April 5, 2016 – NEW YORK, NY – Persado, the leading cognitive content generation platform, today announced that it has closed a 30 million Series C financing led by Goldman Sachs, with participation from all previous investors Bain Capital Ventures, StarVest Partners, American Express Ventures and Citi Ventures. Persado fuses language with data to transform people into the most effective communicators. The only existing solution of its kind, and one of few to successfully productize and commercialize cognitive computing technologies to date, Persado's platform employs natural language processing and machine learning algorithms to generate the precise combination of words, phrases and images that motivate any audience, at scale, in real time. "Persado is revolutionizing how organizations communicate by propelling creativity into the data-driven age, arming brands with'smart content' that resonates with any audience, every time, and inspires them to act," said Alex Vratskides, CEO and Co-Founder of Persado. "This latest round of funding will enable us to continue investing in distribution and product development.
In another sign that the future of work is already here, JPMorgan Chase has signed a five-year deal with a software startup that uses artificial intelligence to write marketing copy, following a successful pilot with the technology. In tests, JPMorgan Chase found that Persado's machine-learning tool crafted better ad copy than its own writers could muster, as measured by the higher click rates--more than double in some case--on digital ads for Chase cards and mortgages. In one such matchup, an ad written by a human read, "Access cash from the equity in your home." The more successful version, from Persado, read, "It's true--You can unlock cash from the equity in your home." "Persado's technology is incredibly promising," Kristin Lemkau, chief marketing officer at JPMorgan Chase, said in a statement.
As a young brand manager at Miller Brewing Company in 1995, I crunched data using Excel spreadsheets, a process not so far away from what's going on at a lot of companies today, I'd wager. What does AI have to do with marketing--a human-to-human endeavor if there ever was one? Consider this noteworthy bullet point in Gartner's "Top Predictions for IT Organizations and Users for 2016 and Beyond." When most people envision AI, they think of game show-playing computers, self-driving cars, or robot armies. Robotics is at one end of the AI spectrum; at the other is what's referred to as "machine learning," the ability to program a computer to recognize patterns and build models that let it make decisions or generate predictions.
The expression, "Marketers are data rich and insight poor" is more true today than ever. Marketers all over the world are working to optimize marketing operations and effectiveness using their abundance of data. Many are turning to tools and platforms powered by artificial intelligence and machine learning. AI promises to make sense of all the dark data companies are sitting on as well as structured and unstructured data online to surface insights about customer behaviors, opportunistic content and emotional triggers to inspire conversions. In an age of too many choices, increased competition for customer attention requires every advantage to optimize for reach, engagement and conversion.
In a world where artificial intelligence (AI) is gaining traction and being applied in a variety of ways, is it really possible for AI to do intuitive things better than humans can, such as marketing messaging? Marketing messaging seems like something that takes human brain power to fully develop, understand, and formulate to optimize return, so could an AI-powered service offer better results?