Attention Insight says artificial intelligence is the future for marketers
When we spoke to Kamile Jokubaite, co-founder and CEO of Attention Insight, COVID-19 had just sent the world into lockdown. Attention Insight, an artificial intelligence-powered marketing analytics platform, was adjusting to remote working along with the rest of the business world–but Kamile was not fazed. For her, working from home has presented an opportunity for deepening her team’s self-awareness and work ethic: “This is a path that we're taking to test out how our personal selves can coexist with our work lives.”
For example, their new working situation has highlighted the needs of team members with small children, and how leadership can step up to support them with adjustments like more flexible working hours that enable employees with families to set their priorities themselves. Her approach calls for not only an adaptive mindset, but also a healthy dose of empathy. “I don't have children myself, but if I did, that's what I would do–and that's what I encourage my teammates to do as well. Treating your employees and your co-founders as equal is kind of a no-brainer.”
Her sense of team equity extends to making sure that everyone has a chance to be heard and contribute to company decisions. “It’s important to make sure that we talk a lot about our ever-changing priorities because they do tend to change in a startup,” explains Kamile. “You need to iterate very fast in conditions that you don't know.”
The pandemic is a prime case of founders needing to think fast on their feet–no problem for Kamile, who treats challenges as opportunities to evolve, and saw this crisis as a unique opportunity to fill a market gap.
Attention Insight, which uses artificial intelligence and heatmapping to give brands and agencies pre-launch analytics and feedback, eliminates the need for direct user engagement and data collection. Their technology, which simulates human vision so clients can see their campaign through users’ eyes with 90% accuracy, has proved especially effective during the pandemic. “At this critical time when focus groups or user interviews are not an option at all, we are able to solve a very sensitive problem. We were not affected as heavily as smaller businesses who are relying on day to day interactions with customers.”
If anything, Kamile sees an opportunity for companies like Attention Insight to serve businesses that are migrating online in response to the pandemic: “Offline products are gaining momentum in e-commerce environments; now all small businesses are twice as motivated to move into the e-commerce space. So I think the commercial SaaS segment will survive the biggest hit.”
It makes sense that Attention Insight reflects Kamile’s agile approach, and was designed to be a versatile product that could serve different segments of the market: from small business owners without analytic skills or user research teams to big agencies who want to supercharge their offering with AI. Kamile even leveraged market resistance to AI by reframing it as an asset for clients, and calls Attention Insight “banner carriers for AI in design and marketing.” She explains, “We are forming a new niche in the market which perceives AI as our colleague–as a way to do our work better, not as a threat that will take over our jobs.
“Designers and marketers won’t be replaced by AI; but those who use AI will replace those who aren’t being innovative.”
How did Attention Insight bring AI-powered analytics to agencies and marketers, two fields notoriously resistant to change? Kamile admits that Attention Insight’s biggest challenge was finding a proposition that would fit both markets. Kamile joined the Next Media Accelerator, where Attention Insight began working with media companies to disrupt and innovate traditional news platforms; through the accelerator, Kamile learned about Google for Startups Immersion: Women Founders program.
Kamile approached Google for Startups with the challenge of disrupting marketing at both a brand and agency level, and says that Attention Insight benefited from the program even before it began: “The biggest takeaway was the tremendous help we received from the mentors. During the selection process, we met with 23 Googlers, all from different departments–everything from products 100% related to what we do, for example, Google Cloud or Google Optimize, all the way to YouTube and other departments. It was amazing to see how in just 20 minutes, we were able to get different perspectives about our products and our vision.”
Once the program began, she was paired with her mentor, Sebastian Vieregg, the head of agencies in Google Germany. Kamile explained his process: “Sebastian knows the industry in and out and he was able to quickly scan and get rid of the paths that were not right for us and leave us with a path that could work better.” As well as addressing the core challenge of positioning Attention Insight, the program took Kamile through an intense process of fine tuning the company’s messaging, pitch training and OKR methodology. After the program, Attention Insight’s key mentor
Attention Insight has also uses seven Google Cloud products to build and run their platform. The Google Kubernetes Engine gives them the ability to quickly deploy (and revert, if necessary) new versions, which saves them time on other tasks. They’ve also saved time using the Google Chrome extension, which enables Attention Insight’s users to get analysis results in a matter of seconds. What will they do with all this free time? Perhaps the usually-arduous task of labeling their training data–which is a cinch using Google Cloud’s AI Platform Data Labeling Service–an essential step in training their machine learning model.
If she had to distill her growth mindset into one piece of advice for founders, what would it be? “Form a cofounders group and surround yourselves with mentors and people who are better than you in their own fields, because that will help you grow. You cannot be a jack of all trades, but you can form a network of experts–and this helps tremendously with shaping the product itself.”
Founders Book Club
What book are you reading right now?
- The Design of Everyday Things by Donald Norman, head of Nielsen Norman group.
- Behave: The Biology of Humans at Our Best and Worst by Robert M. Sapolsky–a book about consumer behavior, the biology of humans and how we make our decisions.
- The Book of Joy by Dalai Lama and Desmond Tutu–this is my evening read.
What’s your recommended reading for founders?
Sapiens and Homodeus by Yuval Harari. Sapiens is the history of humankind, and Homodeus is about how AI will shape our future–which is kind of what we're doing.
Immersion: Women Founders is a 12-week, skill-building mentorship program for high potential women-led startups selected from startup communities across Europe, including the UK and Israel. The program aims to address predominant challenges for women founders in the startup ecosystem with the aim to close the gender gap, ensuring more equal access to funding, and leveraging strong professional networks.
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