Faaez Samadi
Apr 15, 2019

Performics CEO: intent is key to solving personalisation at scale

David Gould says performance is driving innovation, as his agency rolls out a new tool across Asia-Pacific.

Performics CEO: intent is key to solving personalisation at scale

Achieving the brand marketer dream of personalisation at scale takes more than knowing your audience, says David Gould, global brand president of Performics. It requires understanding intent.

As such, Gould was in Singapore last week to launch Performics’ Intent Scoring Algorithm tool in Asia-Pacific. The tool was rolled out in America last year and is now hitting APAC.

“We’ve always said that understanding intent unlocks possibility,” Gould tells Campaign Asia-Pacific. "That’s very fluffy and lofty, but what does it really mean and how do you tangibly apply that to marketing campaigns?”

The algorithm, Gould explains, creates intent segments based on relevant uploaded keywords, to evaluate where along the purchase journey a consumer is. Using abstract language, in search for example, shows less purchase intent than using concrete language.

Of course, Gould admits, this “sounds simplistic on the surface–the consumer is either at the top or the bottom of the funnel, we’ll adjust the message appropriately”.

“But when you try to do it in real time, and you do it across campaigns, take search for instance, where you may have hundreds of thousands of keywords, being able to score that interaction that you have with somebody in real time is very difficult to do at scale,” he says.

The algorithm allows Performics to identify consumer mindsets–such as exploring, researching or buying–that inform real-time content and media creation aligned with the relevant mindset.

David Gould

Gould says the tool’s benefits go beyond the its direct application to digital performance media and marketing, as it allows agencies and clients to focus on what he terms “intent-based planning” based on insights gleaned through the algorithm.

“Those insights can be fed back into holistic media planning, creative, outside of just a digital activation, to traditional activation, all of it,” he says. “So we’re finding that intent is a really valuable tool not only for us as Performics, but we work very closely with our sister agencies, where in many cases we power their performance solutions.”

The tool will initially be rolled out in APAC in Singapore, Australia and India, with other markets to follow. Gould says Performics is also looking closely at China and how the tool can be adapted to be most effective there.

With so many clients putting better performance at the heart of their media and marketing strategies, is it fair to say it’s the most innovative sector in the industry right now as agencies seek to differentiate and provide new solutions? Gould chuckles and chooses his words carefully.

“I’d answer in a very discrete way and say yes, but in terms of innovation around performance, instead of performance marketing,” he says. “The idea of how we’re driving performance across all media and interactions with clients, I think we’re seeing a tonne of innovation around that.

“When you see across the board how our industry is trying to reach and understand consumers more closely, that’s where a lot of innovation is happening.”

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