Moderating a session on AI enabled technologies driving data or product innovation, Yannis Kotziagkiaouridis, global chief analytics officer, Wunderman, USA, spoke about how brands need to change the way they speak to consumers.
He explained, "A human makes an average of 10,000 decisions a day. 226.7 of these are just related to food. A person takes as little as 13 seconds to make a decision for purchasing a brand in a store. When there are more options, decisions are faster. More than 90 per cent of the decisions are sub-conscious and 100 per cent of the decisions involve one emotion at least."
Keeping the above in mind, Kotziagkiaouridis, said, "We (advertisers) have to change the way we talk to people and the language we speak in. With data available, we know everything about our audience."
He then brought in Chantal Berthiaume, director of commercial analytics and customer insights, Air Canada to explain with the help of a campaign about how they 'spoke' to their consumers.
Berthiaume said, "For one direct mailer campaign we had 32 variants tested with 3,072 different possibilities within the mailer. It had 16 variations of the subject line and 16 variations of the content within it. It was a mailer for a weekly deal we were sending out. We looked at different emotions and among the 16 options, the machine picked four. The mailers were sent out to 20 lakh recepients. It got 6.68 lakh opens. The lowest open rate was 24.72 per cent and 36.61 was the highest. What we saw was that when there was anxiety involved in the subject line or in the context, it won. The best performing results were related to a 'click to action' which said 'see deals' rather than book now. When we put in 'see deals', the open rate was 87.75 per cent."
Also speaking in the session was Yasaman Hadjibashi, chief creation officer, Barclays, South Africa. She spoke about the bank's Chatbots and how that AI service helped reduce costs to bring in new customers. The target group the bank was looking at was a 25-year old looking for investment advice.
"For investment advice, one would sit down face-to-face with a sales representative or could be done through a phone-call. In Africa, we have high costs when it comes to acquiring new customers. It costs us quite a bit to do background checks etc, and only 68 per cent of the applicants actually start working with us. So, what we did was went the millennial way to attract them. Two or three years ago, people browsed the site for information. But millennials love chatting, and so we launched the BankBot Messenger with Facebook. Young millennials love stupid conversations and the BankBot was customised to keep that in mind."
Hadjibashi showed a conversation between the BankBot and a customer to showcase how it was different from normal chat bots and more interactive.
"The result of this interactive BankBot was that in less than US$ 5,000 we got 20 per cent more engagement, with 45 per cent repeat usage. We got a 5 per cent positive shift for the brand and even 2,500 more Facebook likes," she said.
She surmised with what she expects the future to be like. "Chat bots are evolving. They are getting voice based, we are seeing inter bots solving more of the customer problems, image recognisation and transactional."
(This writer is in Portugal at the invitation of the organisers)