We recently became aware of a new start up in performance marketing and advertising technology that takes an interest in customer centricity, so of course, we reached out for a conversation. What follows is a Q&A with David Frei, CEO, Swaarm, about innovation in the performance marketing/advertising technology space, how customer centricity drives their platform, and his predictions on the evolution of data privacy and data regulations in regards to AdTech. Enjoy.
1) Thanks for doing this interview with us. Can you share a brief background of Swaarm?
David Frei: Swaarm is a performance-based tracking platform that provides agencies, advertisers and networks with the ability to fully track and control their marketing efforts in real-time.
Founded by Yogeeta Chainani and Alexandru Dumitru, who both individually bring more than 10 years of industry tech experience, Swaarm was created with the underlying principles of simplicity, affordability and collaboration.
The platform has been engineered from the ground up and has been tested with real clients to be simple to use, yet powerful, with data driven campaign automation. With Swaarm, marketers can successfully measure and optimize campaigns at an economic price.
2) I read that you came from HERE technologies which is a map and location services technology company. The technology there is different, but maybe relevant. Did your experience working with HERE’s technology bring any unique perspective to your strategic approach now working in the AdTech space with Swaarm?
That is a great question!
I basically learnt two things at HERE that are very relevant to the AdTech space:
- Put the customer value in the centre of all our actions.
- Simply being convinced ourselves that we have the best tracking platform in the market will not be sufficient — for every customer, we need to understand their specific needs in order to derive the potential value that they can expect from using Swaarm.
- Platforms need to be open and offer the customer a high degree of freedom.
- I think it is crucial nowadays to build open platforms that give customers the freedom to adapt technology to their own needs and also to react in changing environments.
- This is why I am so convinced that we will be successful with Swaarm, by giving our customers a broad range of tools instead of a one-fits-all solution.
3) Can you tell us more about how Swaarm’s automation technologies can help marketers make simpler, faster, and better decisions/actions? Who can benefit the most from Swaarm’s technology?
I was surprised to see that account managers in 2020 spend a large extent of their working time to conduct repetitive tasks such as approving offers, notifying clients, or creating Excel tables to derive insights.
To that end, with Swaarm, our customers can simply create automation rules for such tasks. By applying such automation rules, we already see that our customers can free up to 40% of working time for their account managers to focus on actual value creating tasks such as business development, relationship management, etc.
Swaarm also provides our clients with optimization tools to control traffic and prevent fraud.
Another example is automated offer testing — Swaarm has an integrated monitoring system that allows our customers not only to check if an offer actually reaches the app store but to also define rules how many redirects a customer wants to allow — this way, a customer can make sure not to forward any traffic to a ‘dead end’.
4) At Wise Marketer, we are always conscious of how any technology can impact the loyalty journey and customer experience. How can Swaarm’s technology benefit loyalty marketers?
One of the biggest factors in customer loyalty is giving our customers the freedom to adapt the technology to their needs. Swaarm is the only platform in the market that comes with this capability. Swaarm allows customers to modify, filter, and enhance events in real-time using code-snippets in a Turing-complete language
This ties to what I mentioned above of building an open platform that helps our customers to adapt the technology to their own needs.
5) Does Swaarm work with small businesses? And if so, does Swaarm want to mention anything about how it has supported SMBs during the pandemic?
Due to the nature of the market, the majority of our customers are SMBs already.
As we officially launched our platform mid of October 2020, this was already way into the pandemic, so our perception is that our potential customers already adapted to the ‘new normal’ and the pandemic is not on top of their mind, but rather, how to improve their business.
6) You mention that one of your main goals as the CEO of Swaarm is to increase Swaarm’s global reach. Can you share what regions are on Swaarm’s map? What regions can benefit the most from Swaarm’s technology?
What I love about our product is that it basically does not know any borders.
Whether you are a customer in North America, Europe or Asia, Swaarm can help you to improve your business and we on our end do not need to adapt our technology. Therefore potential customers from all over the world can benefit from Swaarm’s technology — no matter their location.
7) With the increase in data and privacy regulations (GDPR/CCPA) rolling out, how does a company that relies on data and tracking as its lifeblood balance its business goals with maintaining respect to user’s personal data and privacy?
Being a data centric company, we are well aware of our responsibility to secure the data integrity of our customers. This is why we have implemented a strict data protection mechanism and are constantly devoting a lot of resources in making sure that the data of our customers is always safe — and stays safe in the future.
Swaarm provides complete transparency when it comes to securing our clients data so that our clients can focus on growing their businesses.
We are fully committed to complying with all data and privacy regulations. Swaarm has its data collection and retention policies in place, data access controls against unauthorised access, and we have data processing agreements in place with our data centres. Although Swaarm is a data processor and we do not have any interaction with end users, we work with all our clients (data controllers) to be able to delete any personal data requested by the end customers.
Also a key point to mention here is Swaarm does not collect any sensitive user data such as racial, financial, or social information of the end user.
8) We have reported that consumers are looking at their SMS inbox 47x a day which means the opportunity for gathering active data is extremely relevant on mobile. With the recent release of iOS14 and with it came IDFA (Identifier for Advertisers) giving users the choice to give permission to apps to collect and share their user data, how does Swaarm see this impacting the opportunity for AdTech/marketers in the mobile space?
This change was in the making for a few years already. Apple has always taken user privacy with utmost importance and in my opinion will continue to do so in the future.
On one side, Apple is adding restrictions when it comes to IDFA but is providing another way to attribute with SKAdnetwork. And the capabilities of SKAdNetwork will only get better with time. Hence the way, I see it is that the industry needs to evolve to use the new standards. And with Swaarm, we will always be there with our technological innovation to support our clients to move to this new standard.
Recommended Read: SMS Marketing May Be the Breakthrough Loyalty Tool of 2020
9) You have probably heard the phrase “data is the new oil”. If you are one for predictions, do you care to predict how the AdTech space will evolve over the next 5-10 years as its “oil” continues to become more difficult/costly to be “extracted, processed, managed, and used”? Or what can AdTech companies do to build trust and transparency with the owners of the data?
As probably many others, I would like to look into the crystal ball to see how the future of AdTech will turn out. But, I also very much like the challenge to not exactly know what will happen. Our task at Swaarm is to best support our customers to navigate through the uncertain times that are ahead of us.
In my opinion, as mentioned above with iOS 14 changes, we will see that Google will also soon follow the course (as it has in the past). These changes will force the companies to adapt their services with a more user centric focus. Once the services are adapted to treat user data with utmost care, I think the users will contribute to this symbiotic relation by allowing companies to have their data in return for better user experience.