Q & A WITH RAMI ALANKO SERIAL ENTREPRENEUR AND FOUNDER OF BEEMRAY

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Beemray EnterConf

At the EnterConf in Belfast last June, I met Rami Alanko CEO and founder of Beemray. Rami is also a serial entrepreneur and he tells us about Beemray, their future plans, what to look for in a good startup and when to get out.

Beemray is a contextual mobile marketing platform how does it work?

We help brands, better understand, and build deeper relationships with consumers. It always starts off with collecting data. Our technology, in the format of an SDK, is seamlessly integrated into the mobile app and/or website of our client, which empowers it to start sending multiple layers of consumer data. It typically includes data on what the consumer is clicking on both, in the app or on the website, how he/she completes their profile, where are they exactly? we gather data from all location technologies, indoors and outdoors. Third party data sources can also be included, such as traffic or weather, to further provide more context to the consumer.

Our client can then analyse the data, and start asking questions in order to create living segments. An example question could be something like “Show me my customers that have been on my website last week, looked at the product X, added it to the shopping cart but did not buy it and have been shopping on Grafton Street in Dublin city center this week”. Once the platform shows the result on a intuitive graphical interface, our client can save it as a living segment.

Thereafter our client can create an automated marketing campaign targeting a selected living segment. Based on the previous example, a campaign that is triggered when it rains during lunch time on weekdays and the selected segment is within a particular range of a physical store. For apps, we build on HTML5 so campaign content can range anything from text to pictures to videos.

The campaign results are thereafter again analysed and compared with new incoming data. This way performance can be constantly tested and fine-tuned. One more thing; the platform provides automated artificial intelligence-based insights on the data. Taken from the earlier example such as “Did you know that on Monday your consumers in Dublin city center are 50% more interested in product Y than X?” We believe the days of thinking of data as the end game are over. We now are entering the era of the narrative – narratives generated by systems that understand data, narratives that give us information to support the decisions we need to make about tomorrow. Data will always be important, but the story of that data is the last mile.

How secure is your app with the data it collects from your clients and their customers?

We take security and privacy seriously and make sure that none of the personal data of the end user device is stored in our system. During the initial launch of the application, Beemray generates a UUID for the platform. No identifiers of the device (such as IMEI) are utilized or stored. In other words, there is no reason for us to get any personal data from the end user, the platform is not dependent on it and it is naturally good news to any privacy-concerned consumer or customer of ours.

What makes you different from your competitors and what is your USP?

Beemray’s major USP is the cross-platform real-time view on consumer behavior and subsequent relevant interaction. Our practically unlimited model of segmenting the users, merging physical, digital and 3rd party data, allows our customers to ask any kinds of questions to find new living segments and automate the marketing when the context of the user is correct.

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In other words, I think we have managed to simplify something very complicated and bring it to the hands of a marketer.

Do you have many clients in Ireland?

Our focus this year is in UK, Spain and Scandinavia. However, it is great to see new clients from other territories signing up all the time. It certainly gives us confidence when going for the rest of Europe including Ireland, and beyond. We will soon be launching our self-serve platform, enabling true global scalability.

Where do you think Beemray will be this time next year and how long before it becomes a global brand?

By this time of next year we should have clients in most European countries and in many other parts of the world. Our platform is built for scale and as it is not dependent on any geographical location of a client, it is more of a matter of us concentrating on one territory at a time. I believe we first need to win focus markets, further strengthen the platform and deliver clients great performance and concrete results. When we successfully manage all this, Beemray as a global brand is an inevitable consequence.

Has Social Media like Twitter and Facebook been of use to Beemray?

We have decided to go for Twitter and LinkedIn for the time being, as these two seem to have good fit in terms of finding, and engaging with potential clients. On the other hand, we have included pretty much all social media channels into our product; a consumer receiving content from our client, can share it and thus spread the message beyond their owned media.

You have been involved with other startups in the past. What do you look for in a good startup and when do you know it’s time to move on?

From a business-perspective, I first need to understand the market size, status and trends. This will help to formulate an understanding of the market potential and how much resources are needed for getting to the market. If all this still ticks positively, the ability of the team to create and deliver will finally make it or break it.

And always, you need to be prepared for the unexpected and be brave enough to take a new direction when shit hits the fan. Because it will.