Australian manufacturing brand looks to AI to increase marketing ROI

Australian Outdoor Living invests in artificial intelligence-powered sales and marketing optimisation solution

Diminishing ROI on advertising spend has led local company, Australian Outdoor Living, to invest in artificial intelligence (AI) for sales and marketing optimisation for the first time.

Australian Outdoor Living has engaged Complexica to deploy of its What-if Simulator & Optimiser, powered by AI platform, 'Larry, the Digital Analyst'. The software will be used to optimise Australian Outdoor Living's marketing mix and media spend decisions.

While currently in the process of being deployed, Australian Outdoor Living COO, Daryl Chim, said testing of the solution looks very promising.

“Our challenges include identifying the point of diminishing return for advertising spend, identifying the optimal split of marketing budget in the different marketing channels, and improving cost per lead,” he said.

“Previously, we were using historical results/reports, and local knowledge and experience of the team for this. However, we wanted a consistent data analysis method, to improve cost and business efficiency, and to mitigate the risk of ‘brain drain’ and loss of experience through the departure of key staff.

“Complexica’s What-if Simulator and Optimiser will provide us with a platform for improved decision-making across our marketing mix and media spend, leading to enhanced ROI and improved business outcomes.”

The technology solution provides decision support for complex ‘what-if’ questions by using AI to analyse large internal and external datasets to generate probabilistic predictions and optimised outcomes. It is hoped the solution will increase the average lead count per week, reduce the average cost per lead (CPL) per source, provide an optimal split and allocation of the marketing budget, and increase marketing ROI by identifying the point of diminishing returns.

Currently it is in the development stage, with the implementation and rollout due at Australian Outdoor Living in the next three months.

“The whole process has been very smooth and seamless to date,” Chim told CMO. “I believe this can be attributed to the way AOL has managed its data from inception of the business in 2005 and the skills/professionalism of the team at Complexica in dealing with complex projects like this.

“From early test results, I believe it will achieve our project goals."

While this is the company's first foray into AI from an investment and direct implementation into our business practice, Chim added the marketing team have been exposed and been using AI to some degree through digital marketing platforms and media marketing platforms.

Australian Outdoor Living is an Australian brand designing and manufacturing outdoor living and home improvement products and services and was founded in 2005, employs over 200 staff nationally, and is based in Regency Park, South Australia.

“We have greatly enjoyed working with Daryl Chim and the Australian Outdoor Living team in 2018, and are delighted to expand our relationship into the deployment of our What-if Simulator and Optimiser,” said chief scientist of Complexica, Dr. Zbigniew Michalewicz.

“Given the complexity of the media spend allocation problem and the scale of AOL’s operation, we believe there is a substantial improvement that can be realised in this area of their business.”

Other Australian brands investing in the AI platform include DuluxGroup and Detmold Group

Follow CMO on Twitter: @CMOAustralia, take part in the CMO conversation on LinkedIn: CMO ANZ, join us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CMOAustralia, or check us out on Google+:google.com/+CmoAu   

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