Personalising Your Consumer Voice: Q&A with Persado

With so many consumers to talk to, retailers need to ensure that they personalise their messaging to each every shopper. In this piece, Aaron Masih (pictured below), COO, Persado, tells RetailTechNews how Persado can help retailers achieve this goal. 

RetailTechNews: Can you briefly explain how Persado’s technology works?  

Aaron Masih: Persado is the leading provider of AI-generated marketing language for top global brands. Using custom algorithms, language analysers, big data processors, and the world’s only marketing language database, containing over one million organised, tagged, and scored words, phrases, and images, Persado’s Marketing Language Cloud uses powerful artificial intelligence and machine learning to produce language that resonates with any given audience, even down to the individual level.

Brands start by providing historical interaction data, which is then analysed by Persado’s algorithms to identify those language and structural elements that have (and have not) resonated with their audiences to date. Audience profiles are then assembled and used to create new, statistically proven language. An explanation of the performance components of the language is also provided, including emotions (excitement, satisfaction, anxiety, etc.), descriptive language, formatting elements, imagery, and calls to action. This provides marketers with not only content, but also valuable insights on their segments and the best ways to engage with them to drive more revenue and improve satisfaction.

How can retailers leverage this to improve engagement with their customers?

A major challenge retailers face is how to replicate offline engagement in an online environment. Even with the best CRM data on purchase patterns, preferences, and demographics, the ‘last mile’ of determining what to say to engage someone is still largely left to traditional copywriting methods. Persado’s technology helps marketers deliver language that is personalised based on how each consumer wants to be spoken to. Ultimately, with brands facing potential commoditisation of their offerings, customer experience built through meaningful connections will become increasingly important before the sale. Imagine knowing the specific emotions and colours your target audiences resonate with most, and then having access to a large knowledge-base of content to create the language that will drive engagement. That’s where Persado changes retailing across every marketing channel.

Aaron Masih, COO, Persado

Over the last year alone, Persado has executed over 5,500 marketing campaigns and garnered nearly 17 billion impressions, helping leading global brands like American Express and Microsoft realise over USD$900m (£676m) in incremental value. Persado recently worked with global airline Air Canada on a new approach to understanding consumer motivations, testing upwards of 32 variations of their emails. In one instance, by advising Air Canada to incorporate anxiety-specific language like ‘book now’ versus ‘see deals’ in email calls-to-action, Persado drove upwards of 48% more opens and a 220% higher click-through rate. Persado also gave Air Canada marketers the enhanced ability to examine how their audience would react to different kinds of emotional language and drive better engagement with the brand.

What other benefits can retailers gain from AI language-generating tools?   

In this new era of data and personalisation, brands are using AI in exciting ways to tangibly improve customer relationships and create meaningful experiences at scale. While many uses of AI have been ‘back-office’, to improve business functions and increase margins, more brands are incorporating AI in ‘front-office’ ways to create better user experiences and connect to customers in more human, personalised ways. In addition to driving click-through rates, Persado’s technology can adapt to each brand’s unique voice, enhancing the relationships brands must authentically build with their customers in order to succeed. It also disrupts the limitations of human bias, subjectivity, and capability with data-driven insights – giving brands the ability to communicate with their customers in a way that is proven to resonate.

Are retailers currently making the most of the personalisation tools on offer to them? How could they be doing more here?

Historically, marketing personalisation within retail has focused on targeting consumers with the right product, at the right place, and at the right time. To really take the next step in personalisation, brands and retailers need to understand and mimic the way in which humans persuade and convey messages through natural language. It’s not so much about what we say, but how we say it, and that’s where true personalisation lies – tying sentiment to action in a way that truly resonates with customers.

What does the future hold for AI language-generating technologies?

As retailers are challenged to find more ways to differentiate online – whether that’s because of online mega retailers or simply changing consumer sentiment – AI is the key for marketers to process large amounts of data and create a differentiated customer experience. The concept of ‘next best action’ is well known in retail (if someone does this, then do this next), but AI can help marketers achieve ‘next best language’ and carry on the right conversation across every audience, product or service, and touchpoint.