Ignition AI is able to offer advanced digital marketing solutions to its clients with speed, scale and security by using Microsoft Azure.
For brands looking to spend their marketing budget efficiently it’s no longer sufficient to put money into areas they hope will work, only to find out later on that they haven’t made any return on their investment.
In the digital world, they need to take a much more scientific approach to optimise their spending power. This means collecting as much live data about their customers as possible and combining this with the latest advances in machine learning to predict future consumer behaviour.
That’s where companies such as Ignition AI come in. Using advanced algorithms developed by its engineers, it is able to create powerful tools that can cut waste and optimise marketing for brands such as Mr and Mrs Smith and eHarmony.
As a result, advertisers aren’t spending their increasingly tight budgets on media that simply doesn’t work and customers aren’t seeing irritating ads for products they’ve no intention of buying.
“There’s nothing more annoying for customers than retargeting ads chasing you around the internet trying to sell you a pair of shoes you may already own or a holiday you’ve already taken,” explains Ignition AI’s founder and CEO, James Harrison.
To alleviate these annoyances, Ignition AI is able to provide technology that analyses how people engage with a brand through various digital media whether that’s advertising or branded content. It is then able to assess how much that individual is worth to the company based on the actions they have taken so far and predict the actions that they are likely to take in the future.
“The technology enables us to understand the value of communication to a person at any point of time across any devices and with any content,” says Mr Harrison. “Basically we are using all the information we have to help a brand decide what they are going to say, how much they are going to pay, and what platform they should use.
Importantly, rather than analysing the last click that a customer makes when buying a product, Ignition AI’s technology is able to use algorithms to analyse the entire customer journey. It is then able to work out the value of different media to the brand at each stage of the purchasing decision, says Mr Harrison. “The danger with just analysing the last click is that you can overinvest your marketing spend in the wrong areas.”
In the fast past world of digital marketing, innovation is of paramount importance. Whereas solutions for clients used to be valid for years, the speed of technological change means that new problems are emerging all the time.
“Digital is hypercompetitive and we have to innovate really quickly to create success not only for our business but also for our clients,” says Mr Harrison. “We spend most of our time looking at what’s going on and trying to identify new problems that we can design a solution for.”
Instead of investing millions of pounds on its own server which would need to be updated on a regular basis, Ignition AI is using Microsoft Azure in a cloud-based solution that enables it to focus its resources on its clients.
The Microsoft Azure solution combines a platform that can store, manage and process billions of data points from all over the world on a daily basis, with an analytics platform that can be used to build the algorithms needed to make sense of this data for its clients.
Furthermore, Ignition AI does not have to worry about cybersecurity threats, which is an increasing concern for digital companies, especially those with data on millions of individuals. Instead it can rely on Microsoft to provide the latest security provisions and upgrades to keep the data safe, as well as helping to make is easier to ensure compliance with the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).
“We willingly trust Microsoft; they can run patches, they learn quickly and have a huge team,” says Mr Harrison. “More and more, we don’t know why threats are happening but what we do know is that Microsoft is pretty damned secure – much more so than we could be on our own.”
By leaving much of the security and administrative heavy lifting to a supplier, Ignition AI is able to build its technology and integrate it really easily within the systems of global partners – something it would not be able to do if it were using its own server solutions.
By concentrating on a cloud service on Microsoft Azure, Mr Harrison and his team have been able to scale up their business without taking on new suppliers or large and unwieldy hardware.
“It means when you’ve got great ideas in digital that are driven by artificial intelligence, you don’t have to worry about raising capital to build another factory and hiring thousands of people,” concludes Mr Harrison. “Using Microsoft Azure we can reduce the overheads, scale the business and be much more agile.”
For Mr Harrison, that means less worry about the future of the business and more time to look for new shoes.