By combining predictive customer analytics, Artificial Intelligence optimization technologies and a multi-channel campaign execution engine, Optimove helps marketers deliver the right message via the right channel, at the right time. We spoke with CEO Pini Yakuel to hear what optimove is all about, and get a glimpse of his views on the future of AI.
Please describe the background behind founding Optimove and its evolution so far.
Optimove was first established in 2009 as a data analysis and consulting service. My co-founder and I were both academics who realized that what we can derive from data can be useful for businesses and brands. By 2010 we had a product, in which we kept investing and improving. Today, our technology combines the science of data and the art of marketing to give marketers the tools to deliver personalized, real-time, omni-channel, self-optimizing customer marketing campaigns.
Optimove was ‘bootstrapped’ for nearly a decade until 2016, when it raised $20M in growth capital. We serve 300+ brands in a variety of industries, including Family Dollar, Stitch Fix, Talk Space, Adorama and many others. The company’s 200+ employees operate out of Optimove’s offices in NY, London and Tel-Aviv.
In your opinion, what are the key elements that make AI such a powerful marketing engine?
As strange as it may seem at first glance, AI humanizes the customer experience. Many smart marketers are experiencing data overload, which clogs their ability to make educated, creative decisions. AI sifts through that incredible amount of customer data brands have, and democratizes it, helping marketers target customers and communicate with them with emotional intelligence, at scale. The result is a highly personalized customer experience, which leads to brand loyalty and increased customer lifetime value.
How does AI monetization coincide with user privacy rights?
At Optimove, we empower brands to communicate more effectively with their customers. Our AI algorithms are used to analyze first-party data only, using customer behavior, preferences and demographics. With GDPR getting into effect a few months ago, customers are given notice of data usage and can choose to exercise their right to be forgotten. Optimove research shows that only a fragment of our clients’ customers chose to do so. People today expect to get relevant communications and offers from brands they interact with, through channels they prefer, than be blasted with random information for which they have no use. The real test is whether the end-user benefits from this data usage. If so, it’s a win-win, and that’s what we try to help our brands achieve.
How far do you expect AI to go in 10 years from now?
I tend to look at AI an enabler, not a replacer.
As humans, we will have the responsibility to harness AI and assure it is put in good use. We will have to control AI and those who will try to take advantage of its many shortcomings for their benefit. But the unique powers we have as human beings – our imagination and intuition – aren’t at risk. Together, with the enhancement AI provides, we will only be better.