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​Marketing platform Kahuna applies its machine learning across customer journeys

Since last fall, marketing platform Kahuna has been expanding its targeted channels beyond mobile, to include pop-up messaging on web sites and greater capabilities for email and in-app messaging.

Now, the Palo Alto, California-based company is expanding again to focus on customer journeys instead of individual messaging campaigns, with the recent launch of Experiences for optimizing messages across a journey.

This newest incarnation of its marketing platform, senior vice president for product Mihir Nanavati told me, allows the firm’s RevIQ machine learning engine to be applied across all the paths taken by a customer toward the marketer’s goal.

Previously, he said, the platform focused on a marketer’s ability to, say, send a email to a mobile user encouraging them to install a new travel app. Once installed, there might be an in-app message suggesting that the user search for airfare deals. And, if there was no response, that might be followed up by a push notification to the user’s locked screen, recommending use of the app.

In Kahuna’s nomenclature, each of those messages was a point-in-time campaign. Now, those separate messaging efforts are considered one journey, which Kahuna calls an experience:

The marketer can now focus on messaging needed to move the customer or would-be customer along a combined path from one user segment to another, such as from the group of new users to the group of new users who have conducted an in-app search and made a purchase.

More importantly, the marketer is assisted by Kahuna’s RevIQ machine learning, which will learn and suggest the best times and marketing channels for the delivery of each message, based on previous responses by similar users. If the marketer has created several sample messages, RevIQ can also suggest which variation is likely to be most effective.

While cross-channel customer journeys are common on marketer platforms, Nanavati said Kahuna — which describes itself these days as “a mobile-enabled cross-channel marketing platform” — is differentiated by its application of machine learning recommendations that assist messaging across the entire journey.

In April, Kahuna added a Locales tool for better local targeting. RevIQ was launched in the fall of 2014.

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