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Quora’s Vinay Pandey on using AI to enhance user experiences and brand engagement

Artificial intelligence (AI) has been a game-changer in marketing and advertising for a while now, and platforms and brands are continuously exploring its potential. Quora, a platform dedicated to knowledge sharing, has also embraced AI-driven transformation.

In a recent interview, Vinay Pandey, Chief Revenue Officer at Quora, discussed the significant impact of AI on knowledge dissemination, marketing, and advertising. Pandey detailed how Quora strategically incorporates AI technologies to enhance user experiences and optimise brand engagement. By leveraging AI for content moderation, personalised marketing, and introducing tools like Poe, Quora aims to improve its community through advanced AI applications.

Q) AI has been the elephant in the room in marketing and advertising for quite some time now. Brands and businesses have been exploring the possibilities of AI. How is Quora aligning itself with this milestone development?

Our goal with both Poe and Quora has always been the same: our mission is to share and grow the world’s knowledge. With AI, that becomes easier to do at scale in a lot of different dimensions. 

On the user side, Poe is a product that makes the latest AI technology available to everyone. We are developing Poe to be an interface or a web browser where you can access all the latest models. As we are developing Poe and using AI technology, various things are helping on the Advertising side as well. 

There are a bunch of things AI helps with, like moderation, and assisting with content, design, and marketing production. Moderation at scale is definitely possible now. Hyper-targeting or segmenting is possible with AI because you can think around topics much more granularly. Personalised marketing at scale, more insights and analytics, and automation of insights are key areas. However, challenges like data issues, privacy, and regulations will need to be addressed.

Q) Quora launched Poe in February 2023. What are some benefits for end users of Poe?

It has to do with the general adoption of AI. We are trying to create more opportunities for the end user at Quora. And Poe acts almost like a web browser where you can access different models easily. We have about 400 million Quora users, which helps in distribution. 

Poe provides access to multiple models, not just text but also images, and soon video and audio. Users can get multiple opinions from different models. Cost-wise, it’s one subscription instead of multiple. Additionally, users can build custom bots for various needs, like YouTube summarisers or ad copy creation. We’ve seen over a million bots created, showcasing its wide range of use cases.

Q) AI has been disrupting multiple industries, including advertising and marketing. What impact do you see AI having on these fields?

First, there was traditional marketing, and then digital came along. On the user’s side, digital natives were born. There needed a shift to further cater to this audience. 

As for AI, we will learn, adapt, and add more to AI and create AI natives in some time. AI will touch all parts of the business — production, creative, market research, testing, etc. As AI-first companies emerge, strategies and formats will need to evolve to cater to AI-native users. It’s an evolving process, and we’re still in the early days.

Q) How can brands leverage Poe currently? Are there any learning resources for brands to better utilise Poe?

Currently, we are using Poe for content production, testing creatives, SEO work, design assets, etc. And a lot of our advertisers have already started using bots for ad copy and creatives. As brands connect their internal data with AI, they can achieve personalised segmentation and automation. It depends on each company’s readiness and willingness to adopt and integrate AI. Things are changing so fast, and this definitely needs a mindset change as well for better adoption. 

Brands typically have an account manager to help them understand Poe. We have a section on our business website called “Powered by Poe” that showcases examples. While there isn’t a separate section yet, our account managers do a good job of helping brands understand and use Poe effectively.

Q) With the move towards a cookie-less environment, how should brands align themselves?

We have lived in the cookie world for a really long time, and thus there’s going to be a need to have a change management to unlearn it. Brands should focus on first-party data, which is critical.

AI will help with using first-party data effectively. Sandboxes provided by platforms will still offer access to useful data, even if it’s not personally identifiable. This change requires re-configuring campaigns and adapting strategies. It’s an opportunity for brands to look inward and innovate.

Q) You mentioned that AI can be used in various ways, such as analysis, YouTube summaries, translation tools, and quickly summarising content. How do you see the creative use of prompts in AI evolving?

It’s fascinating because the same underlying base model can perform many different tasks depending on how creatively you prompt it. I tend to use AI tools that align with my interests. For example, I use a YouTube summariser to decide if I want to watch a video or translation tools for quick summaries. The creativity in prompt engineering can lead to very different and useful applications from the same base model.

Q) What advice would you give to professionals looking to stay updated with the latest in AI, especially in the marketing domain? Are there specific voices or sources you recommend?

To stay updated with AI developments, especially in marketing, I recommend following the blogs of major model providers. They are always introducing new capabilities and discussing future releases. Publications with dedicated AI segments are also useful for daily updates. I follow data scientists and AI experts on Twitter to get diverse perspectives. It’s about finding the right sources that align with your interests and learning from them..

Q) Within Quora, what ad formats are working well for brands, and are there any underrated use cases?

Quora’s value proposition lies in its users being in research mode, making it ideal for mid-funnel and bottom-funnel engagement. Promoted answers work well for both branding and performance. Video advertising is another format that has picked up, despite Quora being traditionally text-based. Many brands use business profiles to build a library of content, which is an underrated but powerful tool for brand exposure and engagement.

Q) Are there any specific industries that you think could benefit more from Quora but haven’t fully utilised its potential yet?

Traditionally, we’ve seen strong engagement from the finance, technology, education, and jobs sectors. Recently, we’ve seen success in consumer packaged goods (CPG), consumer durables, and e-commerce. As we continue to educate the market, more industries are finding success on Quora. Healthcare and government sectors also have potential, given Quora’s extensive range of topics and high-quality content.

Source: Social Samosa

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