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In the news this week, Travis and Stewart reveal a new round of funding for an AI customer service solution and get into why retail needs VR to survive and how blockchain technology is coming to marketing.

They then interview fraud expert James Peng of Match, the company that runs some of the most recognizable dating apps in the world. This is one episode you’ll want to go home in the same taxi with at the end of the night.


In this episode of VB Engage, you’ll hear:


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  • Welcome to VB Engage episode 69! (00:10)
  • Travis just got back from the Brandify conference, where he gave a morning keynote that centered on marketing technologies. [01:45]
  • Stewart is in Dublin at the SaaStock conference talking about product/market fit and SaaS products. [02:30]
  • Augment raised $5 million for its AI platform. [03:25]
  • This is an aggregated dataset utilized to help customer service agents become more efficient. [04:15]
  • Instead of replacing people, it’s much better to augment them. [05:45]
  • AR and VR are becoming more prevalent in retail and ecommerce. [06:30]
  • Take online shopping — VR technologies and 3D experiences are reshaping retail. [07:10]
  • Payment systems are going to be authorized via iris scanners and other technologies in a VR space. [07:35]
  • Soon retail will use AR to see what clothes might look like on your body, creating a fully immersive customer experience. [08:20]
  • China has adopted VR much more rapidly than the U.S. [09:30]
  • IKEA is beginning to test VR, and AR will have greater value if you can see how a product might look in your own home. [10:30]
  • Lowe’s is already offering similar experiences with AR and shopping. [11:00]
  • In our final piece of news, we discuss blockchain marketing technology. [11:20]
  • Cryptocurrency is interesting, but think about how the blockchain open ledger can impact adtech. You can eliminate ad fraud with that open ledger. [12:00]
  • Jeremy Epstein of Never Stop Marketing created the blockchain marketing technology landscape. [13:15]
  • Travis recently launched a new podcast with Joel Comm, called The Bad Crypto Podcast, which helps people understand blockchain, crypto, Bitcoin, and fintech. [13:45]
  • There are about 30+ industries being disrupted by blockchain technology.  [14:25]
  • The trick is to pick the category leader in each of those industries. That could be quite lucrative for investors. [15:15]
  • Speaking of adtech and mobile ad fraud, let’s get into our interview. [16:00]
  • Today we chat with James Peng, head of user acquisition at Match Group. [17:30]
  • We discuss what Match does to access new customers through mobile acquisition. [18:05]
  • Most apps don’t know that much about you, aside from Google or Facebook apps. [18:35]
  • Match has over 50 dating properties: Match, BlackPeopleMeet, Plenty of Fish, Tinder, and many more. [19:40]
  • Each brand is positioned very differently and has a different approach for each demographic that it serves. [20:20]
  • What are some things marketers can do to be better at mobile user acquisition? [20:55]
  • Each year people get more anchored to the apps they prefer. [21:50]
  • The trick is to get people to spend more time in your apps.  [22:05]
  • Marketers need to be smarter and smarter, as acquisition is much harder these days. [23:10]
  • You must message customers more precisely and with better targeting. [23:35]
  • We originally saw James at the TUNE Postback Conference. [24:00]
  • John Koetsier of TUNE recently did a report on ad fraud on mobile ad networks. Fraud is rampant in the mobile ad industry. [24:34]
  • How does Match decide which ad networks to advertise on? [25:10]
  • Work with primary sources that you absolutely trust and that have better targeting. [25:45]
  • What creates a profile that gets more swipe rights on Tinder? [26:20]
  • Be genuine. Show variety. Be interesting. Be hot. [26:45]
  • Connect with James on LinkedIn. [27:10]

Next week on episode 70, we talk to Sean Ellis, the man who pioneered the term “growth hacking.” Sean tells us all his juicy marketing secrets and we discuss whether AI is ever really going to do a better job at conversion optimization than a human can.

If you missed last week’s episode, we interviewed Jason Miller, head of content at LinkedIn, who shared everything we needed to know about door handles and marketing, rock ‘n’ roll, and what the future holds for content marketing.

As always, thanks for tuning in to VB Engage.

If you enjoy the show, please give it a quick rating or review it on your favorite podcast platform. Just search for VB Engage and we’ll appear. Standing in front of a mirror and saying “VB Engage” three times produces a similar effect.


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