Retailer DXL Sees 6.5% Engagement Boost with AI-powered Branded Content

Source: Marketing Dive

Dive Brief:
• Arkadium, which provides visual, interactive content for publishers, has announced a new artificial intelligence-powered interactive content product InHabit that the company says offers higher scale and performance than traditional display formats, according to a news release provided to Marketing Dive.

• Men’s apparel retailer DXL recently used InHabit for a campaign and saw an engagement rate of 6.5% with a dwell time of 21.6 seconds. Six percent of users who engaged with the unit clicked through to, and more than 90% of InHabit engagements were from DXL’s core audience of U.S.-based men aged 18 to 50.

• InHabit’s tool reads articles and automatically inserts a relevant interactive editorial unit designed to engage readers. The units, referred to as “factives,” are written by Arkadium’s in-house editorial staff and use AI to fill in with contextual content, and each unit can serve a large number of different experiences and data variations. InHabit is available to sports publishers and advertisers that target sports audiences, with live content units across publishers like the Associated Press and USA Today Sports Media Group.

Dive Insight:
As marketers look for more automation, personalization and engagement at scale, the new AI-powered InHabit tool from Arkadium could help advertisers reach consumers via premium publishers with a more targeted approach through contextual placements. As the DXL example illustrates, serving interactive content to readers that is contextually relevant can boost brand engagement and awareness, while reaching a key consumer base.

Consumers are expecting more relevant, personalized messaging from brands, but marketers aren’t always delivering. About 40% of consumers across several different markets say marketing messages only sometimes feel personal, and more consumers say messages rarely or never feel personal than those who say messages usually or often are personal, according to Periscope By McKinsey research.

Marketers are eyeing AI-powered solutions as a way to be more relevant. Seventy-one percent of marketers are interested in AI for personalization and 58% for customization, according to EverString and Heinz Marketing research. Several brands are already using AI to offer personalized recommendations and provide customer service. Lufthansa, for example, recently launched an AI-powered ad experience with IBM Watson Advertising that let users interact with Lufthansa for general airline questions and travel content on 15 European destinations.
DXL’s success with the InHabit tool also underscores the value that content marketing can provide in delivering high-quality, authentic brand messaging that will engage users. Sixty-four percent of marketers plan to increase their digital budgets “marginally” in 2019 and 24% plan to increase budgets significantly, and content marketing was listed as the most successful marketing tactic for 58% of marketers, according to a recent Ascend2 report.

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