Podcast: Real-Time Persuasion Profiling with The Science Rockstars Arjan Haring and Maurits Kaptein

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In this episode of Landing Page Optimization, SiteTuners CEO Tim Ash discusses persuasion profiling with Science Rockstars co-founders Arjan Haring and Maurits Kaptein.

They kickstart the conversation with Maurits sharing how he takes understanding people's online behavior development - something he does in the academe - and how he then applies what he learns in Science Rockstars. 

Arjan contributes that this is in the belief that good science brings great business. Their first product, Persuasion API, optimizes persuasion strategies on an individual level using learning algorithms and insights from behavioral science. This allows people to dynamically have the web site change based on the personality and style of an individual customer. That results to higher conversion rates. 

Maurits and Arjan share that their company does not use a specific personality framework. They talk about the dangers of profiling customers into certain personality types, and predicting what content to present. Science Rockstars uses Robert Cialdini's persuasion principles --scarcity, authority, and concensus. The persuasion strategy used on an individual customer is based on that customer's response in the past. 

The difficult part, Maurits and Arjan say, is figuring out which persuasion strategy an individual is going to respond to in real time. In this scenario, they distribute the strategies randomly over people. With a new customer, they start with the strategy that works best on average. If a customer responds favorably to a certain strategy, the chances of that customer receiving the same strategy in the future increase. It is advisable, though, to test other strategies to learn more about the customer. The more frequent the interaction with a customer, the better the profile.

In persuasion profiling, the customer sees content based on one strategy at a time. Maurits and Arjan say that this outperforms using strategies based on multiple principles as an incorrect one may overshadow the one that the customer will respond to. Also, if the strategies are used at the same time on the page, it will not feel credible to people. The key is picking a strategy, then learning more about the customer to make sure the correct strategy is presented the next time. 

The Science Rockstars co-founders also talk about the measuring the success of strategies, running a skateboard park, and using breakdancing to get the ladies. 

First Air Date: October 8, 2012

Listen online or download the podcast from WebmasterRadio.fm