Interviews, insight & analysis on digital media & marketing

Cavai Chief Operating Officer, Nikolai Pietilainen meets New Digital Age

NDA’s Justin Pearse sits down with Chief Operating Officer at Cavai Nikolai Pietilainen to discuss Cavai and his predictions for the industry for 2021.

Describe Cavai and what sets it apart from competitors?

Cavai is the world’s most advanced conversational advertising platform. We help marketers deliver conversations in programmatic buys in the same way as they would normally deliver banners and video ads. Across Europe, we work with a range of clients, such as  VISA, Santander, HP and Unilever. What is exciting is that our clients are already experiencing increased ROI, ten or twenty times over, through successful conversational advertising campaigns. This model has the potential to out-perform all conventional forms of online advertising.

How does the technology behind Cavai help marketers to supercharge their advertising?

Cavai Cloud provides unparalleled power to make online advertising conversational. Our conversational platform leverages non-interruptive ad formats and enables two-way dialogue. We have big ambitions to help marketers drastically improve the performance of online display using conversational ads, and Cavai’s creatives deliver captive and valuable ad experiences on display, mobile and video. Brands can use Cavai’s innovative technology to build surprising and delightful conversational ad experiences in minutes or hours. It’s easy to design and build with Cavai Cloud without ever touching any code and delivering ads on Google and all other major ad platforms and publisher ad servers. Now marketers can super-charge campaign results with exciting new levels of interactivity. Our technology is evolving rapidly, encompassing conversations across display and social ecosystems, with dialogue and video, to create a full-service, conversational ‘cloud’. 

How does Cavai help overcome common advertising challenges?

Many brands and audiences are tired of interruptive – and often ineffective – advertising. This is where clever conversational advertising comes in; marketers are still able to use audience targeting for campaigns but can also begin to move away from a reliance on this. Through dialogue with audiences, a brand can discover more about each consumer and what they want, without splitting them into predefined or assumptive segments. That way, brands can easily converse with consumers on the topics they care about at that given moment and how they relate to the product or service in question. This helps raise awareness, qualifies user interest and more importantly, has a real and tangible impact on the bottom line. 

What are some digital advertising predictions for 2021?

The future of the digital marketing industry is conversational and this model helps to empower advertisers to engage with consumers on a more personal level. Now more than ever, brands must find innovative ways to communicate with consumers and cut through the noise with more bespoke campaigns. Expect to see conversational advertising continue to grow in usage as the format’s popularity impacts messaging apps and smart speakers.

Messaging has long been the natural home for conversational advertising, so we predict the ad format will soon dominate messaging apps. Additionally, with more consumers using smart speakers to make a purchase, this presents huge opportunities for advertisers. With an increase in adoption rates, consumers will grow even more comfortable with the kinds of interactions that were once thought impossible. Indeed, vocal recognition technology now allows for deeper insights into what a person is feeling and that is an exciting prospect for advertisers.

Share some advice for brands hoping to benefit from the conversational advertising model

Brands that leverage innovative, non-intrusive, digital formats such as conversational advertising have huge amounts to gain and very little to lose – whatever the state of the digital landscape is in the coming year. The long-term picture is one of greater digital sophistication. Brands that invest now in this innovative ad format will see their efforts pay off as we adapt to a new normal in the industry. Particularly at a time of crisis, it is important to move away from static brand monologues and to show your customers you are always listening. Most brands will need to leverage innovative advertising formats in order to stay ahead and remain competitive. Conversational advertising is one of the new frontiers of advertising; and is currently largely untapped and at times often misunderstood. There is so much potential for brands to leverage the model to boost engagement and connections with their audiences whilst ultimately driving revenue.