7 Questions on How to Use AI Technology -- Without a Data Scientist

Amplero CMO Matt Fleckenstein recently discussed the evolution of data science, applied artificial intelligence, and marketing in MediaPost's AI Insider column with Mike Azzara.


See below for an excerpt from Azzara's piece:

If you have at least a half-million customers and good customer-interaction data, Matt Fleckenstein has an offer you probably shouldn’t refuse. Fleckenstein is chief product officer and CMO of machine learning start-up Amplero, a Seattle-based marketing AI company that promises to “leverage machine learning and adaptive experimentation to help marketers achieve what's not humanly possible.” Despite that slightly OTT value prop, I was encouraged to dig deeper by a shared pedigree: Fleckenstein was VP marketing & product management for mSpoke, a machine learning start-up I worked with seven or eight years ago until it was acquired by LinkedIn.

The opportunity to become re-acquainted with Fleckenstein (who played senior roles for Microsoft Office and Salesforce.com’s Marketing Cloud between mSpoke and Amplero) was a bit of serendipitous good luck, because Amplero’s work is potentially very important for marketers. In a nutshell, Amplero uses AI algorithms to analyze and segment your customer data into thousands of “nano-cohorts,” and then again to learn and adapt to how each of those cohorts actually responds, over time — without the need for human decision-making (though that’s always an option).

MediaPost: Amplero talks about use cases with millions of customers. How big a business do you have to be for Amplero to be useful?

Fleckenstein: I’m not sure there’s a magic number, but typically we’re looking to work with companies that have a million-plus customers. We’ve gone lower than that, down to half a million or so. But when you start getting too small, frankly, you can still probably get value out of our system — but the lift you would get versus using a rules-based approach or traditional segmentation, it’s just not the same delta.
We’re focused on B2C enterprises that are taking more of a long-term-value view of the customer, not necessarily short-term transactional revenue. Think telco companies looking to increase average revenue per user, or subscription software companies looking to increase retention rates.

MediaPost: So what is the big delta you’re promising to customers?

Fleckenstein: Our initial customers are seeing anywhere from a 1% to 3% revenue lift over their traditional marketing approach by using our machine learning approach. One to three percent doesn’t sound like a big number, but when you’re applying it to billion-dollar-plus businesses, the math gets big fast.

MediaPost: I’ve seen the phrase “no data scientist required” on your Web site. Are you serious?

Fleckenstein: A couple of factors make that claim credible. If you think about the kinds of customers we’re working with, whether telco or gaming, we’re basically taking data they already have available. Much of that is already fairly cleansed, structured data that they have in a data warehouse. They’re either running their existing marketing automation or segmentation programs off it, or they’re doing other analytics on it. In a lot of cases, we also get actual customer usage data, which can be fairly messy.

Second, we apply machine learning during data ingestion to get things into the format that we need, so we can use the data in very specific ways for running customer marketing programs. That simplifies the data wrangling side of things for customers.


The machine learning does two primary things: It takes the data and retroactively creates a historically longitudinal view of the customer. Second thing is to look across all these customers and say, what are the thousands or potentially tens of thousands of nano-segments we can cluster these customers into to build small little cohorts?

Head over to MediaPost for the full article.

About Amplero
Amplero is a digital intelligence platform that enables marketers to achieve what's not humanly possible by leveraging machine learning and multi-armed bandit experimentation to automatically optimize every customer interaction to maximize customer lifetime value and loyalty.

Using Amplero, marketers in telecom, banking and finance, gaming, and software-as-a-service have seen more than three percent incremental growth in customer revenue and five times retention benefit, often touching their customers less frequently while delivering great omni-channel customer experiences.

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