12 November 2014

How Swrve is recasting itself as a mobile player in the marketing ecosystem

Swrve has decided that playing nice with others is now a key part of its identity.

Today, the San Francisco-based company announced what it described as “the world’s first Open Platform for mobile marketing automation.” The new openness of its existing platform supports real-time, bi-directional data sharing with other platforms, such as marketing platform Marketo and data visualizer Tableau.

But is this more than simply a branded packaging of APIs?

Yes it is, CEO Christopher Dean told VentureBeat, because the data is visible and actionable in the integrated systems, and the platforms can reciprocally initiate actions.

For instance, Marketo can trigger Swrve to perform in-app messaging, giving Marketo a capability it didn’t have previously.

The challenge, Dean said, is that mobile marketing platforms have been siloed.

“You dropped it into the existing enterprise [infrastructure] and it didn’t talk to existing email, data analytics,” or other platforms, he said.

Dean credited Gartner analyst Mike McGuire as noting that “the worst thing you can build in mobile is an island.”

Swrve is going “a step beyond [APIs] by building a virtual layer of ‘glue,'” cofounder Hugh Reynolds told us. That glue, he said, is the out-of-the-box, certified integration with Marketo, Tableau, and selected other companies, through a combination of APIs, custom integration, and testing.

Other partnering companies, which are now similarly certified for interoperability with Swrve, include:

• marketing automation platform Oracle/Eloqua • mobile apps analytics provider Tune • tracking service AppsFlyer • marketing activation platform Lytics • mobile relationship management provider Converser • SMS/voice provider Nexmo • Mobile download tracker AdX • Mobile intelligence provider Apsalar

The company said it has a rolling program for adding other, integrated partners.

Are Swrve’s competitors similarly integrating?

“We don’t see it,” Dean said, adding that his understanding of such competitors as Kahuna, AppBoy, and LeanPlum is that they are comparatively closed.

“All those guys want to be the next Marketo,” he said. “That’s distinctly different from us.”