CEO and Co-Founder – Lightning AI
Mobile Growth Summit 2018 – the largest mobile marketing growth conference will kick off next week in SF, California. The two-day event, on 7 -8 February, would witness a footfall of 1000+ mobile marketers from more than 600 diversified business groups. To demonstrate how business leaders see next-gen technologies in mobile marketing in 2018, we spoke to a bunch of CEOs, Marketing Executives, Product Officers and Mobile Growth-Hackers.
In our first interview from Mobile Growth Summit 2018, we spoke to a champion in user-acquisition models, who currently is the CEO and Co-founder of Lightning AI, Colette Nataf.
What was the idea behind launching Lightning AI?
My background is actually in math and data science. When I moved over to marketing, I found math existed everywhere – there are numbers in advertising, in pricing, and in all decision making.
To me, marketing is all about testing. We need to test different targeting groups, different user flows and journeys and different messaging. I treat each of these as math problems. People can typically run 2-3 tests at a time while maintaining mathematical rigor.
But I always wanted to move faster. What if instead of a person designing, monitoring and executing marketing tests, we could have a computer do so instead?
From this question, Lightning AI was born. We now have a system that can run hundreds and thousands of tests simultaneously to automatically find the best combination of target audiences, pricing and creative for advertisements on Facebook and Google AdWords.
What brings you to the Mobile Growth Summit 2018? What part of the conference are you most keen about?
Mobile marketers are at the forefront of technology. Mobile growth attracts the highest quality talent and the best minds across the globe. I always cherish any opportunities to meet with people in this industry, stay up to date on relevant news and learn as much as possible from them.
What mobile technology lessons, would you like to re-evaluate at Mobile Growth Summit 2018?
Right now, we’re focusing on how different types of audiences respond and react within applications. I’m looking to learn more about how companies personalize user journeys, and how they are able to utilize information from advertisements to influence these decisions.
How do you see modern tech companies re-aligning their efforts to deliver mobile-centric customer experiences?
Consumers are already overwhelmed with the number of apps we use to gather and relay information. We use email, Facebook, Slack, WhatsApp – we’re moving past the point of when consumers want to add another product to their list of daily apps.
To win in this market, companies need to be able to embed their products into the workflow of their customers. Businesses who provide intrinsic value and can show that value through Facebook or Slack bots.
In this way, businesses have a new option for what ‘mobile-first’ can mean: integrate with products that already have best in class mobile experiences.
What binds app audience expansion to ad optimization? How does Lightning AI bring both technologies together?
For me, everything in marketing is about testing. We need to be able to find and target new groups of people to gain information about them. From changing our targeting at the ad level, we can understand how different groups of people use products – their willingness to pay, the conversion rates, or just how often they open the app.
Lightning AI automatically generates and tests these groups for you. We tie into your data from your mobile app to judge successes and failures. This allows us to help marketers find out who their target audience should be and advertise to more of these users.
What are the major pain points in a contemporary mobile customer acquisition strategy? How does Lightning AI enable customers to overcome these?
Marketers need to know so much – it’s not just about building interesting and engaging advertisements anymore. Now, marketing means finance, analytics, growth – AND continuing to generate new and creative ad ideas.
People who work and excel in marketing are extraordinary. They can juggle these topics together and weave their work into new marketing strategies for businesses. But everyone needs help, and usually, this breaks down when companies are ready for exponential growth.
Growth is about continuously finding more people interested in your product. We help marketers by automating this process that can sometimes feel like a guessing game – understanding who their ideal users are. Through audience expansion, we create new groups and facilitate this testing of marketing strategies. We are saving marketers time and allowing their businesses to grow at the same time.
What are your predictions for AI/ML-driven mobile Adtech companies in 2018? What does your product roadmap look like for 2018-2022?
We are entering a new golden age powered by artificial intelligence. We’re already seeing companies emerge who are automating other aspects of marketing like email and push notifications. Firebase actively predicts the number of users who will buy and who will churn each week.
I predict we’ll start seeing more of these pop up both as aspects of current products and entirely new products. I expect to see many new companies starting over the next two years as we begin to explore what AI can and cannot do. Can we create images by computer? What about content for messages? Will we start changing content within applications based on the advertisements they see?
For Lightning AI, we want to push the boundaries for AI in advertising as far and as fast as we can. Within four years, we want to be able to not only run audience expansion but be able to create entire marketing strategies from scratch and accurately predict results. This means building advertising campaigns from the ground up – everything from finding the perfect buyer to setting the right price for the ad, to choosing the perfect image. And you’ll know exactly what your return on investment will be before you even spend a dime.
Thanks for chatting with us, Colette.
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