We all know that there are troves of data that exist online about us and our browsing, clicking, and spending habits. However, given all that information and the people that spend their lives on the internet, how do those who tailor the ads we see parse that information? As with many things these days, it’s useful to have machines to help.
RJ Talyor is the CEO and founder of Pattern89, an Indianapolis-based marketing firm using the power of artificial intelligence (AI) to help advertisers figure out what works and what doesn’t when it comes to the ads we see everyday. I spoke with him about how AI is helping marketers figure out not only who to target, but what elements to include in those ads.
Mary Juetten: What problem are you solving?
RJ Talyor: Traditionally, marketers have relied on educated guesses or A/B testing for their ad creative, costing time, money and effort. We’ve eliminated the need for these approaches using artificial intelligence (AI), predicting the creative – colors, copy, visuals and more – that will perform best for digital ads on Facebook, Instagram and Google.
By analyzing more than 350 billion data points across 49,000 creative dimensions, Pattern89 now predicts the creative insights that deliver winning ad combinations with over 95% accuracy, and allows marketers to assemble and launch these combinations directly in-platform and maintain their performance with one-click ad optimizations throughout campaigns’ lifecycles.
Juetten: Who are your customers and how do you find them?
Talyor: We serve both a B2B or B2C audience, targeting customers in retail, e-commerce, CPG, pharma/healthcare brands, and creative agencies investing in social media and digital marketing.
Our sales and marketing teams work around the clock to convert in-bound leads and identify target accounts, but we also use the wealth of data collected from brands within Pattern89’s Data Constellation to build a pipeline of potential customers.
Juetten: How did past projects and/or experience help with this new project?
Talyor: I have always been creative. and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in entrepreneurship and went back to get my masters in creative writing. Paired with my 17 years of industry experience, the gaps I’ve witnessed in ‘martech’ have become very clear. Marketers have built technology that helps with everything from defining audiences to reaching audiences. But the ‘what’ was always missing. As marketers, we always talk about the right message but it’s often just a guess. Pattern89 is different. By using the latest advancements in AI and natural language processing, we’re able to predict what creative approach will work most efficiently. This tech isn’t here to overhaul marketing strategies and change everything – Pattern89 is here to enhance the creative abilities of a team to know what responds well to different audiences. I was able to blend my backgrounds together to help humans become more creative in digital advertising.
Juetten: Who is on your team?
Talyor: We have a deep bench of expertise, ranging from data engineers and creators to analysts and problem-solvers, powering the world’s best creative AI. Expanding our industry-leading executive team will be pivotal in continuing to bolster Pattern89’s marketing leadership and growth trajectory.
Juetten: Did you raise money?
Talyor: To date, Pattern89 has raised more than $7.5 million in seed-stage funding over three rounds.
Juetten: Startups are an adventure — what’s your favorite startup story?
Talyor: I think I’ll have to take it back to my roots with ExactTarget. Scott Dorsey, Chris Baggott and Peter McCormick started ExactTarget with an idea based on data principles, sketched it on the back of the napkin and started a company that went public and eventually sold to Salesforce. They took a huge leap of faith on an idea that was unfounded in the marketing space and transformed it into a billion dollar company.
Juetten: How do you measure success and what is your favorite success story?
Talyor: Every day I try to ask myself, “If this was my last day on earth, was I happy doing what I did today?” I don’t know if this is a measure of success but it’s a method for me to lean on, especially when things are hard. It’s how I started Pattern89. I knew I’d be angry at myself if I didn’t at least take a chance on this idea.
I love the stories of people who just went for it and took a leap of faith, even if they succeeded or failed.
Juetten: Any tips to add for early-stage founders or CEOs in growth mode?
Talyor: Talk to your customers. You’ll be able to identify what’s working and what’s not when you’re in constant communication with your partners. The more you understand your customers, the most armor you’ll have when investors want to talk about funding. CEOs who are in growth mode are constantly reading, watching and reviewing – anything they can to help them grow. But things aren’t the same as they were five years ago – this is new territory for everyone. Stop driving yourself crazy looking for answers to your questions, just learn to trust your gut. Of course, there are experts to listen to but the most important thing you can do is talk to your customers and trust your gut.
Juetten: And of course, any IP challenges or horror stories to share? They can be anonymous.
Talyor: Pattern89 hasn’t had any challenges or horror stories to share thankfully, but I’ve seen patent trolls before in my previous roles. Personally, if possible, I say to patent your tech because investors like patents. It’s also a nice way to reward your team by securing a patent with their name on it.
Juetten: What’s the long-term vision for your company?
Talyor: Our long-term vision is to power every creative decision. We want to be the place where marketers can get new ideas and validate their own ideas. We’ll let the machines do the routine work and let humans do what they were born to do – be creative.
Thank you to RJ for enlightening me on AI-powered advertising which I admit, I was not aware of this new tech. If we’re never to escape from ads (and we won’t) at least we’ll get more creative ones! #onwards
Forbes – Entrepreneurs