Tech Talk: Airship’s Bernardo de Albergaria

On the death of third-party cookies: “It’s actually fantastic that the industry is moving in this direction because we have to be more respectful of consumers’ preferences.”

Airship’s Bernardo de Albergaria
Airship’s Bernardo de Albergaria

What is Airship?
Founded in Portland, Oregon, in 2009, Airship was the first company that pushed mobile notifications for third-party apps.

We provide a complete [software-as-a-service] platform, software that allows our customers to reach consumers through a variety of channels, mobile apps, mobile wallets, texts, websites and emails.

The messages are in the moment and optimized to help marketers get users to take actions to achieve brands’ businesses goals. This could be, for example, onboarding customers, increasing sales of a particular item or ensuring engagement is high and continues to grow.

How does your technology work?
If you’ve seen a digital promotion, most likely that brand has made you part of a segment that has behaved in a certain way. Marketers or brands can test channels to see which one has been the most effective. A.I. can also determine the optimal channel that users respond to and the time of day when there’s the greatest likelihood of users opening and reacting to the message.

Our clients install a piece of software called an SDK, a software development kit, inside their app that is powered by Airship. The brand integrates our technology with data it already has. Through that piece of software, Airship is able to deliver the mobile notifications.

We can implement out-of-the box services. For instance, a client may want to decrease shopping-cart-abandonment rate. The brand has data about when the customer logged in, what they browsed, clicked on, purchased and other behavioral and demographic information. The interface allows the marketer to build customer relationships to and beyond the point of sale.

What are examples of client projects?
Our customers use applications for different reasons. They can offer discounts for items shoppers have viewed. The communications can be transactional, for customer service or informational, such as an airline’s notification of a gate change.

We helped American Eagle Outfitters streamline its curbside-pickup process. Integrating users’ location data, we sent push notifications, informing shoppers when their items were ready for pickup.

Vampr, the largest professional social network and digital distribution for musicians and other creatives, wanted to reactivate users who had downloaded its app but were no longer active. With our push notifications, Vampr saw an almost 300% higher reactivation rate.

We sent communications to consumers about Chipotle’s PR campaign of virtual lunch hangouts with celebrity guests. 

How will the ending of third-party cookies affect your business and your clients?
We are absolutely aligned with these changes. Part of the best practices that we share with our clients is the importance of customers’ opting in, to send more relevant, desired communications. It’s actually fantastic that the industry is moving in this direction because we have to be more respectful of consumers’ preferences.

Marketers might have fewer data elements to target some of their users. They’ll need to do a better job in requesting customer information to collect data in exchange for more relevant experiences, communications and promotions.

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