By Bill Rojas, SAP Digital
Most of the offerings available on SAP App Center are designed to solve a specific business problem. That’s surely what Phizzle does, but with a different twist – a twist I think you’ll love, especially if you’re a software developer. Phizzle’s Accessible Insight and Engagement APIs are designed to let you have some fun creating your own customer engagement apps with your own customer data. As Phizzle’s Chief Marketing Officer Pallavi Sharma put it, “We wanted to give power back to the people. We put the APIs out there to see what the developers will come back with – to let them build something for their own use, that fits their own organization.”
Enjoyment for the customer – by linking their data with their profiles
In fact, that could be Phizzle’s tagline: power to the people. The idea behind Phizzle’s APIs is to help customer-driven organizations engage with their customers in the way that those individuals will enjoy. The key is the ability to process massive amounts of customer data from multiple disparate sources and link it with the individual’s own profile. That gives the organization – the marketer, if you will – the opportunity to deliver the right message at the right time in the right medium, to an active buyer, in real time.
And getting back to you developers: you might feel like a kid in a candy store when you check out phz.io APIs. You can choose a Twitter API that lets you post tweets directly to your Twitter feed or use email APIs to create, manage and track customized campaigns. There are push notification APIs, SMS APIs and gamification APIs that you can play with when the objective is to drive loyalty or amplify engagement. If you’re more interested in insight, you can try out tools for social listening, sentiment analysis and web tracking that can help your team understand current conversations about your brand and your products.
Fun with technology – for developers, marketers and consumers
Phizzle is fun for developers and fun for marketers, Pallavi explained, who can use the technology to gain the full impact of data they already possess to engage their own customers. And she speaks from her own experience, as I learned when I asked about her background.
Pallavi spent years in marketing in the large-enterprise space – at GE and HP, to be exact – before going to work for Phizzle in 2016. “Phizzle was offering exactly the tool I had needed,” she said. “There are a lot of cool tools out there that let me visualize data for marketing to my customers in a personalized way. But they are only as good as the data I can input into them. Unless I can link key pieces of data to the actual customer, it misses the mark.”
Sports and entertainment – the origins of Phizzle
As we talked, I experienced a flash back. I remembered being at SAPPHIRENOW a couple of years ago, looking up and realizing that above my head was a huge wall monitor showing tweets – people commenting in real time about the event. I thought it was the coolest thing. Sure enough, Pallavi explained that this ability to aggregate and broadcast these insights in real time is the kind of thing that this technology enables.
In fact, she said, Phizzle’s roots are in sports and entertainment, beginning in 2005 as a company focused on high-volume SMS campaigns in that space. A few years later, Ben Davis, the CEO and founder of Phizzle, began building a customer data platform based on SAP HANA that would enable aggregating data from millions of people texting or tweeting at the same time. That began a collaboration with SAP and the introduction of the Phizzle technology at the 2014 World Cup. I also asked Pallavi to share with me her experience working with SAP App Center, the SAP digital marketplace where customers can find, try and buy solutions directly from SAP partners and she replied “It’s a fantastic way for customers to add value to their existing technologies within a shared ecosystem. The SAP App Center fast tracks technology discovery.”
Appreciation for opportunities – to have allies and to be an ally
I was intrigued about how Pallavi had made the transition to working for a much smaller entrepreneurial enterprise. “I appreciate the fact that every day is different and that I wear a lot of hats. And this is a great company. I take enormous pride in the diversity of our team, which is very important to our culture. You can see that when you meet our management team and board members.”
Speaking of diversity led me to ask about her experience as a female executive in the demanding environment of Silicon Valley, and whether she has the opportunity to be a role model to others. “Yes!” she said. “And I have benefited from the support of some amazing people. It’s very competitive here for everyone, but especially women and minorities. I tell them to keep fighting and pushing through. Market yourself. Don’t downplay your accomplishments. Build allies and champions who will help you.”
Those are words of wisdom everyone can take to heart – whether you fit that profile or whether you’re in the position to be a mentor yourself.
The theme here is engagement and feedback, and I’d love to hear from you. Please comment below!