Rakuten Marketing predictive AI connects brands with unexpected online audiences

Rakuten Marketing has launched the latest edition of its proprietary artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) technology, growing the performance and scale of the Rakuten Marketing Prospecting product.

Rakuten Marketing Prospecting is a proprietary audience creation product that is integral to customer acquisition.

It supports better planning and buying decisions in response to industry reports that new customer acquisition costs up to five times more than driving a repeat purchase. The new product moves beyond antiquated profiles, segments, demographics, and even assumptions about which customers are the best fit.

An example of the negative impact such assumptions can have relates specifically to the encroaching holiday season. A new report commissioned among 6,000 consumers across the globe found marketers shouldn’t make assumptions around key sales times, as behaviour varies drastically across markets. For example, 52% of respondents in China focus their gift buying on Amazon Prime Day, nearly twice the proportion of US consumers. Equally Black Friday, traditionally US-centric, is now winning traction across France (24%) and Germany (26%). If marketers looking to acquire customers across markets are planning their activity to attract only those consumers who match the behaviour of their existing customers, huge opportunities may be missed.

Rather than simply mirroring existing customers, Rakuten Marketing Prospecting, built on AI and fueled by data, delivers marketers with audiences that they wouldn’t otherwise have found, working smarter to find consumers who not only align with the brand but also demonstrate a propensity to purchase and become loyal customers.

Rakuten Marketing CTO, Dr. Neal Richter comments, “With new channels like connected television (TV), audio and digital out of home becoming part of the programmatic ecosystem, Rakuten Marketing Prospecting has the data to enable seamless experiences. Our AI and ML-driven technology means marketers can dynamically adjust to the specific needs and interests of potential customers.”

Streamlining tools for impact

Rakuten Marketing Prospecting is built on four core technology and data components:

  • The proprietary Rakuten Marketing demand-side platform (DSP)
  • Rakuten ecosystem data, representing the most brand-relevant and purchase-ready consumers from 1.2 billion memberships across Rakuten businesses worldwide
  • Partner Enriched Audiences, complementing Rakuten ecosystem data to find even more interested consumers, and drive incremental performance at an even greater scale

“Advertising is a pillar of the Rakuten global business, with over 100 data scientists and data engineers dedicated to advertising innovation,” Dr. Neal Richter adds. “When paired with Rakuten Marketing Retargeting – used by more than 400 brands today – brands can effectively influence consumers through a variety of ads, spanning devices and publishers, and bring purchase-ready consumers to their site.”

Eliminating fraud & waste

A 2017 World Federation of Advertisers (WFA) report found around 70% brands are amending media agency contracts to regain control of their media activity, bring clarity to the buying process and prevent ad fraud.

Rakuten Marketing Prospecting weeds out fraudulent bots by classifying the traffic brands see online into three distinct categories – robots, online browsers who don’t convert, and in-market shoppers. It also eliminates wasteful ad spend by qualifying these in-market shoppers with Rakuten ecosystem data, which highlights those shoppers most likely to share brand values and develop loyalty.

When combined with ad placement data – determining the right ad and price to pay for specific consumers – Rakuten Marketing Prospecting enables engaging and visually rich ads that are relevant, helpful and authentic, delivering a positive shopping experience that leads to a sale.

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