Artificial intelligence allows customizing content for every user, significantly increasing the click rate and conversion of the marketing campaign. That is what the speaker of AI Conference, head of DataSine fintech company Igor Volzhanin thinks. In the interview, he shares how psychology and artificial intelligence influence marketing, which businesses can find such an approach useful, and whether it is difficult to develop in this field.
Interviewer: AI Conference (AIC).
Respondent: Igor Volzhanin (I.V.).
AIC: Hello, Igor. Your company has been working on projects for financial organizations in different countries. What is the specifics of projects in Russia and abroad?
I.V.: Hello. We have entered the Russian market in early 2018, but can already say that this market is quite interesting for us. Firstly, compared to other countries, projects are developing much faster in Russia. For example, projects of Tinkoff took us just 3 months from the first meeting to the launch of the pilot project. In our opinion, this is a bright illustration of efficient processes in the company.
Secondly, Russian companies have a big advantage – a new infrastructure that allows for quicker realization of projects and better integration with systems of customers.
Finally, a very important aspect of the work in Russia is the adaptation of the product to the rather complicated Russian language. Moreover, you have to take into consideration the peculiarities of the Russian culture, which is important from the standpoint of personalization. You should pay much of attention to these aspects, so a rather great number of resources are spent to develop a functional product that gives correct recommendations in Russia.
AIC: How does marketing for financial and non-financial companies differ?
I.V.: Until now, we focused on the financial sector, as we were using transaction data for profiling. Now we have expanded our opportunities, started to work with other types of data. For us, it opens up an opportunity of entering other markets such as retail and telecom.
From the perspective of personalized communications, there is hardly any difference between the financial and non-financial companies. Consumers are the same people with their unique personality types. Their preferences remain unchanged despite the product they are planning to buy. Text, images, colors, call-to-action, and other aspects of marketing campaigns – people either like them or not.
At DataSine, we work with content preferences of different personality types. Our platform provides recommendations on campaigns, and the task of marketing and product management of a specific company is to integrate the recommended communications in the general positioning of the product.
AIC: Besides financial organizations, who will find your technology that combines psychology and artificial intelligence useful?
I.V.: Initially, we started working with financial institutions, and now we can work with any company. It means that any company interested in the personalization of communications irrespective of the size and kind of its business most probably will find what we are doing useful.
We are talking about B2C segment mainly: companies that directly interact with customers. It does not matter in which area they operate. The most important thing is their communication channels and interest in personalization.
Personalization allows substantially increasing the click rate and conversion as compared to other techniques. We help businesses to customize content for every person, the thing that other techniques do not provide, for instance, A/B testing.
AIC: What do you understand under personalization?
I.V.: For me personally and our company, personalization is the selection of a correct offer, and a correct presentation of this offer to a specific person.
Let’s take an abstract Ivan Ivanovich. The company should define what he does, likes, and then provide a product and information about it in the way that would help Ivan Ivanovich to understand the product best of all.
Put simply, successful personalization requires a combination of a correct product, a correct communication tool, and a correct explanation. Perhaps for a specific person it implies more text, fewer numbers, or vice versa. The way the company presents the product is important: what the product does and how it was created.
AIC: How does artificial intelligence help in your work?
I.V.: We use machine learning and artificial intelligence almost in all aspects of our work. All starts with profiling, where we take a data set and mark it using machine learning. As a result, every customer receives a profile.
Then we give recommendations according to preferences of personality types. Using machine learning, our platform advises on the content for a specific profile.
Finally, feedback learning. For example, responses of people to specific content give a possibility to improve every profile by adding new information.
AIC: How difficult is it to develop in the international market of marketing solutions?
I.V.: Currently, we feel a great interest in what we are doing, namely, personalization in marketing. For this reason, things go easier on the one hand, as businesses understand the need for marketing.
On the other hand, the number of competitors is growing. Here comes the question: what differentiates our company and what can we offer as compared to our competitors?
In contrast to the time when we started (three years ago), today there is no need to convince people that personalization is really important and that the use of psychology to personalize communications is an important step that works. Businesses understand that, so the following questions arise: how to integrate it in the system and how to make it more accessible for use. Therefore, today is a very favorable time to develop in this market.
AIC: What difficulties did you encounter on your way of company development? How did you cope with them?
I.V.: I moved to London 4 years ago knowing nothing about startups. Everything started from scratch and there were all possible difficulties. We started from the understanding what to deal with, the idea, and how to implement it. Further, there were difficulties connected with setting up a team, and then – fund raising. Finally, the development in the market.
How do we solve them? You know, we have a very good team, at all levels. My co-founders James and Chris are excellent people. Our employees are top-class specialists in their fields. We have excellent investors that help us a lot. Problems are solved thanks to a human factor. We spend much time so that all individuals interested in the development of DataSine had similar vison of goals.
AIC: Please, tell about the most interesting case study of DataSine.
I.V.: I guess the most interesting was what we were doing in France, using our technology to personalize calls in the call center. The project was very engaging because it was for the first time that we saw how the technology worked in real time. Previously, we had lots of experience with the email channel and knew that it gave positive results.
However, this channel also surprised us. There was an interesting insight: if personality profiles of a customer support representative and a customer coincide (for example, an extrovert sells to another extrovert), the number of sales significantly increases.
AIC: What are you planning to speak about at AI Conference?
I.V.: I will tell how artificial intelligence and psychology help companies to build meaningful relations with customers. I will also tell about the work with communications, our technology, and share examples of successful business case studies.
On November 22, Igor Volzhanin will make a presentation at AI Conference in Moscow. He will explain how psychology and artificial intelligence influence marketing. Register to AI Conference, to learn more about personalized communications.