The new and innovative cognitive content generation platform Persado, claims to use machine learning and natural language processing to close the gap between marketing copy that fails the grade, and copy that actually converts! The startup currently has strong backing from investors, including American Express Ventures, Citi Ventures, Bain Capital, and more recently Goldman Sachs, for a whopping $30 million in total funding! The startup already has major players in the form of customers as well, including big names like Ebay, Intel, Sears, and Angies List, among notable others. With over 200 employees stationed within 7 locations globally, it would appear as if Persado is on the fast lane to success in the marketing arena. However, as you're about to see, there's two sides to every story, and whether or not Persado is the answer to poor marketing copy that doesn't convert is left to be said.
For starters, let's face it, the world's marketing industries have been hampered for years with poor quality ads, crap calls to action that fail to gain attention, or ever even convert for that matter. Having a look at any current advertisements displayed across publishers sites on the web are a clear indicator of just how ineffective the average marketing campaign has become. We've all heard how the state of digital marketing suffers from "Banner Blindness", in which the typical web based ad is merely ignored by those who traverse the web.
Persado looks to bridge the gap between copy that doesn't convert, and copy that performs for its clients. The platform intends to create exceptional calls to action with its mix of intelligently designed natural language processing, machine learning, and math. At the time of this writing, the platform boasts a whopping 68.4% click thru rate, and 49.5% average conversion lift! That's an increase in conversions of almost 50%, which one would easily find hard to believe, but not to say it isn't impossible. We also have to keep in mind this is a stated average, so results will likely fluctuate depending on the purpose of the copy at hand, among other factors determined by marketers themselves.
Persado definitely shows potential to help brands both large and small see more results from their advertising dollars. Having the backing of major players like Intel serves to say a lot as well. The platform states it has more than 1 million images, emotional and motivational words, and phrases that are scored against response data from more than 40 billion impressions. How can this be a bad thing? After all, invoking an emotional response is truly the marketer's secret weapon when it comes to convincing consumers to click thru and make a purchase. When it comes to marketing, emotion can be a real motivator!
The platform also shows promise in at least partially doing away with repeatedly failed marketing campaigns. Failed campaigns often end up costing companies large and small huge losses, and the marketing firms who support them another lost client. When a firm fails to perform, the losses are long hard and felt.
Likewise, the marketing firms who manage to leverage the power of platforms like Persado may be able to produce exceptional results for their clients, and it could serve to solidify a firms strategies and customer retention over the long term.
While I'm not knocking Persado, and I honestly feel it's a great idea, I have to admit, the day I need an automated program to write my marketing copy and calls to action for me, will likely be the day I quit marketing content across the web entirely. Despite the probability of enhanced performance and marketing potential this platform could bring, I don't feel it's a viable replacement for the traditional marketer. Instead, it may be better off being viewed as a supplement to the traditional marketers tool kit.
Just the thought of having an automated program do all the critical thinking for you leaves me concerned. Platforms like Persado could potentially open the doors for marketers to become lazy and less capable if they're abused and solely relied on to do everything for you.
My thought is, if one lacks strong writing and communication skills, the last thing they should be doing is relying on a program to pick up for their shortfalls. If anything, they should be working to improve their skills so they can become a better, and ultimately more capable marketer.
Another thing to consider is that automated content creation platforms have long been frowned upon by search engines such as Google. Although, this platform isn't looking to create entirely automated blog posts, but rather emotionally charged short phrases and calls to action that gather the users attention and keep it!
While I was extremely skeptical of Persado when I first read about it on Inbound, I wholeheartedly think it's not only a clever idea, but it shows real potential in the challenging and increasingly competitive world of marketing. Although, I don't feel it's the answer to crappy marketing, and the modern day marketer shouldn't view this platform as the answer to poor marketing skills. Rather is should be viewed as a possible supplement that can be included in one's overall marketing tactics to help improve their campaigns for clients. As a last and final note, for those who're skeptical of what value this platform may have to offer, they do offer the ability to request a demo of the product and try it out for yourself.