Mate gets a hand with brand and customer decisions from SourseAI

AI from the Sourse helps Mate define internet and mobile customers, their behaviour and actions to meet their needs

Better defined customer segmentation informed Mate's brand refresh and will continue to boost customer engagement
Better defined customer segmentation informed Mate's brand refresh and will continue to boost customer engagement

Fast-growing, independent mobile and Internet provider, Mate, has signed up with SourseAI to synthesise Mate’s customer data and combine it with market data to drive a brand refresh, product development and customer engagement.

The company has been going since 2016, when it bought just under 1000 customers and started operating from a shed. Two years later, Mate was awarded second in Deloitte’s Technology Fast 50 Awards for fast-growing tech companies. Mate now has hundreds of thousands of customers and 72 staff.

Prior to trying out SourseAI, Mate had identified a couple of customer profiles and marketed itself using sporting messaging and creative.   

SourseAI combines applied artificial intelligence with industry-specific market insights and models into a SaaS platform to inform decision-making by ecommerce, telco, utilities and entertainment companies.

Insights delivered by the platform during a pilot run earlier this year suggested Mate should widen its appeal and target more customer segments. Real-time results include defined audience segments, characterised personas and customer and market behaviour insights.

Mate CMO, Mark Fazio, and team learned so much about customers and found the system so easy to use, they have signed up as always-on clients.  

“With SourseAI, we looked at all touchpoints with customers and built personas and then asked what are we missing in our brand,” Fazio told CMO. He said the firm already knew the brand and its original footie-fan characterisation could appear “blokey” and narrow. 

Off the back of phase one of using the augmented artificial intelligence (AI) platform, a mass market brand refresh has been undertaken. Using the brand banner, ‘Love your Internet’, a program of activity started this month with a TVC by agency, Chisel.

The ad, to run on all major free-to-air channels in NSW and Foxtel nationally, shows Mate customers dancing in the street to a jingle about being satisfied. Creative characterises the five customer personas defined by Mate, including women and an older man, Max, who is hesitant about switching from the biggest provider he’s been with for 30 years.

“We run essential services for anybody and everybody, our market is 18 to 97-year-olds, plus a strong family element, and businesses especially cafes,” said Fazio. “Before using SourseAI, we had identified a couple of personas from our in-house-developed CRM and billings systems. But the pilot with SourseAI developed a few more to make five key personas who make up about 60 per cent of our market. The brand refresh, especially the actors in the TVC, brought the five characters to life and those characters will live in our brand for maybe a year or more.  

“There are subset personas within the key five ones we mainly focus on. But the five main personas open a whole new world of marketing opportunities for us because we never considered these three people.” 

Credit: Mate/ Chisel

Prior to using SourseAI, the company took the data from its CRM, manually manipulated it then input it to Microsoft Power Business Intelligence. This platform also absorbed data from Mate’s website, Google Analytics, social channels and added social listening tool, Falcon.IO. However, the process soaked up a lot of time poring over spreadsheets to understand and see patterns in what customers were doing. 

Using SourseAI consistently since August, the tools takes data from all those sources, regardless of format, and puts it together in a way Fazio said is simple to understand. Mate can query SourseAI as you would an Internet search bar. 

“We’re in phase one of the partnership with SourseAI about understanding data and customers and, so far, SourseAI has enabled us to understand everything better,” said Fazio. “It can spit out behavioural factors on people who have bought from us but also those who visited the site but did not buy from us. It learns what data points link with what other data points to give insights. And it will keep learning and learning and increasingly link more data points to proactively give us more insights so we don’t have to go backwards to find them.” 

The system shows the effects of external market events, product offers or trends, for example, when Mate or other providers make a new offer, or mobile towers go out. It also delivers insights into how Mate’s channels and business are affected.

As well as inform the brand work, SourseAI’s decision-support tools have helped Mate optimise the customer lifecycle from acquisition to churn by delivering actionable insights and automation. The system’s ability to follow behaviour of people that did not buy can influence acquisition strategy to encourage those people convert. 

“Because SourseAI brings in market trend data, it can predict churn. It might tell me that in six months’ time to expect 10,000 accounts could churn - so we know that in six months we will have to offer better value,” Fazio said.

All SourseAI’s outputs are automated. Seventy per cent of suggest direct actions such as the insight that a segment known for switching is coming up for renewal, prompting Mate to offer extra value. Another 30 per cent of actions resulting from insights might rely on Fazio’s team’s consideration.

The system is also helping with future product development. For example, Mate will be watching for insights about when and how to bundle more entertainment such as streaming with an Internet service. 

Results so far show increased bundling by customers (Mate offers Tidal music), higher click-to-open rates, increased dwell times and social engagement. In the last two months alone, Fazio said conversion rates have gone up from 3.2 per cent to 4.3 per cent, while the churn rate is down 0.5 per cent. 

“That means we’re talking to people in the right way about the right things," he added.  

Read more: brands using AI for customer experience 

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