Interview With <br>Laetitia Gazel Anthoine, <br>Founder and CEO, Connecthings banner

MobileAppDaily had a word with Laetitia Gazel Anthoine, Founder and CEO, Connecthings. We spoke to her about her idea behind Connecthings and thoughts about the company’s services.

Learn more about Connecthings here

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1) What is Herow by Connecthings?

Herow by Connecthings provides mobile application professionals with location-based contextual intelligence. Powered by machine learning and precise real-time location technologies, Herow offers powerful insights about users’ location and behavior as well as how they interact with their surrounding environment, which can be used to build exceptionally relevant and valuable mobile user experiences. By understanding users' context and intent, applications can offer meaningful moments at the right time to dramatically improve user engagement and retention.

On a SaaS platform, Herow’s proprietary algorithms enhance location data with rich contextual information. Analytics help in making sense of app usage in the context of location and time, and with these new insights, marketers can improve their app’s user interface, create new behavioral segments, and design precisely contextualized engagement campaigns. Herow’s market differentiators are precision, privacy, and user control of the apps. Herow does not use location data as cannon fodder for mobile advertising.

2) What market challenges does Herow solve?

Traditional application analytics providers do not offer data in the context of location. These services typically share insight about how an application is being used or even when and how long a user is engaging. But they fall short of providing more precise insights. For example, when a user chooses to open a media app to read the day’s news on her commute into the city each morning. There is a gap in the market for compelling data and analytics that bridge location and app usage data to produce rich insights that can help mobile apps improve user experience, and increase retention and monetization opportunities.

The Herow platform bridges this gap and also allows app owners to visualize these location data analytics, focus on accurate zones that they’ll define according to their strategy, and create contextualized engagement campaigns that improve user experiences.

3) Do you use GPS-based geofencing, beacons, or some other technology to trigger location-based notifications?

While the Connecthings geo-detection library can detect zone entries and exits like a geofence technology, the development team went beyond this to establish its technology not as zone-centric but as user-centric. This means that the frequency of location scores is not only determined by the proximity to a defined zone or “fence,” but it also takes into consideration the mobility state of the users (e.g., walking, running, driving) and user pattern recognition that predicts stay points and their estimated lengths. The combination of all these factors means that the Connecthings proprietary location algorithm goes beyond geofencing technology and optimizes both the precision of insights and the battery consumption.

4) What are some of the key product features?

The Herow platform obtains location data and insights from mobile users through an easy-to-implement SDK. After a quick update by mobile users, Herow customers have data and insights into the platform to fully understand the use of their app and take business actions.

Herow’s technology collects and analyzes up to 2,000 data points per user per day. As the data gets richer, so do its analytics and developers’ ability to improve the efficacy and longevity of their applications. Once a developer has implemented Herow, the app has access to real-time behavior, precise location, and the context of the user’s surroundings.

5) Here are a few additional features:

  • Location analytics: Herow includes location analytics showing heatmaps of user presence and app usage “hotspots.” This offers marketers the ability to focus on “zones,” created or selected from a library by customers, including semantic locations such as the users’ home and office.
  • Intuitive user interface: Herow features an intuitive user interface that allows customers to easily build targeted campaigns and exceptional mobile experiences without technical expertise.
  • Privacy: Herow applies a two-layer opt-in approach to location-sharing permissions. Location and behavioral data are used exclusively by applications to customize experiences. Connecthings does not save historical data or share it with any third-party services. Users can request to opt-out and have information deleted by applications at any time.

6) What motivated Connecthings to develop this new solution?

People increasingly demand more from their mobile applications. They want apps to understand the context of their locations and behavior and then offer solutions to problems or options to enhance their mobile experiences. To be successful, applications must consider more than point-in-time location to incorporate context and understanding of the user journey. Connecthings has harnessed this powerful intersection of the “here and now” to create Herow, which fuels remarkable mobile experiences to improve retention and engagement.

Herow was born out of the need to reverse bad user app experiences when apps are unable to adapt their content or message to the user context. Users spend too much time on their smartphones and apps for the experience to be of low quality.  A recent Connecthings survey on the State of Mobile Application Usage sought to determine the beliefs and preferences of mobile users to many aspects of mobile experiences, including privacy and the sharing of location data.

7) The survey found:

  • Nearly 60 percent believe mobile experiences should be customized to their wants, needs, and location
  • More than 40 percent believe applications should be “smart” enough to anticipate needs and wants to be based on their location and behavioral patterns.
  • Respondents also reported that only half of the notifications they receive are relevant to their situation (time, place and activity)
  • 72% believe that data should not be shared with third parties.

8) How important is context?

Context is critical to effectively interpreting location intelligence. Mobile applications help people remain connected to other people, companies and brands. But a simple download doesn’t guarantee that an app stays top-of-mind. For years, companies have been using location data in apps to deliver targeted notifications and ads to customers, but that point-in-time pin drop location is no longer enough.

Users want “smart” applications that take into account context in terms of their behavior and needs, and offer appropriate and useful solutions, making daily tasks, like commuting, easier - without even having the app open. Mobile app marketers must look beyond the pin drop in a user’s journey and augment the app to create contextually smart notifications and richer user experience.  

9) What makes Connecthings uniquely positioned as a leader in this field?

Connecthings is a pioneer in the location intelligence field, especially within the urban context. The company boasts more than ten years of experience working with smart cities and public transport operators and the biggest network of tags in the world.

Using this understanding of the city fabric, as well as hyper-precise location technology and machine learning algorithms, Connecthings helps deliver experiences based on the context of their users in real time. Its location technology and analytics provide unprecedented insights about users which mobile application marketers can use to conclude how to enhance services best and optimize user experiences.  

Unlike other companies in this space which are in the business of sharing and selling consumer location information, Connecthings does not save historical data or share it with any third-party services. Users can request to opt-out and have information deleted by apps at any time.

10) What are some of the most common use cases?

On the analytics side, the use cases will vary depending on the type of apps/services clients have. Apps with physical outlets (e.g., retail shops, banks, beauty parlors) will want to understand things such as how far people travel to visit their location if they use the app before visiting and for how long, if and when their customers visit competitors' outlets vs. their own.

Apps referencing physical venues (e.g., city guides, nightlife/gigs directory apps) might want to prove the value of listing an event/venue in their app by using footfall data to show uplifts. “Pure play” apps without a physical business (e.g., gaming app, news app) will want to understand in which location and context their apps are more likely to be used by comparing the foreground and background data footprints.

On the engagement side, all insights derived from the analytics will help create a contextually-aware design of user interfaces and notification campaigns.

Apart from being the Founder and CEO, Laetitia Gazel Anthoine is also currently the ‘Board Member of Inria’ and ‘Manhattan Chapter Member of YPO.’ With her interview, MobileAppDaily got detailed insights into location-based marketing solutions for mobile applications.


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