MarTech Interview with Janicke Eckbo, CMO at Cavai

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Martech Series interviews Janicke Eckbo, CMO at Cavai to discuss conversational advertising in a reshaped world, the evolving nature of the channel and top tips for marketers.

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Explain what makes Cavai different from other advertising channels?

Cavai is the world’s most advanced conversational advertising platform and we work closely with brands, publishers and agencies to deliver better ad experiences. We’re privacy-by-design, and enable conversational ads through our proprietary ad cloud technology to help marketers deliver conversations in programmatic and social buys in the same way as they would normally deliver banners and video ads. Our clients are already experiencing increased ROI, sometimes ten or twenty times over, through the conversational approach, which leverages non-interruptive ad formats and enables two-way dialogue. Unlike most competitor advertising solutions that are either more broadly chatbot- or AI-based, or static brand messages, Cavai enables interactions that are closer to human dialogue, and conversations that are designed based on a decision-tree technology, where all outcomes are carefully crafted with the brand’s involvement. The creative execution changes in real-time, allowing for genuinely personalised ad experiences. The real value proposition is the quality of the user engagement, the sharing of information that increases the likelihood of conversions and generates unique audience insight. At a time when genuine connections have never mattered more, conversational marketing delivers authentic interactions that drive engagement.

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Tell us how you came to join Cavai?

I joined Cavai after a period as Market Development Director at Schibsted Media Group.  My role at Cavai was created to drive awareness of the importance of creativity in advertising, and to understand the uptake of conversational advertising across the industry. Furthermore, Cavai is a fast-growing global company, with a proprietary cloud that is constantly evolving with new products and integrations. Our mission is to deliver optimal experiences that boost personalisation – without relying on data – and foster true engagement within one of the most innovative advertising formats currently on the market.

How does the technology behind Cavai help marketers to supercharge their advertising?

Cavai provides unparalleled power to make online advertising that truly engages people. Our conversational platform leverages privacy-by-design, non-interruptive ad formats and enables two-way dialogue. We have big ambitions to help marketers drastically improve the performance of their online advertising efforts by investing more in creative solutions such as conversational, and our creatives deliver captive and valuable ad experiences on display, mobile and video. Brands can use our innovative technology to build surprising and delightful conversational ad experiences in minutes or hours. It’s easy to design and build without ever touching any code, and the ads are delivered on Google and all other major ad platforms and publisher ad servers. Our technology is evolving rapidly, encompassing conversations across display and social ecosystems, with dialogue and video, to create a full-service, conversational ‘cloud’. 

Tell us about your latest innovation Conversational Facebook Messenger Ads 

Conversational Facebook Messenger Ads will be launching in May and will allow users to initiate a text conversation with a brand, simply with the click of a button. Encouraging conversations with users in an environment they associate with just that, increases relevance and the likelihood of them engaging. With Cavai Cloud, brands can aggregate, extend and optimise their conversational campaigns across display and social – all from one place. 

How does conversational advertising find its calling in a reshaped world?

Any service where there is a lot of pre-qualification – the conversational format comes into its own. So specific to the pandemic –  business loans and financing and what type of loan you qualified for, sits very neatly with the conversational format. For instance, governments have a very complicated and evolving message to impart to citizens which means there are lots of questions that arise based on who the user is. All these questions are not easily answered in traditional display formats, but a rolling conversation is very effective for disseminating relevant info for a user. During the pandemic, many brands have truly managed to be helpful, answering questions and concerns and imparting useful information, thanks to conversational mechanics, at a time when there are lots of questions that need answering about how to access products and services. Particularly at a time of crisis, it is important to move away from static brand monologues and to show your customers you are listening. 

Share some advice for brands hoping to benefit from the conversational advertising model

Brands that leverage innovative, non-intrusive, digital formats such as conversational advertising have lots to gain and very little to lose – the sheer flexibility of the format allows brands to communicate rich and complex topics in one ad, serve multiple client segments in all parts of the purchase funnel, reduce the need for third party data, and gather new insights based on conversations.

Most brands will need to leverage innovative advertising formats in order to stay ahead and remain competitive. Conversational advertising is one of the new frontiers of advertising; and is currently largely untapped and at times often misunderstood. There is so much potential for brands to leverage the model to boost engagement and connections with their audiences whilst ultimately driving revenue. 

Discuss the evolving nature of conversational marketing and what it means for advertisers

Brands have taken advantage of the evolving conversational advertising mechanism to create more meaningful customer experiences for a while now. Marketers hoping to thrive in a post-COVID world should adopt an always-on conversational strategy and take full advantage of the opportunities conversational presents, and leverage insights to refine future campaigns. Our technology is developing rapidly, encompassing conversations across display and social ecosystems, with dialogue and video, to create a full-service, conversational ‘cloud’. The future will see exciting partnerships with social media platforms and evolve beyond display ads.  

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Cavai is a leading global conversational advertising cloud working closely with brands, publishers & agencies to enable conversational experiences through Cavai´s proprietary ad cloud technology. Founded in 2018 by Steffen Svartberg and Tommy Torjesen, Cavai helps marketers deliver conversational advertising in programmatic buys in the same way as they would normally deliver banners and video ads. Across Europe, Cavai clients are already experiencing 10 – 20X ROI through their conversational advertising campaigns. With offices across Oslo, Stockholm, Helsinki, London, Singapore and most recently, New York, Cavai supports leading global brands and publishers in conversational advertising. For more information on how to make advertising great again and be a part of creating the future of conversational advertising, contact the Cavai team at hello@cav.ai | www.cav.ai

Janicke Eckbo is CMO for Cavai and oversees all aspects of marketing and communications globally. Before joining Cavai in 2020, Janicke was Market Development Director at Schibsted Media Group, the largest media group in Scandinavia, where she ran a department which positioned Schibsted Marketing Services as the preferred partner for advertisers and media agencies. There, she headed up insights & analytics, agency and programmatic development, and product- and B2B marketing. Prior to this she was Managing Director, Norway, at Amnet, Dentsu Aegis Network’s programmatic group; and Commercial Director, EMEA, at MediaMath. She has also held senior roles at Twitter and Fandom (formerly Wikia). She is now based in Oslo and has previously worked in San Francisco, London and New York, on both the agency, publisher and technology side of the industry.

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