The post originally appeared in VentureFizz on April 13th, 2017.
As data science and machine learning have advanced in recent years, automated marketing solutions leveraging these technologies have flooded the market. Zylotech sits on the bleeding edge of this trend.
In short, Zylotech offers businesses an AI-powered customer remarketing platform that can be used to drive retention marketing efforts across a variety of channels. Originally operating as an API as a service, the company launched its user interface on March 8.
Abhi Yadav, who founded data analytics firm Prognosys in 2004, built on emerging academic research to draft the concept of Zylotech as a class project during his MBA at the MIT Sloan School of Management in 2013.
“There was this whole open source evolution from relational database to big data to AI happening,” Yadav recalls. “I went back to the problem of marketers having to manage all this customer data then enable personalized marketing campaigns around it.”
Yadav partnered with Zylotech cofounder Iqbal Kaur toward the end of 2014. Kaur has extensive experience building customer analytics solutions at large enterprise companies including Target and Lowe’s.
The founders knew they wanted to help enterprise businesses, but took their time crafting a solution in 2015 before perfecting a scalable product the following year.
“It’s a chicken-and-egg story because you can’t build an enterprise product unless you get a use case of some customer struggling with a problem and end-customer data,” Yadav says. “We were telling companies to give us access to their customer data and we’d come back with some sort of a solution to increase their customer revenue.”
Eventually, the founders were able to hone in on the pain points they wanted to solve and identify the features they wanted to build into their platform. That’s where things get complicated.
The Zylotech Customer Analytics Platform can integrate with any application housing end customer data, in addition to more than a dozen of the most popular marketing platforms. After collecting all of a company’s customer data, an AI solution continuously unifies, cleanses and enriches the data pool to improve its quality.
From there, deep learning algorithms designed to consider thousands of variables form customer microsegments and analytics used to tell marketers how to predict churn and sell to existing end customers. The truth is, there’s many different ways to use the service’s myriad insights depending on a company’s business process and its marketing team’s maturity.
“It’s flexible because it’s an AI fabric that coexists between your marketing stack and the data input sources and externalities,” Yadav explains. “We can also plug it into whatever your call to action app is or your marketing automation engine to enable campaigns.”
Zylotech’s Customer 360 solution can suggest which customer microsegments to target with what promotions through which channels. Working with near real-time data, Zylotech can also give the chances that a customer will leave or buy on any given day in a feature called propensity scoring.
Does your head hurt yet? Evidently you’re not alone. Yadav says when he first started explaining the solution to businesses, executives would start calling for the nearest IT person. Fortunately, using Zylotech’s solution is far simpler than understanding how it works.
Typically the head of a company’s marketing operations department will use Zylotech. When a user interacts with the platform, they can click through the customer segmentations, Customer 360 view and the customer propensity scores (no coding required).
Yadav breaks marketing operations down into three Ds: data management, decision management and delivery management. Zylotech aims to automate the first two.
“We had an obsession, and still do, with figuring out how business users or marketers can leverage and monetize their customer data without worrying about IT, data management, data quality, analytics, and without needing armies of data scientists,” Yadav says.
For roughly a year, Zylotech has been working with ten large enterprise clients, helping them achieve four to six times their normal customer retention and monetization rates. Unsurprisingly, many of those clients have renewed their annual subscription and Zylotech is already cash flow positive.
“There’s so much focus on customer acquisition, but not enough on customer retention,” Yadav says. “When a customer leaves or changes behavior, no one reaches out. We can get companies more value from their existing customers. That’s what’s possible with machine learning.”
The founders believe their sweet spot is businesses with customer relationship aspects, such as loyalty systems. Such companies typically market and sell products through multiple channels, which fits well with Zylotech’s “omnichannel remarketing” solution.
The goal for 2017 is to get 30 to 40 mid-market clients to start using the platform. Yadav believes he’s got a pretty convincing pitch for companies.
“We’re cheaper than hiring one data scientist in Cambridge,” he says.
At least one part of the pitch will be easy to understand.
The post originally appeared in VentureFizz. You can read it here: http://bit.ly/2pctcpf