Enabling marketers to build deep and lasting consumer relationships to increase short term sales and lifetime value


The CEO of a branded apparel company was troubled and began putting some tough questions to the marketing department. The company had spent substantially on promotions and loyalty-rewards programs to drive much-needed growth based on studies showing that targeting current consumers with marketing investments offered the highest return. Yet sales results were disappointing, and an alarming number of customers were drifting away after their initial purchases.1

                                    — Excerpt from McKinsey Quarterly, March 2017


Consumers Want ‘Something More’ from their Brands

Something is wrong. Customer loyalty is dying. Marketers are finding it harder to retain existing customers, and increasing market share is even more elusive. For example:

  • In Retail, constant brand switching is now the norm as 82% of consumers switch stores or brands to take advantage of weekly specials or compelling promotion.2,3
  • In Financial Services, provider switching is extremely common with more than 75% of Millennials willing to switch financial accounts if they find a better alternative.4
  • In Travel, only 10% of fliers are loyal to an airline, and half of those would switch if given $50 off another airline.5

Consumers, tired of being mere marketing targets and demographics, are demanding something new and different from brands. No longer complacent to just have ‘one night stands’, consumers want their brands to communicate with them in more relevant, personal and emotional ways. Consumers are asking brands for a relationship, to be their friends.

But, as with any relationship, it’s complicated. Brands are trying to figure out exactly what it means to have an emotional connection with consumers. After all, brands have historically been more comfortable with manipulating buyers. Now, they have a much bigger challenge to figure out what the consumer wants because consumer’s feelings are driving the decisions they make about brand selection.

Words and language are the cues and triggers that propel those emotions. Remember the first time you read “Think Different” from Apple, and “Just Do It” from Nike? Even today, those words likely take you to a special place – a destination where you feel a great synergy with those brands and their products. Words and language drive the emotions that result in consumer affinity and loyalty. They cement the consumer-to-brand relationship and are the foundation for maximizing the long-term consumer value. And words provide the energy for the new relationship that consumers are demanding – the Brandmance.

Why is this an Urgent Problem?

It has never been more difficult to be the marketing leader of a consumer brand. While short term sales can be bolstered with promotions and specials, the risk now is that marketers are unable to build and sustain long-term customer relationships. This “Rise of the Unreceptive Consumer” points to a myriad of maladies: higher cost of awareness, decline in loyalty, higher risk from detractors, loss of brand safety, and ultimately loss of profits. To navigate these rough currents, marketing leaders must maneuver a complex set of market, competitive and technological conditions.

Given that brand loyalty is slipping, the marketer’s challenge of maximizing Customer Lifetime Value (CLV) has also never been more imposing6. Consider the following realities:

  • Acquiring a new customer is anywhere from 5 to 25 times more expensive than retaining an existing one.7
  • According to a Bain & Company study, once a provider loses a customer, 68% of consumers will not go back.
  • 61% of all consumers take their business to a competitor when they end a business relationship.8

The Challenge: Customer Engagement Matters So Much More Now

On a short-term basis, companies can develop aggressive advertising campaigns, launch mega sales, and hype Social Media to lure buyers through a physical or virtual door. But those tactics don’t create the types of meaningful connections that engage customers on a long-term basis.

According to the Harvard Business Review, when companies do connect with ‘customers emotions’, the payoff can be huge.9 Consider these examples:

  • A Bank introduced a credit card for Millennials that was designed to inspire emotional connection. Use among the segment increased by 70% and new account growth rose by 40%. One Millennial cardholder said his credit card made him more ‘interesting’.10
  • Within a year of launching products and messaging to maximize emotional connection, a leading household cleaner turned market share losses into double-digit growth11.
  • And when a nationwide apparel retailer reoriented its merchandising and customer experience to its most emotionally connected customer segments, same-store sales growth accelerated more than threefold.12

Motista, a predictive consumer intelligence firm, analyzed over one billion data points on more than 1.5 million consumers to conclude that “Emotionally Connected” consumers generate anywhere from 30 to 100% greater annual value (and even higher lifetime value) than other customers.13 Their study found that those emotionally connected consumers:

  • Purchased 2.4 times more annually than their counterparts
  • Spent 1.7 times as much every time they bought (due in part to higher price realizations)
  • Were 6.4 times more likely to purchase the brand even if a competitor’s brand was on sale

The implications to your business and brand are enormous. It is now clear that a Brandmance leads to:

  • Maximized Long Term Customer Value
  • Increased sales and revenue, with higher margins
  • A league of brand zealots

But why is it that so few brands connect emotionally to their consumers? The answer is, no marketing vendor has had the vision, know-how and expertise to create a product that can unlock your brand’s emotional connection to your consumers, make your brand sticky and reignite customer loyalty. Until now.

Introducing Persado: Words That Move You

When we physically talk to someone, we use our emotional intelligence to see how they are reacting to our ‘message’, and we modify what or how we are saying to get a smile, a look of understanding, or simply engagement.  As we have more interactions with that same person, we learn about how to more effectively communicate with them.  But with the onslaught of digital marketing, it is impossible for marketers to apply emotional intelligence to their consumers at scale. Thus, it also makes it difficult to foster and preserve the kind of connection that both consumers and brands want. A/B tests and ‘special offers’ are simply not enough.

This is where Persado can help.

Persado enables marketers to scale customer engagement by identifying the language that best moves consumers to increase short term engagement and build lasting, long term relationships. Persado’s platform creates the most engaging digital channel content, transforming daily consumer interactions into maximized customer lifetime value. Carefully generating the most emotionally connected words, phrases and images using artificial intelligence and machine learning, Persado significantly uplifts responses to your display ads, Facebook, email, web landing pages, SMS, and mobile push notifications while maintaining brand voice.

Persado leverages Artificial Intelligence (AI), machine learning and a one of kind database of marketing language to learn how consumers are reacting to their messaging. Persado monitors and reports how consumers feel relative to the company’s marketing, and enables marketers to create personally relevant, emotional communications that maximize engagement, inspire action, and most importantly build long lasting relationships.

The Persado Platform

Persado’s platform combines natural language processing and machine learning technologies to generate the precise words, phrases and images that can inspire any given audience to act, every time.  Persado outperforms man-made messages 100% of the time.14

Persado runs on 1M+ curated emotional and motivational words, phrases, and images collected over several years and scored against response data from 50+ billion impressions. The platform codifies message elements to those words, symbols, and images to make them semantically understandable by a machine. This process transforms them into cognitive or “smart” content that can be read as data from which emotional and rational triggers can be extracted.

Based on given parameters, such as control message, message type, and business objective, Persado automatically crafts millions of meaningful message permutations and selects the ones with the highest potential for success, based on billions of customer impressions.

Use Cases

How can Persado work for my business?  Here are three use cases from different industries that show the power of Persado:

  • Financial Services: The brand was testing new landing pages promoting a new credit card to prospective card members. The landing page elements tested included this headline, descriptive text about the offer and Call-to-Action text. Other formatting and style elements were also tested. Results: Compared to the control landing page, Persado average click uplift of 24.7%.
  • Retail: Shopping cart abandonment is a common challenge for the online retail industry. Persado tested formatting, emotional, and descriptive elements across different subject line variants, focusing on words that would grab the attention of an already engaged audience. Results: Persado’s average click uplift was 40.9%.
  • Telecomm: A telecom provider was testing a promotional app notification campaign offering discounts to existing customers. Persado tested emotional text in both the external push notification text, and text overlaid across an image. Persado also tested functional language in the notification’s button text. Results: Persado’s average response rate uplift was 185.5%.

1. David Courtet, et al., McKinsey Quarterly, March 2017
2. http://www.valassis.com/landing-pages/coupon-intelligence-report-download
3. http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20130822005390/en/National-Study-Finds-Retailers-Shopper-Motivation-Loyalty
4. http://www.slideshare.net/Experian_US/experian-millennial-credit-finance-survey-report-part-i-of-ii
5. http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/what-travelers-really-think-about-airline-fees-242760391.html
6. https://www.forbes.com/sites/kathleenkusek/2016/07/25/the-death-of-brand-loyalty-cultural-shifts-mean-its-gone-forever/#4ebf258d4dde
7. https://hbr.org/2014/10/the-value-of-keeping-the-right-customers
8. https://blog.kissmetrics.com/retaining-customers/
9. https://hbr.org/2015/11/the-new-science-of-customer-emotions
10. https://www.nytimes.com/2017/04/14/business/american-express-chase-sapphire-reserve.html
11. https://hbr.org/2015/11/the-new-science-of-customer-emotions
12. https://hbr.org/2015/11/the-new-science-of-customer-emotions
13. http://www.cpgmatters.com/Viewpoints011717.html
14. Persado’s generated content outperforms human-crafted messages 100% of the time. In rare instances, variations resulting from brand or legal guidelines, serving methodology, or other outlier variables might affect message performance.

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