Skincare brand Neogence used artificial intelligence (AI) to improve user acquisition, but it also wound up learning surprising new things about its target audience.
According to Neogence, it worked with AI marketing business Appier to look at more effective ways to target customers during last year’s Singles Day. The company used AI to find lookalike new users and target them across devices, followed by a retargeting campaign for people who abandoned their baskets, to increase time sensitivity to purchase during the busy sale.
Turning to technology is a necessity, says Tevan Hung, director of marketing at Neogence, because people now have less time to spend with brands and are bombarded with lots of information. It’s also needed as the business tries to tie its online and offline activities closer together.
“In the past ten years, a user’s digital footprints can be easily tracked with new technologies. Businesses nowadays can analyze users’ online behavior and boost brand awareness through a variety of marketing campaigns. Therefore, a growing number of businesses start to allocate more resources from offline to online to approach their customers. However, in the recent years, acquiring a new user is much more expensive than before, and it’s even harder for us to get a holistic view of users’ behaviors across devices if we only analyze our own data,” says Hung.
The business specifically sought out AI as a technology because it wanted to make better sense of the data it had within its business. According to Hung, this was left to guesswork in the past. “Whenever we launched new products, what we did is to 'guess' who might be our target audience, and then we will run marketing campaigns to attract their attention."
He adds: "In other words, we developed our marketing strategies and made decisions purely based on our own ‘assumption’. But here comes the question - can we come up with the best solution only from the past experience?”
The Singles Day campaign improved ROI by 14%, according to the brand but Hung believes that having a better handle on data has led to some more mid and long-term lessons for the brand.
One example is that the business now has a better understanding of what influencers are best for its marketing. He also uses the example that it learned that its customers really resonate with its messaging around sustainability issues, something he was surprised to have learned as a result of using the technology.
“We’ve been working with Appier for quite a long time and one of the most interesting insights we learned from the past campaigns is that customers who show interests in Neogence’s products are usually passionate about local and global environmental issues, such as non-recyclable plastic issue. These valuable insights play an important role in the development of effective marketing strategies," he explains.
We found out that our customers are unique - they’re open to new ideas and really concerned for the environment such as ocean plastic pollution. Therefore, we try to build this concept into Neogence’s brand DNA. For example, we kicked off our first ‘ocean-friendly’ project in 2019 - we developed Reef Safe Sunscreens and organized beach cleanups to protect the beautiful northern coastline of Taiwan."
While a lot of brands will invest in advertising and marketing tech for short-term reasons, in this case, a short-lived mega sale. But Neogence’s example shows that with the right oversight, it can also feed into longer-term strategies.