Behavioral science company CultureWaves has partnered with data-science firm Dstillery to launch VOICE, a product that offers behavior-based segmentation for marketers. The new tool will allow marketers to overlay behavioral analysis on mobile device data in order to dig into the reasons for customer behavior.
Dstillery “observes device behavior and puts it into a form that we can create personas around, and [CultureWaves] overlays that with needs-based insights,” said Bob Noble, CEO of CultureWaves. The companies began testing their software partnership about a year ago, and the product was first introduced to the market in January, Noble said.
Traditional marketing research based on reported behavior often delves into the “who, what, when, and where,” but VOICE aims to “own the why,” Noble said.
The Central Bank of the Ozarks was one of VOICE’s first partners, one of four companies partnering with VOICE in the same Springfield, Missouri region. The other partners were a publishing company, an electric co-op, and a television station. VOICE created a geofence around the 30-county Springfield DMA, based on which VOICE built nine personas using data from more than 85,000 mobile devices, Noble said.
This allowed VOICE to reach a range of conclusions regarding customer behavior. For example, “20% of the Springfield DMA will give you about three seconds to talk to them,” Noble said. He added that in a town like Springfield, which is full of college kids and millennials, most mobile users are only “interested in messaging that is relevant to them that will help their personal brand. And that’s the reality.”
“This product and this research help us to better understand how we can target people with our online buys,” said Andrew Tasset, vice president of marketing services for the Central Bank of the Ozarks.
The results for VOICE over the last few quarters have been strong, said Christopher Lee Boon, senior vice president of enterprise solutions at Dstillery. “Over the last quarter, we’ve started putting it in front of all different industries, from finance, to healthcare, to auto,” and so on, he said. “About 50% of our proposals right now have this VOICE product in it or our clients are asking for it.”
The partnership’s biggest challenge has been educating marketers to understand the value of a service that shifts somewhat from an emphasis on reported behavior, Boon said. Some marketers are hesitant, but “the transition has been faster than we expected,” he added. One large CPG client has even begun to shift its investment away from reported behavior and toward observed behavior, he added.
VOICE is looking to grow by evaluating different ways to ingest a wide range of data sets, Boon said. “We can take the entire CRM and segment the entire thing” for a large company, he said, adding that, “What took three to six months prior for segmentation… — we can do it in three to six weeks.”
Essentially, VOICE expands scale and lowers turnaround timing, even allowing for segments to change dynamically day by day in case they are needed again in the future, he added.