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Co-founder Ata Gur (far right) and the Frizbit team. Source: Twitter

Using AI and proprietary technology, Frizbit aims to help clients retain customers with personalized and automated push notification campaigns

Soon after developing a new AI algorithm for push notifications, software engineer and mobile application developer İlhan Adıyaman launched Frizbit in Turkey in 2016 with co-founders Ata Gur and Tevifk Ince. The very first version of their product then was a web-based push notification technology.

Today, Frizbit reaches over a billion end users, generating more than 250,000 sessions and sending over 3m notifications monthly. It helps marketers increase revenue and user engagement through automated retargeting campaigns, using push notifications to complement permission marketing.

“We thought [push notifications] could be a very effective channel of communication for e-commerce companies, new startups and any company selling services or products online," co-founder Ata Gur told CompassList at this year’s 4YFN in Barcelona.

“Our aim was to become a worldwide web push notification service provider.”

The global marketing automation market is forecast to grow at a CAGR of 13.9% to reach US$6.4bn from US$3.3bn in 2019, according to Research and Markets.

Personalized and automated

“Our first product was a website app, from which we provided a dashboard and a structure [for marketers] to collect subscribers and manually push notifications. It could be segmented and scheduled but it had no automation. This product is still in our portfolio as our basic product as it only uses a single marketing channel,” said Ata Gur.

Frizbit went on to create a multichannel platform that increases both customer conversions and revenue on an “autopilot mode.” With this platform, customers could create different scenarios of user behavior and send hyper-personalized and automated multichannel messages. Once the scenario is created, clients only have to monitor it, hence helping save time and minimize cost.

“The main differences between the two products are the degree of personalization and the possibility of automation using customized behavior-based scenarios,” said Ata Gur.  “We provide a product that can be entirely customized by marketers."

For example, after visiting an e-commerce site, users would get notifications, messages, or emails related to their searched products, including images, names, brands, price range and other cross-selling related products. 

Frizbit also optimizes campaign performance to determine the optimal time to trigger a specific template, based on user intent. For example, some push notifications may be triggered by a user’s fear of losing out, while others may be triggered by social relevance, that is, the desire to buy what other people bought recently.

Turkey to Barcelona

Ata Gur and his two partners, all Industrial Engineering majors, moved temporarily from Istanbul to Barcelona in December 2016 to join a European acceleration program.

“After applying to a couple of them, we chose Startup Book Champ Acceleration Program in Barcelona, which we followed for three months, because we liked the program's track record. Barcelona is also a nice city to live in and develop a startup. From Spain, we can also access Latin American markets,” said Ata Gur, who, despite his degree, has never practiced industrial engineering fulltime. Instead, he worked extensively in digital marketing and completed a master’s in Entrepreneurship, learning in the process that marketing is a good area to apply AI.

Meanwhile, Frizbit was named among the top three startups at Startup Turkey 2017. That same year, the young company participated in an exhibition in London. Since 2018, the company has been based in Barcelona with offices in Istanbul in Turkey and Delaware in the US.

In September 2018, Frizbit joined the Barcelona Activa acceleration program. It has since been located in Barcelona Activa's offices in Glòries.

AI tech challenge

Push notifications are highly targeted messages sent directly to a user’s browser. Users receive them when they are online, even if they are not on the specific website. Campaigns are triggered automatically based on user behavior. In multilingual websites, messages can be sent in different languages.

Web push notifications have a higher engagement rate at 8.5% and a higher opt-in rate of between 2% and 10%, compared with traditional marketing channels. Also, push notifications do not require any app or email address.

By February 2019, Frizbit had won more than 100 clients or websites using its solutions, not only in Turkey, which is an important market for the company, but also in Spain, Italy, Greece, UK and Latin America.

“In an average website, 99% of visitors leave without converting. So, in Frizbit, we try to understand how each sale funnel works in order to create an automation scenario for each leakage of users in a funnel,” said Ata Gur. 

However, automated web push notifications must be triggered by specific customer journey scenarios. Also, each scenario requires a notification template when using dynamic parameters for personalization. Frizbit knows well that it needs to actively support its customers in this to produce the best outcomes.

“Despite customers’ ability to use a dashboard by themselves, we work with our customers to understand their marketing needs and suggest scenarios and campaigns that customers can edit and publish,” said Ata Gur.

Developing Frizbit’s products was a technological challenge, especially in the automated areas, because of the scalable and distributed back-end technical architecture required. Frizbit has developed proprietary technology. It chose Cassandra for its back end because of its rapid response. In the front end, the company uses React and J/GS (Gero script). Frizbit also uses AI algorithms and its infrastructure is in the cloud, using Amazon and Azure.

Unique solutions

Frizbit aims to acquire big e-commerce clients in Spain and the rest of Europe. After that, the company wants to expand to Latin America, and it believes it can do so because its products are different from those of its competitors.

According to Ata Gur, competitors offering digital marketing solutions tend to focus on email channels and CRM systems and are focussed on B2B clients. “Frizbit, on the other hand, is directly creating recovery and retention campaigns.”

There are other types of marketing companies that provide services in specific channels with limited personalization. They do not provide messages with dynamic data personalization as Frizbit does, he added.

“The marketing tech industry is quite competitive, but the market is so huge that still a very small portion of the market is using solutions similar to Frizbit’s. People keep investing in user acquisition without been aware of the value of user retention,” said Ata Gur.

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Edited by S. Mani

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