Performance Horizon is the latest member of the performance marketing industry to tout artificial intelligence (AI) as part of its tech stack.

The Newcastle-based SaaS (Software as a Service) partner solutions platform has set out to “transform” affiliate and partner marketing, announcing the addition of proprietary AI capabilities to support its “growing ecosystem” of merchants, marketing partners, developers and tech companies.

Yet to be rolled out to the group’s entire client and partner portfolio, customers already trialing the AI product include Marriott Hotels & Resorts, British Airways, and fashion marketplace The Iconic.

A complex process

According to Performance Horizon, the move has come in answer to the affiliate industry’s “scalability challenges”, a result of the channel struggling to catch board-level attention or garner the same level of budget allocation as channels such as paid search and display.

“The demand for accurate measurement, data-driven decision, and an increased level of automation has held marketers back,” the company stated, while chief technical officer Pete Cheyne described the first goal as to “help clients understand future performance”.

According to Cheyne, the “complex” process of building the AI technology in-house involved analysis of 50 billion of its clients’ tracked events to understand activity profiles for a range of campaigns and partners. The result was five different prediction models ranging from “iterative linear regression to a neural network model”, which will be allocated to clients dynamically based on their effectiveness; “This way we ensure that we present customers with predictions that are tailored to them; we didn’t want to build a one-size-fits-all solution,” Cheyne said.

Not just ‘hype’

For many, the term ‘AI’ has become almost a buzzword, often thought of a relabelling of pre-existing practices, but Performance Horizon is adamant there is much more substance to the launch than just a jumping on the bandwagon.

“Most of the current noise around AI is marketing hype of vanity features,” said Alistair Wyse, the group’s chief information officer (CIO), “our goal with these new capabilities is to make AI accessible to customers in a way that is simple to use and actually drives tangible business results.”

The company’s CEO, Malcolm Cowley, meanwhile marked out that this is only a first-phase introduction of AI technology and the start of “long-term” investment in which it is “core to our vision to build a truly scalable partnerships ecosystem”, adding that he sees a “huge upside potential” for Performance Horizon’s customers and their partners.

With early trials in place, Performance Horizon plans to release additional AI-enhanced capabilities across its platform in the coming months.

The company claims over 150 global 2000 customers and six out of the top largest US companies by market cap as well as 230,000 marketing partnerships.

The rise of Artificial Intelligence in performance marketing features on the Performance Live agenda

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