consumers. With our marketing automation focused products like Drop Lead Recycling Workflow, we have started to create user journeys on segmentation and data analysis, ”says Kalpit.

He adds that for a communication service that facilitates SMS or e-mail, the intelligence of this communication lies elsewhere. With the knowledge and expertise cultivated over the years, the Netcore team wanted to be at the heart of decision-making by offering smarter offers.

In 2015, they were already communicating with customers on behalf of several brands and, therefore, were aware of the massive impact of data segmentation on the consumer experience. The team wanted to bring value to brands by enabling them to develop a better understanding of consumer behavior and by automating the execution of consumer campaigns.

Data to the rescue

“Using our expertise and data-rich knowledge, we bring the philosophy of data-driven marketing and personalized communication to benefit brands by bringing them to the top of the value chain and providing them with sophisticated tools. We have ventured into marketing automation, which is more comprehensive and complex because it involves customer engagement and experience, predictive intelligence, analytics, retention and personalization, ”says Kalpit.

However, marketing automation was not a known concept in India. So the first step for the team was education and created a product called “Drop Lead Recycling Workflow” for HDFC Life.

HDFC Life was struggling to deal with technical failures like a drop in the call center. Using Marketing Automation, the team was able to create an SMS campaign for all abandoned leads without the intervention of an agent.

“On our first attempt, we were able to get them back about 13% of abandoned leads, which was a phenomenal success. As a result, we approached several BFSIs and enabled them to mitigate various marketing challenges, ”says Kalpit.

Rely on AI

Prior to 2015, Kalpit adds that Batch and Blast was common and therefore there was a vanilla campaign for all consumers. Today, the product is hyper-personalized. Additionally, many product and growth managers rely on behavioral and product analysis.

Data is used to develop a better understanding of how customers interact with apps and websites, and then that information is used to improvise on the product experience.

As the team integrated with the client’s website and apps, Kalpit says the scale increased dramatically with millions of user events. It was then that they realized the need to rely on technology

“Data segmentation is enhanced by AI-based personalization, which is also moving towards individualization or one-to-one marketing. Our recent acquisitions of Boxx.ai and Hansel.io were aimed at establishing personalization at a single user level, ”adds Kalpit.

Netcore is moving from data-driven marketing to smarter marketing powered by AI and ML, where algorithms decide the right message, at the right time for the right user, and using the right channel.

“We call it the 4Rs at Netcore Cloud. Today, the manual businesses of marketers are being replaced by algorithms built into our AI product ‘Raman’, which segments consumers autonomously and scientifically, ”says Kalpit.

The team built technology on top of open source software in-house and made acquisitions based on evolving customer needs. Netcore has made three consecutive acquisitions in the past two years: Quinto.ai (conversational AI platform), Boxx.ai (leading omnichannel AI personalization and recommendation engine) and Hansel.io

They also invested in Easyrewardz, an omnichannel consumer lifestyle management platform.

Here are some of the learnings the team took away from the construction process:

  1. Timing is critical. To be at the forefront, you need to be aware of how much time you are spending on a challenge.
  2. Market dynamics and customer needs are constantly changing. Staying nimble is key to staying relevant.
  3. There is no one size fits all for databases or programming. Also, don’t blindly adopt what has worked for someone else. Your use case may be unique and therefore should be your solution.
  4. Keep an eventuality, get ahead and stay ahead. Planning events in advance allows you to plan better and stay prepared.
  5. A minimum viable product (MVP) does not mean that the architecture can be done away with. Instead, it should be structured by a Minimum Viable Architecture (MVA).
  6. No matter who you are, getting involved in data architecture is essential to building a scalable business.

Shivaani Jain, co-founder of “Once Upon a Trunk”, a D2C e-commerce brand, says“Netcore Cloud’s custom implementation provides the perfect algorithm to help reach the right audience with the desired preference, which in turn contributed to a higher conversion rate. As customers find more attractive products, the bounce rate has dropped significantly. This has helped us improve the quality of session length on the website and we are also able to better present new and potential styles. Customers are now buying more, which has resulted in an increase in the average order value. In just 90 days, Netcore Cloud started contributing 28% of the total revenue generated. “

Image and Data Credit: Netcore Cloud

Rewrite and renew

From Netcore Solutions to Netcore Cloud, the team has written and rewritten the software several times. For example, many high level programming languages ​​like Perl and PHP have been rewritten in Java and Golang for speed and concurrency.

The team also started working with industry experts and consultants from around the world. They also replaced traditional statistical models and ML models with Deeper AI models built on Tensorflow for better accuracy.

Today, a large number of brands, the rise of social media and the designer economy have led to the fragmentation of consumer attention.

“At Netcore Cloud, we’ve created a gamification model called ‘Mircrons’ to reward consumers for their attention. We are looking to expand this in the coming days. Our future plans involve strengthening all points of contact between brands and their customers throughout the lifecycle of the customer journey, ”says Kalpit.

He adds that they would like to rethink the entire engagement and customer experience lifecycle with an AI-driven approach.

“From a business perspective, we are looking to double our current ARR base to $ 150 million by 2024. We are targeting 30-40% of revenues from international markets, especially the US and Europe. through organic and inorganic growth. We aspire to become the first B2B SaaS IPO in India by 2022, ”adds Kalpit.

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