Download the Charity case study as a PDF
Download the Charity case study as a PDF
Download the Charity case study as a PDF
Download the Charity case study as a PDF
Download Tinkoff case study as PDF format
Download Tinkoff case study as PDF format
Download the full case study in PDF
Download the full case study in PDF
This article was originally published on DIS.
The last few years have witnessed a renaissance in media-focused startups. Powered by initiatives like Artificial Intelligence and blockchain, the new breed of companies have sought to answer some of the key issues that have dogged media and publishing companies for the past decade. How can they scale the amount of content they produce? How can they increase the number of people paying for it? And how best to harness social media to target new consumers and turn them into regular followers – and maybe even paying customers? Here, then, are ten new-ish companies that have all made great strides in their attempt to simplify the world of media.
The rise of fintech companies and alternative banking systems has made digital wallets, which are central to micropayments, a concept that is a little less foreign at least to younger readers. And their ubiquity has created an opportunity for publishers operated by a company called Axate (used to be Agate).
They have developed a digital wallet and have signed up a series of publishers, from Popbitch to The Cricketer. When users click on those sites’ premium, paid-for content, a small amount of money is deducted from their prefunded wallet and given to the content source. The signup process and user journey are both pretty seamless and consumers can also limit the amount they spend on content each week.
As Dominic Young, founder of Axate, says “we make payment effortless for consumers, with publishers retaining control over their pricing. Users with an Axate wallet can use it on any Axate-enabled site, creating a network effect between publishers which minimises sign-up barriers and maximises the market opportunity as the network grows.”
Pico is a solution for media companies who want to develop membership and subscription based systems. The three-year-old New York based startup has created what it calls an ARM (audience relationship management) platform. According to Co-founder and President Jason Bade, it’s a system that integrates email signups, on-site analytics, and payments. It is driven by two key conversion points – turning anonymous users into email signups and getting readers to pay.
As Bade told WNIP, “everything we do is dedicated to product design that optimises for these moments and makes life as easy and resource-inexpensive as possible for publishers transitioning to a ‘reader revenue’ business model.”
3. Aiden AI
For medium and smaller publishers, running ads on social platforms can be a time consuming and fractious process. It’s a problem that SF-based – via London and France – company Aiden.ai seeks to address. It essentially enables companies to monitor ads on multiple platforms (Google, Facebook, Instagram etc.) via a straightforward-to-use interface. The Pro version of the tool (which is priced at $349 per month) then harnesses AI to make suggestions as to how they can improve the performance of these ads.
Datasine is a London-based startup which combines expertise in psychology and machine learning to help businesses – from brands to media companies – to personalise their communications at scale. For media companies this can be anything from selling subscriptions to encouraging click throughs on key stories.
Its key product is a personality-driven marketing platform Connect, which enables businesses to tailor content to resonate with their oftentimes very specific audiences. Its machine learning system analyses behavioural data which then powers a content editing platform so that words, images and videos are matched to the psychological profiles of the users or segment. There are three different versions of the service: a basic, free one which works with marketing tools like MailChimp; a £99 per month Pro version that also includes the option to personalise Facebook ads; and an enterprise version which has many more features.
As many publishers and news organisations pivot towards a freelance-driven model, the requirement for high quality, part time editorial staff has become ever more important. One startup that hopes to fill that gap is Paydesk. The company acts as a marketplace for freelance writers and numbers among its clients some of the world’s largest news publishers including the BBC, Reuters, Euronews, CBS, Voice of America, Vanity Fair, The Independent, and more. From a journalist’s perspective it also endeavours to address the key freelance problem of late payments. The service is built around a web-based platform which gives publishers access to a map of the 6,000 freelancers where they are based, what languages they speak and what skills each can offer.
Startups are also helping to bridge the divide between the media, especially news organisations, and their audiences. US company Hearken, which now boasts clients across the globe, is a new model for including the public in the process of reporting. The company’s proprietary technology platform is called the Engagement Management System. It helps newsrooms generate actionable insights from the public to create more relevant, representative and original content. Editorial staff can keep engagement processes organised, and Hearken also helps revenue-focused staff generate qualified email leads and connect to newsletters and CRMs.
As CEO (and DIS regular) Jennifer Brandel explains, “the resulting content is higher-performing, original and converts people into paying subscribers or members at more than double the rate of typical stories. We do this through process and product innovation – helping newsrooms weave feedback from the public into their decision-making to produce more relevant content.”
The increasing appetite for podcasts has placed some media companies in a tricky position. Recording them in quality audio invariably entails face to face interviews, and this means that journalists spend more time away from their offices and produce fewer stories than they otherwise would. Zencastr is an inspired solution. It is essentially a high end voiceover IP communication system, but one that’s optimised to enable the users to make high quality recordings. Crucially, it archives each channel separately so they can either be edited later or spliced together using Zencastr’s basic editing functions. It is a breeze to use and the audio quality has enabled podcasters on different sides of the planet to work together in a seamless way.
Felix is offering a solution for publishers who want to turn their editorial content into social media posts quickly and efficiently. The London-based startup uses an AI-based system to analyse the content and then turn it into snackable video, Insta stories, audio snippets and more. The results are striking and shareable. The system is already used by a number of leading UK publishers and content marketers. Definitely a company to keep an eye on. Starter prices are GBP £50 per month for 100 articles.
For some publishing companies there is a requirement to mine third party data to help them to understand their audiences better, or maybe research new areas in which they might experiment. Attest is an online Consumer Growth Platform, where business can ask market research questions to audiences of over 100 million people across 80 markets. Think a rival for traditional survey companies but with an intuitive web-based self service platform and fast and accurate results. The London-based company recently announced a USD $16m Series-A investment round.
10. United Robots
Sören Karlsson, the CEO of United Robots, spoke last year at DIS outlining his company’s approach to the automation of content. United Robots uses artificial intelligence to analyse data and then create basic stories. Its major successes so far have been in the creation of sports-based content and real estate news stories for Scandianavian publishers like Mittmedia and Schibsted. The company worked with Mittmedia in using its robot generated content to sell subscriptions. Karlsson told Digiday: “Automated articles are often pretty niche and super interesting to a small number of people. That makes them perfect for a personalised news feed or a niche product. It’s key to nail the context.”
This article was originally published on AiThority.
I founded Datasine in 2015, after moving to London to do a Ph.D. in Psychology and Computer Science at the University of London. Prior to that, I spent five years working in International Development, and have lived in New York, Frankfurt, Tirana, and New Delhi.
I am quite passionate about constant innovation and bringing my research to life, so forming Datasine was an organic evolution of this. In fact, I was inspired to found Datasine during the early stage of my Ph.D. As a part of the research process, I uncovered an unmet need in the market, large enterprises, namely banks, have so much data and yet they rarely make use of it. With all of that precious information in hand, they were still yet to tailor any communications or interactions with me as a consumer.
I decided that blending Machine Learning and Psychology could be the answer. And, after several successful collaborations with banks and insurance providers, I realized that this was not only a viable business but a potentially game-changing concept, that could be rolled out to help any company build meaningful relationships with customers at scale.
Datasine is an AI-powered marketing technology company, bringing together psychology and Data Science to help marketers pick the right content for their audience.
Our first product, Connect (previously called Pomegranate), is an automated content personalization platform that combines Psychology and AI to help marketers connect the dots between each customer and their preferred content. Connect uses data-driven, interpretable and actionable insights to identify the most impactful marketing content, both visual and written for your specific customer base. This means that marketers can tailor the digital experience at scale while maximizing acquisition, engagement, and conversion.
We work with large enterprises across multiple industries globally from finance and telecoms to retail and automotive, Datasine helps companies connect with their customers on a personal level. Over the years, we have worked with many leading financial organizations, including BNP Paribas, Hello Bank!, and Tinkoff Bank. We also have experience working with E-commerce businesses, such as The Kairos Collective, which increased its CTR of a newsletter campaign by 36% using the platform.
From our own customer base, we’ve seen most use coming from marketing agencies and e-commerce platforms. It seems those businesses that rely heavily on differentiation, or optimization, are also embracing AI the fastest.
Datasine’s Connect helps brands tailor their content to individuals, so they can better resonate with different audiences, segments, and individual customers. Its predictive AI works with first-party historic customer engagement data from each brand, enabling marketers to gain instant, scientific, and data-driven content insights.
This helps them pick the best possible assets and tailor content for every marketing campaign – from text and images for landing pages, to email campaigns and call center scripts. For instance, we found that changing a single adjective within the subject line of an email could improve open rates by more than 10%.
When dealing with innovative technologies, you need to constantly evolve in order to predict the needs of customers and stay ahead of the competition.
In my experience, the best way to overcome this is by hiring great people who have the skills and the passion to stay ahead of the curve. Our team is a true testament to that we come from a range of backgrounds, from software development, Quantum Computing, and experience in founding and growing start-ups to offer different levels of expertise and viewpoints.
I think we are going to see software become ‘smarter’, in a sense that it will begin to provide intelligence suggestions to businesses on how processes can be optimized. For example, we’ve already reached the point where use journeys can be orchestrated down to the smallest detail, with AI we are going to start seeing user journey optimization where AI will start providing recommendations and suggestions for the marketer to accept, or decline.
On the creative side of things, we are going to start seeing AI provide recommendations to change certain text or image composition to make it more appealing to different audiences, thereby allowing content creators to create more interesting and nuanced content.
Datasine offers a fully integrable platform for processing large datasets and understanding the personal preferences of every customer. We provide a visual, and easy to interpret analysis to make those insights actionable, for personalizing content such as emails, landing pages and call center scripts.
Datasine’s main product is Connect (previously Pomegranate), which helps brands better understand their customers and identify images that will maximize engagement and conversion. Datasine’s business model is based on two core offerings: a bespoke Enterprise plan (targeting companies working with millions of clients) and a Pro offering, launching in Q3 2019 (targeting SMEs working with leading CRM systems, email providers, PPC platforms and tools working with other types of digital content).
The free version of Connect provides visual analysis of marketing assets for high-performance campaigns, with the first customers benefiting from a complimentary consulting service, courtesy of Datasine’s psychology and data science team. Connect’s premium offering enables users to upload unlimited images and content, gaining insight from Datasine’s bespoke Machine Learning algorithms in order to craft personalized campaigns and assess performance for their own audiences.
Using Connect, Datasine’s customers have experienced 80% increase in engagement; 59% increase in conversion; 71% increase in sales.
Businesses are struggling to understand the human behind the volume of data they hold on customers and leverage it to offer a meaningful exchange. Datasine is equipping marketers with AI and psychology-based interpretable and actionable insights, to help brands connect the dots and better understand their customers – ultimately building more successful marketing campaigns.
Datasine’s Connect marketing platform helps brands tailor content to resonate with their audience, from the segment level down to the individual customer. By applying Machine Learning to historic, first-party engagement data, marketers can understand the content preferences of their customer base and receive actual content recommendations (text and images) to enhance their next campaign. In terms of driving tangible ROI, our customers’ results speak for themselves – one of Europe’s leading digital banks was able to increase landing page engagement by 7%; increase email conversion rate by 10%; boost campaign participation rate by 80%. Curated design marketplace The Kairos Collective was able to improve its campaign click-through rate by 36% after just three days. International banking group BNP Paribas was able to increase its sales of insurance products by 71% through the personalization of call center scripts.
At the moment, Connect integrates with HubSpot and MailChimp, and the company is looking to launch further integrations throughout the year, in line with evolving customer demand.
Naturally, we use our own product quite a bit to optimize our marketing campaigns. We have also been using Hubspot quite active over the past two years, which is one of the reasons that was one of the first integrations we built.
AI won’t replace jobs, quite the opposite. According to Gartner, AI will eliminate 1.8m jobs but create 2.3m more by 2020.
For marketers, it will help them augment their skills, as they will be equipped to interpret and digest data, at scale. The implementation of AI can remove the necessity for humans to spend time performing simple and administrative tasks, enabling them to focus their attention elsewhere. By analyzing the success and challenges of all previous marketing campaigns, marketers can drive and guide the creative process. For instance, our platform helps marketers become more creative by spending less time testing ‘in the dark’ the best images and text for their acquisition and retention campaigns and instead learn from the previous campaigns.
Rather than guessing what’s appealing to their customers, marketers and creatives are provided with much more clear options to tailor their messaging and content, while avoiding digital fatigue with end-users.
I am really enjoying the rise of fintech in the UK. I think banking will change completely in the next 5 years and that’s very exciting to me.
I am also enjoying the progress of Open AI. They are doing some really look things with language generation, which I am sure will have a transformative impact on many industries in the future.
I firmly believe that AI has the power to dramatically change the way most institutions operate. In the short term, I think most people would agree with me when I say that AI will revolutionize the way people interact with technology. In Financial Services specifically, I predict a striking change in the way banks communicate with their customers and vice versa.
I am not sure that people today need to be inspired to work with technology. It is all around us, and for the most part, everyone is very comfortable with using it. At Datasine, it’s not essential to be a Machine Learning or behavioral expert; a simple willingness to learn is the most important aspect. The combined Computer Science and psychology expertise of the senior team, coupled with the fact that it is a great environment for self-starters, keeps people motivated and keen to learn more.
Collaboratively. (alternative: loudly)
I am a very simple person when it comes to software. I use the basic Mail and Calendar apps for Mac, Slack, and Zoom. I don’t think I could live without email, but everything else is just a nice to have.
Years ago I found myself failing to keep track of meetings, tasks, and life in general, so I decided to simplify the workflow as much as possible and to create a single source of ‘truth’, where at any one point I can find everything that I need to do. That’s how email became my sole source of knowledge. I ask everyone to email me if they want me to actually do something and I flag every incoming email until it has actioned in some way. This allows me to always know what needs to be done and in what priority.
I just finished reading ‘A Gentleman in Moscow’, which I found to be a wonderful read. I am now back to reading ‘How nature works’ by Per Bak, which is about self-organized criticality, which is a theory that explains the formation of fractals in nature. It’s a bit of a slog, but super interesting.
Generally speaking, I read a very wide variety of books, as long as they are well-written. I truly believe writing is an art form and those who are able to use it to effectively convey ideas and emotions deserve to be read and admired.
I use my iPad mini for all of the reading, as I am frequently on the go and lugging around books is simply not practical. I always gift printed books, though.
It wasn’t so much of advice like a mantra to live by, listen to your heart and always check the intentions behind your actions; know exactly why you are doing the things are you doing in your life.
I also believe it’s very important in life to find something you truly enjoy; most people end up doing something they don’t like, in the hope they might learn to enjoy it. We risk missing out on so much in life by just doing the things we are presented with, and by not taking chances. By letting our fear of the unknown control us, we often never find things that truly make us happy and it is so important to take seemingly big risks; otherwise, we run the biggest risk of all of having never truly lived.
I stick around. If there was ever a prize for perseverance I’d probably get it. No matter what happened the day before, I always get up the next morning and show up to try again. Some days, I am lucky enough that something good happens.
For better or worse, there aren’t a lot of people I know in the industry. And those that I do know, I believe would share my views as well.
Sure. I am always up for talking about things I am passionate about and if anything that I do, or say is helpful to others that truly make my journey worthwhile.