How Technology Leveraged Our Business
When you choose to embrace the advances in technology, your business has nowhere to go but up.
By Arturo Salek, Ctrl V
How has technology changed the way our franchisees connect with our consumers? Data has taken marketing and design from guesswork and evolved it into iterative processes that are equal parts creative and scientific. More than ever before, the two fields can be used together to provide the best experience for the user throughout their journey with your brand. Here at Ctrl V, the first, original line of virtual reality arcades, we use technology to connect with them where they live, work and play more effectively while catering to their needs. Here's what we've found to work and what we anticipate will help franchises in the future.
What technology is being used inside Ctrl V?
We have recently started leveraging Facebook pixel data to create a virtual profile of our customers. This profile is used as a template and we can target people who fit this profile. The best part is we exclude anyone who has been on our website from this audience to ensure that everyone who sees this ad is a fresh set of eyes. Those who find the ad relevant will go on our website, become excluded from the first campaign and will then be served retargeting ads that are tailored to who they are and how much exposure they’ve had with us. Much of the underlying technology behind the building of the profile is ANI (artificial narrow intelligence) and is constantly being improved as machine learning becomes more robust.
On the design side, we can see what pages are being accessed the most, as well as user behavior on our site. Our users overwhelmingly preferred to go to their location’s specific page as opposed to the general landing page. Because of this, our new website will bypass the general landing page if they allow us to use their location data, and their response will be remembered for four hours for their ease of use. We also found that our bounce rate on mobile was much higher than on desktop, but the amount of traffic coming from mobile was also much higher. Considering this, we are revamping the website to be lighter and the design of the location pages has been improved to provide the information our users accessed most, while removing most of the clutter.
AI can augment these processes and, in many parts, is already being used. If AI could analyze these metrics and iterate accordingly, this process would become exponentially better. Looking outwards, there are products and systems being tested that could be implemented in our own company should they mature. Here are four experiments to keep an eye on:
Dynamic text that is tailored to the person viewing it.
Digital signage that uses image recognition to analyze the age, height, sex, weight and clothing of people who pass by and combines it with external data such as the weather, time and day of the week to bring targeted advertising to the physical space.
Experiments with “live files” that will adapt based on who is accessing them.
Antivirus that instead of checking for known viruses continually checks for patterns exhibited by past viruses, therefore turning its software from reactive to predictive.
The best functionality AI provides today is the customization of experiences. This opens up a level of mass produced customization that just wasn't possible before. The caveat is we must decide which uses justify the efficiency and where the line is drawn in regards to user privacy.
So, the question remains: As technology advances, are these personal relationships maintained?
Personal relationships will remain for Ctrl V because what we offer is an experience, and part of that experience for now is a friendly helping hand guiding you through the world of VR. We have made an effort to shift as many tasks as possible to the machine, because this allows our staff to focus their efforts on helping people out. This is precisely the reason we have no phone and don’t take cash but instead have a live chat and take credit/debit.
Then there is the aspect of connecting with the community. Ctrl V is lucky to have an extremely supportive community, but a huge part of that is because a result of the effort put into being involved in our community. This can range from running poster design contests to promote the artists in our community, hosting food bank drives, to our retirement home demos where we show that VR truly is a medium that transcends age.
In the future, across all industries, when a product is also a commodity, then AI will drive the costs down. If the product is an experience or service, then AI will free up more time to dedicate staff to nurture that connection. Personal connections will become largely optional, and will remain if they are a part of the product. In some industries both options can exist, where for example some people may pay more to have a human driver if they don’t trust technology while others will opt to have a cheaper service.
Arturo Salek is the Marketing Manager at Ctrl V, the largest, first and original line of virtual reality arcades. Find out more about Ctrl V here.