Have you ever wondered how to improve the performance and conversion rate of your websites, online stores or digital marketing campaigns? Be it Google Ads, page views, Facebook Page or content, it is easy to get raw data, but making sense of these data and what to do next, is what’s crucial. And expensive.
That’s why we spend so much on Social Media Managers, SEO Consultants or Google AdWords experts. These people understand what to do with the data churned out by our Facebook Pages, AdWords Campaigns, WordPress website or Shopify store.
But did you know that a lot of digital marketing is guesswork? Your digital marketer tests out various permutations of ads, price, images, placement, user interface and content, to get the best results for your digital property (website, online store, online ad, social media page or profile)
Even then, they could take months before your digital property begins to perform optimally. Or they might entirely miss the mark and fail to bring out the full potential of your digital property.
But what if I were to tell you there’s a better way? Instead of letting someone do the guesswork while you pay for it, would you be interested if there was an affordable advisor that just knows what are the best parameters for your ads, contents and the likes?
Plus this advisor works around the clock, gets better with time and for a short period, is available on a very affordable lifetime license. If you are interested, read on for our crystal.ai review.
crystal.ai Review: An Introduction
crystal.ai is the first virtual advisor for marketers and companies looking to optimize their digital marketing efforts via talking (think Alexa) or writing to an Aritificial Intelligence (AI) powered advisor to gain digital marketing data and advice, real-time.
crystal.ai does so by answering your questions through a technology called Natural Language Processing (NLP). The interesting thing is, that the more you ask crystal.ai questions, the more it will learn your goals and preferences, making it better serve you in the long run.1
crystal.ai isn’t a new startup, rather is has been around since 2016. It was built to scratch an itch that Uljan and his team at iGenius faced. I’ll let him explain it further below in the snippet taken from Silicon Valley Business Journal:
Scratching An Itch
“A lot of digital marketing is done off rules of thumb and guesswork,” says Uljan Sharka, the company’s CEO. “That doesn’t make sense. No two companies are the same, so we are adding self-learning algorithms to the mix. The software is powered by our own Artificial Intelligence engine built on Google Cloud.” Based in Milan, Italy, the company is the brainchild of the iGenius digital agency, developing the solution to scratch its own itch.
“We have used a few social and web analytics tools for our own and our clients’ marketing,” says Sharka. He told me the company found many of the tools out there were too embarrassing for words, so iGenius decided to deploy 25 of its staff members to build crystal.
It is a bold move to launch crystal into an intensely contested market with a number of well-entrenched players. Nonetheless, the company has huge ambitions for its future, aiming to be a comprehensive business intelligence platform, implementing data analytics, social publishing and even smart paid-for promotion of social media posts using the various platforms’ advertising APIs.2
crystal.ai Review: Well Funded with Major Clients
If you were wondering on crystal.ai’s long term survival, at the time of writing, crystal.ai has raised $7,000,000 from angel investors3 with an extra $20 million being sought for their series A funding.
crystal.ai currently also has 20 thousand users4 and a number of established brands, such as Puma and Toyota, among their list of clients.
It was named a top startup internationally by Facebook (2017), Google, StartupGrind Global Top 50 startups (2017), Web Summit Top 11 AI startups (2016)5 as well as featured at Lions Innovation in Cannes and TechCrunch Disrupt.
crystal.ai Review: First Impressions
Personally, I was excited when I found out about crystal.ai being offered on AppSumo. The video was slick, catchy and interesting.
However, after setting up crystal, I found that crystal.ai could only answer were rudimentary questions. (note: I found out later that crystal.ai works best with pre-defined questions. You can find some questions to ask crystal, here) And it gets frustrating during moments that crystal.ai don’t get my questions and returns an irrelevant answers.
That crushed my initial excitement.
And while the dashboards on crystal.ai look good, something like Reportz.io (if you managed to grab the lifetime deal), SuperMetrics or Cyfe, easily offers so much more data sources at a much cheaper rate.
So why crystal.ai? Why invest in some software that seems like a glorified business intelligence dashboard with the ability to recognise voice? Read on as we discover crystal.ai together.
crystal.ai Review: Strengths & Weaknesses
The AI Advantage
crystal.ai’s biggest strength and their unique selling point, is their AI. As I studied Electronics Engineering and completed AI-based projects back in university, I might be able to help you here.
You see, with AI, you train a software on certain tasks. And with proper training, feedback and adjustments to the algorithm, the AI-powered software can eventually be as good or better than human.
One good example would be in the arena of games, specifically the competitive esports game of Dota 2. In September 2017, the OpenAI bot managed to beat the reigning 2017 world champion, Dendi, twice in a row. And the AI bot only had two weeks of training.
In the same sense, with proper training, crystal.ai will be able to outperform your regular digital marketer – be it in optimising your Google AdWords spend, social media campaign or even when to post your content.
But if crystal.ai is so awesome, how come my experience is so meh?
The reason why crystal.ai currently feels like an unfinished product is, well, it is unfinished. Upcoming soon on the roadmap are upgrades to the business knowledge graph as well as contextual suggestion tips. All these will make crystal.ai more effective at answering questions while delivering better results.
The Weakness of Running an AI-Based Software
So if you are looking for crystal.ai to answer more questions (and different variations of questions) or to return more in-depth insights and advice to your Google Analytics account, it will take time.
Building truly smart AI-products isn’t cheap nor easy. Plus hiring data scientists is an expensive affair. Especially with the worldwide shortage of good data scientists.
Plus, crystal.ai is still doing their series A funding. Once they secure this round of funding, Uljan and the crystal.ai team will be able to take the product to the next level within the next two years.
Also if you are interested, here is crystal.ai’s exciting public roadmap.
crystal.ai Review: Other Things to Consider
crystal.ai is an early stage AI software that has much potential. If you are looking for a fast return of investment, you would be setting yourself up for disappointment.
However, if you don’t mind making a hedged bet on crystal.ai’s future, based on the number of awards won, featured appearance in established publications, current funding (USD 7 million) as well as the corporate clients that crystal.ai currently serves (Puma & Toyota among others), you might end up a big-time winner.
At the current moment, other than delivering results conversationally, crystal.ai does a number of things from BI Dashboards, Reports, Social Media Scheduling as well as Campaign Monitoring. This might overlap with some apps that you currently use.
Let us take a look below:
- Business Intelligence Dashboards like Cyfe, Reportz.io, Whatagraph, Datadeck – crystal.ai gives us simplified business intelligence dashboards and reports that might suit your needs.
- Social Media Scheduling Apps like CoSchedule, Sprout Social, SocialBee, Tweetdeck – There are many social media scheduling apps. crystal.ai’s main competition are from apps like CoSchedule, which uses AI to decide the best time to post. However, crystal.ai currently lacks the option to integrate RSS feeds, which are crucial to bloggers, content marketers and publications.
- Ads Management Apps like AdEspresso and AdOptimizer – While crystal.ai currently monitors our campaigns via the dashboard, in the future, crystal.ai is able to automate campaigns and suggest improvements
crystal.ai Review: Who is Crystal for?
crystal.ai is built for the following people looking to optimize their digital strategies and resources:
- in-house and agency web marketers
- small to medium-sized businesses
So yes, if you fall into these categories, please consider getting yourself and/or your agency a copy of crystal.ai.
crystal.ai Review: What do others say
If you were wondering, crystal.ai has gotten rave reviews from established publications as well. Here’s two of them:
1) Smarter Digital Marketing, The Next Web
It is quite common to be a freelance digital marketer, but on the other hand, it isn’t that easy to manage all the social media campaigns, monitor analytics and make reports just by yourself. However, by utilising A.I., Crystal.io makes digital marketing data smarter and simpler.
Unleash your creativity (that A.I. certainly can’t replace) and worry less about CAC, analytic charts and graphs or daily social media scheduling.7
2) Specialised in Performance Analysis for Digital Content, Torque Magazine
Crystal.io monitors stats from different channels and media – including your website and your social channels. It makes easy to publish new content and automates campaign management to get the most out of them. Moreover, Crystal.io is a window on the most important trends you should keep an eye on and allows you to stay on track.8
crystal.ai Review: Conclusion
The crystal.ai deal ends in approximately thirty hours from the publication of this review. As such, if you don’t have much time to decide on whether a lifetime premium crystal.ai license is worth it, I would suggest that you buy first.
And if possible, do stack your crystal.ai licenses to the maximum (four licenses), as that will give you access to twenty brands – which potentially means twenty clients for your agency. With AppSumo’s generous sixty days refund period, you can easily get your investment back if you decide otherwise.
Personally, I like crystal.ai very much. Though it is still very much at the early stage, an app like crystal.ai will never be offered on lifetime when matured and fully ready. It’s a balance between getting a lifetime deal on a potentially great app, or saving yourself USD 196 if crystal fails or go bust.
However, I urge you to consider making the hedge on crystal.ai’s future. It might pay off handsomely for you.
- The Top Startups For Marketers At Tech Crunch Disrupt 09/21/2016, The Top Startups For Marketers At Tech Crunch Disrupt, https://www.mediapost.com/publications/article/285091/the-top-startups-for-marketers-at-tech-crunch-disr.html
- Digital marketers gain the power of AI and voice control with crystal | TechCrunch, Digital marketers gain the power of AI and voice control with crystal, https://techcrunch.com/2016/09/13/crystal-smart-digital-marketing/
- iGenius – Investors, iGenius – Investors, https://igenius.ai/investors, igenius.ai
- Arriva crystal: automatically creates marketing campaigns on social networks – Repubblica.it, http://bit.ly/2KzwNeR
- The top 50 startups investors want to see at Web Summit – Web Summit Blog, Web Summit_Logo_Stacked_Colour, https://blog.websummit.com/top-50-startups-at-web-summit/
- Crystal Apps Ltd. | Crunchbase, Crystal Apps Ltd., https://www.crunchbase.com/organization/crystal-apps-ltd#section-overview
- 10 tools based on AI that will change your freelancing career, 10 tools based on AI that will change your freelancing career, https://thenextweb.com/contributors/2017/06/09/10-tools-based-ai-will-change-freelancing-career/, Ana Grasic
- 5 Artificial Intelligence Tools for Content Marketing, 5 Artificial Intelligence Tools for Content Marketing, https://torquemag.io/2018/05/5-artificial-intelligence-tools-for-content-marketing/
Summary: crystal.ai is the first AI-powered digital marketing advisor for your business needs. She helps you increase your online sales with campaigns, social media analytics, management and scheduling.
After running a successful tech blogshop, I ventured back into programming via a bootcamp and am a bona fide WordPress / Laravel developer.
Nowadays, I build and maintain turnkey and bespoke sites. I also write guides and review tools that makes your sites, better. Drop me a message via LinkedIn if you wanna chat more 🙂
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