ProQuo AI is the first brand management platform in the world. It employs AI to give brand managers certainty of positive outcomes from the marketing investments that they make.
Our proposition is simple; sure-fire growth through custom action-plans powered by real-time analysis. We’re certain we can bring growth to brands because we have personalised action-plans that our AI identifies as the things you need to do to succeed in your category. That is all fuelled by our understanding of your category in the first place, through our unique way of analysing brands.
Why does your technology represent a breakthrough in the field?
Our technology addresses a problem that previously hasn’t been very well articulated in marketing circles. Though brand managers feel there is a surfeit of information to wade around in, there’s difficulty in defining the most significant parts of that information set, and yet, that data is too small for AI to do something with certainty.
So, we’ve bridged that gap and produced a huge amount of data with our own primary system of analysing it, and we ingest other things, such as household audits, rates of sale, market share, the volume of sales, and value of sales. We also include real-time information such as whether there’s a pandemic, whether there’s a fuel strike or a major football game in a particular city.
We worked on getting enough data to have triangulation that brings certainty. We then employed a whole variety of exciting technologies, including multiple filters, NLP, state-estimation, which we use to understand how the categories move and the movement of a brand within that category to produce bespoke action-plans.
How did you come up with the idea for the company?
A collection of us at ProQuo identified (through our experience in marketing brands, and understanding and analysing brands) that there was a host of information that people tried to make use of, but none of that information was enough to identify causative forces between doing ‘X’ and having ‘Y’ result.
So, we thought, it would be great to help people make confident decisions in their marketing roles, rather than the ones which they sort of felt might be right but were never entirely sure. When we knew that was our mission, to bring certainty to the world of decision-making in marketing, we knew that there were two main things that we had to do.
The first was to have an analysis machine that was fit for purpose and would understand needs in a category, how competitors were answering those needs and where our client’s brands sat. The second was to have an action machine that uses the analysis to then tell brands what they need to do. For example, you need to change your distribution or think about your proposition or innovate – whichever marketing lever is the most useful to pull.
Essentially, in ProQuo AI, we knew we had to have an analysis machine, an action machine, and AI that joined all those things together with a huge amount of data.
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How has the company evolved during the pandemic?
There’s a very simple answer to this – we were 30 people before the pandemic, and we’re now nearly 100, so we have grown a lot over the pandemic. That’s partly because of the demand for our services, it’s partly because of the investment we’re making and it’s also partly because more people are getting to know about us and understanding that there is a really breakthrough service that we’re offering.
We are pioneering a new category that hasn’t existed before, and to do that we need to invest to ensure brand managers hear about us. We’ve just launched our first campaign through Mother and people will become more aware of what we do very soon…
What do you think makes ProQuo unique?
There are different definitions of unique. One of them is having a characteristic that nobody else has and the other one is having a collection of characteristics as an accumulation that no one else has.
I think we’ve got both; we accumulate into one ecosystem a lot of things that other people have done before, but on top of that we have produced a brand knowledge graph that says we understand the trajectory of brands in particular categories. We know how they move, know what knocks them backwards, what lifts them upwards. That’s really achieved by just crunching data on a huge scale, which we’re able to do. The unique application of this is to use AI for brand management.
How will this technology improve people’s lives in the immediate future, and over the next 5 years?
I think we all get used to things that help us a lot, that previously we didn’t think we needed. For example, take Uber; who knew we needed a taxi to arrive through the flick of a finger on our phone screen, a driver to appear at your door, with a map and the ability to communicate where you’re going and share your route; automatic billing and the rest of it.
We get gradually habituated to these better and better services, and what we’re doing in brand management is driving certainty. Instead of accidentally getting to places, it is now possible, using ProQuo AI to have a more automated and assisted way of navigating brand management.
What can we hope to see from ProQuo in the future?
Our core product today is called BrandManager which does everything from identifying needs in your category, what competitors are doing to how your brands are faring. It then serves you up this information with custom action-plans produced by AI, that will help your brand with sure-fire growth. These are the most valuable things we give people. To that, we’ve already added CreativeLab, which is a means of putting in any asset that you’re thinking of employing in your marketing and identifying whether they’re going to help or hinder you on your journey, and in both cases, we give advice on how they can be optimised in any case, so it’s never a lost cause.
Beyond that, we just get more embedded in the way that the commercial life of a business goes on, so dashboards will be incorporated, and you can eventually do autonomous buying of media and creation of content.
On our roadmap to the future, there are all sorts of ways for us to be integrated into a company’s business, so that increasingly as people trust the decisions our AI makes, it allows them to implement them too. We’re going to make the thinking time that brand managers have more and more valuable, so they don’t have to do the trivial stuff that a machine can do, they can care more deeply about strategy and portfolio management.