Twilio’s Robert Fenstermacher takes communications to a new level

By Michael FerreeFebruary 24, 2015

When the digital revolution began, it became clear that integrating technology would be critical to long-term success. Yet good integration is not so easy to achieve, especially for legacy infrastructure such as phone systems.

Twilio, a sponsor at the upcoming LeadsCon Las Vegas conference in March, says it solves a company’s need to evolve communications from a stand-alone experience to one that’s integrated.

Integrating communications across different facets

Twilio offers a set of tools developers can use to embed voice and messaging into their applications. This includes voice calling and messaging direct-to-web or mobile applications. “By doing this, you’re really integrating communications across many different facets of your business,” says Robert Fenstermacher, director of product marketing at Twilio. “You can do things like deliver more modern customer service experiences, more efficiencies into lead management practice and auditing of different internal workflows.”

This is because Twilio offers a cloud-based communications platform that essentially gives you all of the different components a developer would need to build these communications into their apps. At its core, it serves as a bridge between back-end systems and all of these communications needs. Fenstermacher goes as far as to say Twilio has turned the standard industry business model on its head. Why? The typical scenario is a focus to build a subscriber base as quickly as possible and that sets the strategy for everything else that they do. It’s only after that is accomplished that the underlying service is taken into account and made available for developers to use. But Fenstermacher stresses that Twilio takes a completely different approach by making the API its “first and our only business,” making the software developer and their business the number one priority.

Fenstermacher notes one of Twilio’s fastest growing market segments is businesses seeking to build a more local, real-time marketing practice. That said, he also highlights that it’s getting trickier to figure out what tactics are going to lead to the most conversions. It’s also becoming more challenging to capture ROI. With Twilio’s range of functions and case studies, it seeks to gain exposure and glean more information as it makes its way to LeadsCon Las Vegas. Among its arsenal is call tracking, which “collects tons of rich metadata”; instant lead alerts; and SMS and MMS within mobile marketing, all of which Fenstermacher says fit in perfectly with LeadsCon.

Driving more modernity

Twilio perceives the conference to be critical. “I think this LeadsCon is really about driving more modernity in a direct marketing practice — and that’s exactly where Twilio plays,” Fenstermacher says of the upcoming conference. He raises the “modernity” point because of the shift marketing departments are undergoing, seeing the widespread implementation of a chief marketing technologist and sizable IT budgets.

At the conference, Twilio has put together a fun promotion with four of its partners to show how lead tracking can be used in a booth scenario. When attendees stop into any of its partner booths — DataLot, CallerReady, VoiceBase or White PagesPro — decals will be prominent, which serve as a tracking number. Attendees can use that number to text a promotional ad that’s going to give them a chance to win a “Twilio Powered Weekend,” says Fenstermacher. It’s Twilio-powered because it gives you credit to use on apps that are actually powered by Twilio, he explains. The credits go to Uber, Airbnb OpenTable and Gilt — all apps that are built on top of Twilio and leverage Twilio for voice and messaging. It’s $1,400 to have fun on their dime.

The intention of the partner booths is to show how you can use the kind of information received from a call tracking solution within Twilio’s partners. Twilio is providing the numbers for these businesses built on top of their technology and attendees can then see all of the information you can get from dialing into that promotion, Fenstermacher furthers. Twilio will also be showing all of the rich data you can acquire from someone who responds to an ad. “What these companies are doing is they are really exposing the use of their software,” says Fenstermacher. “We will show that integration.”

In terms of overriding themes at LeadsCon Las Vegas, Fenstermacher says 2015 is the year of the customer experience. “We will start to see some really tangible momentum and interesting ideas,” he says. “ We want to see how companies are approaching this challenge and join the conversation on how to use technology to boost lead conversion, improve retention rates and modernize the customer experience by integrating voice and messaging into customer facing apps. These are things we’ve done a lot in other industries like the transportation and hospitality sector. So it’s an area of huge interest for us to see how people are thinking about this concept of the customer experience.”

Click here to register for LeadsCon Las Vegas 2015.

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