Igor Volzhanin

From idea to martech: combining psychology with AI for better customer experiences

Igor Volzhanin, our CEO, explains what started Datasine, a martech platform combining psychology and AI for better customer experiences.

It all started with a dream. While working in Frankfurt, I realised that I really wanted to do a Ph.D in Psychology.

Six months after realising my dream and moving to London, I started working on an idea of combining machine learning and psychology to help companies better understand and communicate with their customers. This is how DataSine first began in 2015. 

We got our first big break at the Hackathon in France in 2015. Hosted by BNP Paribas, the unofficial tagline of the competition was: ‘show us what you can do with our data’. What we found is that ineffective and impersonal marketing was a big issue — communication was generic with the same email going out to every customer and there was virtually no regard for the personality of the customer.


So we pitched the idea of tailoring communication to make it more appealing to the different personalities of BNP Paribas customers, by using transactional data to differentiate between customers. This was well received and we won the Hackathon,which showed to me that the problem is indeed real and companies see it as a priority. This also demonstrated an opportunity and added value of psychology alongside the new Machine Learning technologies.

During the next two years, as we started to develop our ideas into a prototype, we realised that providing analytics alone was not enough. That telling a company the personality of their customer didn’t necessarily mean that they could translate that information into more engaging content. There was a lack of personalisation in companies that required both the technical and creative ability to create new content.

This thought led to the development of Pomegranate, a platform created a year and a half ago, that allows marketers to generate unique content for different personalities quickly and at scale.


The next major breakthrough happened in May of 2018 when we started to tune customer profiles from the content customers were receiving and responding to, instead of only transactional data. What this allowed us to do was to open up our platform to a much wider market, to enable essentially any company that uses email to communicate with their customers to build personality profiles and tailor messaging with Pomegranate.

As DataSine develops, we want to continue being the forerunner in marketing technology, creating ways for a company to speak distinctly to every single one of its customers. Through a combination of AI and psychology, we want to set a new standard for personalisation and communication in marketing so that an individual will always see something that’s right for them, in the right way and at the right time, thereby eliminating spam.

One of the biggest flaws in marketing today is speaking to every customer as if they are the same. Not understanding that behind every client is a person with unique experiences, interests, dreams and personality. Marketing should be about finding and celebrating those differences. DataSine represents a challenge to the traditional way of thinking and this is just the beginning of what I believe is the future.


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