Sponsor Spotlight: Behind the Product - mParticle

A Q&A with the GM about their story and the future of data-driven marketing.

One of our main sponsors for Canvas 2017 is mParticle, a customer data platform that empowers marketers to integrate and orchestrate their entire technology stack to win in key moments of the customer journey. They’ve been lauded as one of the most interesting companies to watch in marketing tech right now.

We asked Tim Norris, General Manager EMEA, to talk to us about their story, the future of data-driven marketing, and why they’re getting involved with Canvas.

Q: Hi Tim, can you tell us a bit about mParticle and what your technology does for brands?

A: We’re living in a hyperconnected era where consumers are producing more data than ever before. Those data are a huge opportunity for brands, and used properly it can be the driver of transformative business decisions across marketing, product development and design.

While data presents a big opportunity, it’s also a pain point for most. Many of the companies we work with experience increased data fragmentation, driven by mobile & IoT, and they lack scalable ways to make their data actionable for business growth. That’s the problem mParticle looks to address.

We work with some of the world’s biggest companies like Walmart, Starwood Hotels, and Airbnb. mParticle helps them to collect, control, and connect their data across their entire technology stack through a single, secure API.

Q: And why did you decide to support Canvas Conference this year?

A: In sponsoring Canvas we’re showing our support and commitment to the product ecosystem, and are looking forward to sharing our insight with a high-calibre set of attendees and speakers.

As a company, mParticle is deeply rooted in mobile, and we see it as the new centre of gravity for the internet. Mobile is by its very nature product-centric—from the physical devices to some of the amazing apps we now see transcending the home-screen and becoming a part of our daily lives.

Q: We’ve got another great roster of speakers, is there anyone in particular you’re looking forward to?

A: Personally, I am really excited to hear what’s next from mobile innovators like Monzo, Duolingo, and All 4. Plus, the second section of the day is all about data and how we can use it to maximum effect to create better experiences for customers—completely up our alley!

Q: Clearly, the application of data for better CX is a use case that you’re interested in, but are any there real-world examples that you can share of how mParticle has helped brands to achieve this?

A: Brands are competing for their share of consumer attention units in a time when those consumers have never had more choice. We have all of the established players in each vertical and now a ton of challenger brands cropping up every week, but there’s no more hours in a day. It’s this hyper-competitive market that’s created such an importance around CX, and the need to win in the experience stakes.

A great example would be our client Via, who are a ride-sharing app from the US. They’re about to launch in the UK actually, so watch out for them! Via use mParticle to collect and stream data across their tech stack in real time, but the interesting things are happening around geolocation.

We see all of the raw location data of their riders and pass it to Radar, who enriches it with context like geofences and point-of-interest data so Via can analyse who is ordering cars from where. All of this data ends up in their first-party data warehouse so that they can fuel models for predictive analytics and driver placement. At the end of the day, it’s all about reducing the time a rider has to wait, which is one of their core metrics for customer experience.

Q: At the heart of a lot of the talks at Canvas is how organisations work and are set up to make sure they are truly customer-centric. How do you approach this at mParticle?

A: This year we launched the mParticle Customer Advisory Board to allow our partners to influence product direction and roadmap, which has been really insightful. Historically, a lot of tech companies have been guilty of engineering in a vacuum, but you really can’t afford to do that today.

What’s really interesting is that it’s not necessarily the biggest customers that drive the biggest innovations, rather it tends to be those who are at the cutting edge of their vertical. Postmates is a great example of an mParticle customer that has really pushed the boundaries of our product, led us to some great enhancements, and made us realise the importance of creating structured opportunities for clients to provide feedback.

More broadly, I think the very nature of what mParticle does is put the customer at the centre of the value chain. Data platforms are nothing new, but there’s some really interesting integrations cropping up now with customer-centric tools like Apptentive and Zendesk.

Big thanks to Tim for taking the time to talk to us ahead of Canvas. You can join the mParticle team at Canvas on 26th October at the Birmingham Town Hall – tickets still available: www.canvasconference.co.uk