CBR’s Ellie Burns speaks to Assaf Baciu, Co-Founder and SVP Product & Engineering at Persado, about the concept of a ‘language cloud’.
EB: What is a language cloud?
AB: A language cloud is an AI platform that is a combination of language, a knowledgebase, and algorithms, that is able to determine and generate the precise words and phrases that resonate best with any given audience or individual. It provides unique insights into the specific language and emotions that move the audience or individual to take action, which allows organizations to tailor messages in a way to generate the desired response.
The Marketing Language Cloud has at its core, the world’s largest, growing database of over 1 million tested and scored marketing words and phrases. Marketing is an obvious area where this has enormous advantages – those marketers who use our platform to generate language and emotion are able to drive consumers to open an email, respond to push SMS, make purchases on landing pages or click-and-convert on display ads and social media posts, all by uncovering the precise language triggers to inspire action.”
EB: How does a language cloud work?
AB: Persado’s language cloud breaks new ground by using math, machine learning and natural language processing to analyse and extract the most effective language and emotions to engage a consumer or a given set of consumers.
The language cloud tests and calculates the actual contribution of each language element — product or offer descriptions, emotional language, formatting (style and symbols), positional placement of each element, and call-to-action — in driving a response.
These insights mean that the marketer now knows not only which language and emotion to use with the consumer, but importantly why it works. This insight can then be leveraged at every touchpoint with that consumer to deliver a consistent and personalized brand experience across all channels, which ultimately increases customer lifetime value.
EB: Why should businesses care about emotional engagement?
AB: Emotional language accounts for 67 percent of the variance in response to communications. But knowing the precise emotions or when and how to use them, has not been possible until Persado. Organisations expend a lot of energy and expense to ensure they target the right audience, at the right time, with the right product or service. However, they usually fail in the final step of that process – speaking to the customer in the way that resonates best.
For example, our analysis has shown that, in the UK, consumers react better to Black Friday messages which create a sense of intimacy or instil a sense of guilt, rather than those which simply stress that deals are ‘urgent’ and time restricted. We have already seen this emotional engagement succeed in marketing. Our customers – including American Express, Vodafone, Pottery Barn, Citi, Microsoft, Expedia, Hotels.com and Humana – have shown an average additional lift of 49.5% in conversions across marketing campaigns.”
EB: You have successfully used the language cloud in marketing, what other applications would benefit?
AB: If an application uses language to elicit a response, it could conceivably benefit from a language cloud. For example, in healthcare a language cloud could be used to encourage a patient to remain compliant with a course of treatment; ensuring they take medication as and when required. In education, a language cloud could be used to keep students following their study plans – something which could be extremely beneficial come examination time. The possible uses of a language cloud are vast.
EB: How important do you foresee the language cloud to be among other emerging technologies?
AB: Well, I might have bias, but CNBC named Persado one of the top 50 global disruptors for 2017 — described as the most innovative private companies transforming the economy and shaping the future of business. Persado is named alongside Airbnb, Lyft, WeWork and Elon Musk’s SpaceX.
What Persado does is a complete paradigm shift. For all the push and pursuit of personalization in marketing, Persado is the first platform ever to actually reveal and generate the actual language that a person prefers. One of our customers, was recently asked by a film producer to describe how Persado made her feel. Her instant response was that Persado humanized her company’s marketing — at Persado, we firmly believe in the potential of AI to make our world and certainly our communications more human.
Language is an extremely significant part of our daily lives – from announcements at the station, to digital fitness devices that encourage us to exercise. Being able to find and use the right language and emotion even more effectively will become an increasingly valuable tool for businesses, consumers and society.”