THE UNIQUE EDGE OF COGNICOR: NAVIGATING THE AI-DRIVEN FINANCIAL COMPANION LANDSCAPE
Dr. Manjusha Vidhyadharan, Marketing Lead at CogniCor Technologies
In this engaging podcast conversation, Harshit Gupta, the Director of Business Alliances at Wytlabs, delves deep with Dr. Manjusha Vidhyadharan, Marketing Lead at CogniCor Technologies. Discover the fascinating journey of Dr. Manjusha, from a PhD in English literature to the forefront of AI marketing. Together, they unravel the cutting-edge solutions CogniCor brings to the financial sector, the power of personalized content, and insights into their unique approach to B2B lead generation. Explore the future of AI-driven wealth management and the distinctive edge CogniCor holds in this evolving landscape.
CogniCor Technologies, a leading digital financial companion platforms that fundamentally financial service sector to reach an exponentially greater level of growth, efficiency, and service outcomes.
Hello, everyone, and welcome to another episode of Wytpod. My name is Harshit Gupta and I’m the Director of Business Alliances at Wytlabs. We are a digital agency specializing in SaaS and E-commerce business marketing. My today’s guest is Dr. Manjusha Vidhyadharan who is the Marketing Lead at CogniCor Technologies, a leading digital financial companion platforms that fundamentally financial service sector to reach an exponentially greater level of growth, efficiency, and service outcomes. A big welcome to you, Manjusha, and I’m so happy to have you with me.
Thanks Harshit. Thanks for having me.
Let’s start with your journey, Manjusha. You have quite a fascinating professional journey so far, so please tell us about that.
Yeah, now it’s very much fascinating because I’m working in an artificial intelligence world. The word itself is very fascinating. But my journey, it’s a very simple one with a lot of twists and turns. I have a PhD in English literature. Then I’ve been into academics for some years if I say three or four years, then I got involved in my family business. There, I believe that I didn’t have anything to do there because it was a construction and that was completely different from what I have learned. That time I got this call from CogniCor to join as an associate marketing there. I was excited about that opportunity because there are two things. First is the term itself, artificial intelligence, and the second one is marketing. I was very sure that artificial intelligence is going to change the world, largely. And the second thing is marketing. And what I love about marketing is that people who are in the marketing field should have the ability to communicate things. They should have the capability to convince the customer that, yes, this is our product and it’s going to solve your problems. And above all, we should have empathy towards the customer.
We should think about their perspective and their issues. Then only we can understand what are their pain points, and why they are lagging in some of the areas of their business, and we can propose a suitable solution to them. I have taken that opportunity and I joined CogniCor as a marketing associate and now I’m the leading marketer.
That’s brilliant. Can you please tell us a bit more about CogniCor?
As a marketing professional, I have to connect with clients. I have to connect with the prospects, and I have to fetch leads for the company. We have a team of marketing with five or six people, and some of them are in the US and some of them are here in media, so I have to coordinate with these teams. I usually connect with my management because I want to make sure that my marketing strategies or what I’m doing as a marketing activity should be aligned with the company’s goals. That is very important. I always connect with them, and I always make sure that all these things are going in alignment. I handle social media I post content and I create content. I try to get leads. Like every other marketing professional group, I’m also doing that. The coordinating part is also they were different teams. I believe that only the marketing people can coordinate with multiple departments because we should know what are things happening in other departments. Because when you create content, that should be to the point. So I connect with everyone, like People’s Success team or Development team, or with every team and try to gain insight from their work, and I wanted.
And how is the experience connecting with the sales team? Because what I’ve seen is that in a lot of organizations, there’s always some disconnect between marketing and sales all the time.
Fortunately, I have a very good sales team in my office and we are working very closely together. Because the one thing is we don’t have a sales team here in India, the sales team here in the US. So we have calls regularly and we talk about the needs and we talk about the trends, marketing trends and all. We are closely working together without any dispute, so I should say that.
Please tell us a bit more about CogniCor in this AI era. I would love to know about its core expertise.
Okay, CogniCor is Morgan Stanley’s back-to-provider of artificial intelligence and artificial intelligence-powered business automation. It’s actually for highly regulated industries like financial services if I say wealth management. CogniCor has developed a suite of AI solutions to support their employees and advisors, like financial advisors, to scale their work or enhance their work. Because these financial advisors, they are facing a lot of challenges. Their life is hectic. When you think about them, more than 70 % of their work, they are dealing with the paperwork and all. So what we are doing is we are creating AI solutions to address all these labor-intensive and time-consuming processes, and we are making their lives easier, happier, and smoother. That’s what we are doing here. The digital assistants that are built on the CogniCor platform that leverages machine learning algorithms to understand the intent behind the queries of the customer. When the customer asks something to their digital assistant, it understands, yes, this is the question, and the customer asking about this area of expertise or this is the context. It can understand it. So for that, we have exclusive knowledge graphs.
That is the uniqueness of the CogniCor’s platform. We have an exclusive knowledge graph, and that knowledge graph comprises the financial services terminologies, and which has the platform to understand the query as well. It gives an on-time response, a prompt response, or a precise response to the customer. And so what we are trying to do is to bring the experience that we have with Uber and Amazon. That is, we are bringing that experience into the wealth management industry or the financial industry. You know that the financial industry is maybe the last one who is ready to embrace the technological transformation or the digital transformation because they are hesitant towards all these digital transformations. Maybe this is the basic nature of every human being to embrace the change initially. I think that there is no point for them to wait for a long time because the other people are embracing that. They are taking that application and using it in their business, and they are ripping high goods. We are trying to bring that service to the doorsteps of our customers. The wealth management industry is at a crossroads. In the future, they are going to be hybrid: the physical, plus the digital.
Because in the US, when we talk about the US, there is a great wealth transfer is going to happen, right? The wealth is going to transfer to the younger generation, if we can call them Gen Zs. The traditional people have the hesitation to accept the change, but the younger generation has the hesitation not to accept the change, because, for the younger world, they need technology for everything because they’re used to it. That’s why we think that it is essential for them to embrace these changes that are happening in the market. Digital transformation is something very much inevitable. It’s essential to keep that momentum. That’s what we are doing in CogniCor. We are proposing solutions, and understanding the pain points of the customers because they have multiple problems. If we have three customers, they have three different problems. First, we have to understand all the problems they have, and we should know how to solve that problem using our solution. That’s what we are doing to make the financial advisors.
Please tell us a bit more about your target ICPs. I understand financial advisors, but what countries are you targeting? What size of businesses do you target for the solution?
We are targeting the two categories wealth management and insurance sectors, and we target the brocade lead dealers, IRAs, and large enterprises, definitely, and the insurance agents and the financial advisors. These are our audience, mainly, because we are solving different use cases. But the two use cases that I want to highlight here are the difficulties in filling out the forms, and the second one is the difficulty in connecting with the customer, to maintain the connection with the customer for the financial advisors. We have call center agents definitely because they are getting fed up with these lot of calls every day. They are getting a lot of calls and sometimes a lot of irrelevant questions they have to face. Every day it’s a mundane task. That’s why we are doing a brilliant automation today to help their lives. If I talk about this form-filling assistance, we have a form-filling assistance. When you talk about the financial industries, the first thing that comes into your mind is the complicated forms, very complicated and complex forms. It always leaves the customer perplexed because they don’t know how to fill this and they are worried about the jargon.
They don’t understand what that number means or the jargon means, the industry words. What we are doing is we are helping the customer to select the forms first, the form that you have to fill in. Because if you want to change an account or if you want to open an account, that’s the first category, and the second customer wants to change the beneficiary. For these two customers, they should have different forms. The single form doesn’t work. So what we are doing is our assistant helped them to fetch, Yes, you have to fill this form and the other one has to fill that. After fetching that, it helps them to fill out that form without any difficulty. So when the customer clicks a specific column, it shows that, yes, you have to write this. You have to write your name here or you have to write your account number here, whatever needs to be filled in. The assistant helps the clients, so they can fill out the form very easily without any difficulty, and that saves time as well. It’s not expensive as well. We are releasing the nights. That is the one use case that we are presenting.
The second one we have is a meeting assistant, an AI-powered meeting assistant. As I told you, financial advisors have a lot of clients. They have 20 clients, 25, and 30, and managing every one of them, it’s very difficult because every one of them needs personalized data. That is the other thing that always keeps their life in a hurry, the increasing demands of the customers and evolving competition. Personalized advice is something very important. What we are doing is we help them to connect with their customers. That is, we help them to schedule meetings, and we help them to prepare pre and post-meeting notes. We help them to prepare the agenda. These are very routine tasks. They are spending most of their time doing this paperwork. I don’t think that they have time to build a proper relationship with the customer. That’s what we are doing here. We are putting back their time into their daily life, and they can use that time for more creative problem-solving. That’s the other use case that we are using at CogniCor.
How is the buyer journey on your platform? I do see that you have a demo request form on your website, but I don’t see that traditional free new version by yourself, create a free account, or something like that. So say a user lands on your website, how’s that maybe this buyer journey?
If you are interested in knowing about CogniCor’s product, definitely you can put in a request for a demo and we are ready to give that demo to the prospects or the person who is interested in that. I should say that after they get convinced, it’s a very easy journey from there onwards. Because our platform is very easy to use. The customer who buys the platform doesn’t need to write codes and doesn’t wait for a lot of time to launch a digital assistant because it’s a very user-friendly platform. It’s a handy platform. With a user manual, the client can easily use that. That is the one unique that is our importance for people’s platform Cida. We use the knowledge graphs and the AI and it’s completely different from the scripted chatbots or the scripted digital assistants. We have that our platform can understand the context and understand the queries. If the customer asks something that, It is not written in the knowledge graph, even though the platform can understand the question because it’s trained in that way. It’s trained with a lot of customer documents and financial articles.
So it is better to say the answer. It’s not like the scripted chatbot. Because in the scripted chatbot, in that case, if someone asks a question it is not there in the script, definitely it fails to answer. You don’t have that problem here. It is very easy to use them. If they don’t want the platform, if they want the assistance and the solution as it is, definitely they can buy the solutions because we are giving all the assistance to them. We are building the assistance for them according to their pain points. We are making that solution and we are using their information and their expertise, and we build the assistance and we give it to them. They don’t need to build an AI team in their office. They don’t need to build a technological team to maintain this AI assistant. There is no need for it. It is a very easily usable assistance. They can use it like a plugin. That is the easiest part of it. But to convince them, we take some time. Because I guess in every business, it is a problem to convince the client. Especially, we have financial advisors and financial people.
We take some time to say that this is a way to save your problem or a way to address your challenge. Up to that, it’s a very easy journey for the customer.
Let’s talk about marketing. I would love to know what exactly you guys do for your own B2B lead generation.
You know that there are several methods for B2B lead generation. What we are doing is social media marketing. Through LinkedIn, we connect with people. Through LinkedIn, we do some account-based marketing that is we target people and connect with them and if they want, we’ll give demos and generate leads from there. That is the one method. We do email marketing as well. What we do is we attend a lot of events. That’s what the main thing that we’re doing at CogniCor. We attend multiple events and we get a lot of connection from there. The other thing is influencer marketing. Influencer marketing is something very important, especially in the financial industry. Recently, we have been listed in the Michael Peters list. CogniCor was one of them. Influencer marketing is another one, but we are not doing it very largely, but we are planning to do that, planning to take it forward, the influential marketing. These are the things that we mainly do here. The events are the backbone of our marketing activities.
I’m sure because your business and then even account-based marketing should have a good fair share of your lead generation. Can you please help us with some of the winning strategies that B2B marketers can leverage that are working well for you?
The first thing I have to say is that you should have a clear targeted audience, right? You should know that, yes, these are the prospects that you want to focus on. That is the clear idea you should have. And then you should have a clear-cut idea about their business, what they are doing and what are their pain points and who is the point of conduct and what is their decision-making process. You should have a clear idea about everything. And the next thing I strongly recommend the content creation, the very personalized content, I should say, that personalized content creation is very important. Then only we can address their problems effectively that, yes, this is your problem, and we have a solution for that. Because we have multiple solutions, we can’t sell five different solutions to a certain business, or a certain problem. So if you have a problem, there is one solution for that. We have to understand what is the problem and which solution, our solution is going to change or address. For that, as I said, we should know that there is a problem exist. The existence problem, we should know that because if you don’t know there is a problem, you can’t sell that solution.
First, you have to understand the target audience their business the point of conduct, and what is their problem, that is the important thing, and create personalized content and approach them.
You’re trying to mention personalized content.
Have you ever tried training Sarah to help you with the personalized messages that you can send to your potential prospects?
No, not really actually. Yeah.
Any of the niche trends that impact your product development side, which again?
Niche trends in that sense? I don’t know a lot about it, but I think that the changes that are happening in the AI field, are very challenging because we have to keep the momentum with all these new changes that are happening like Generative AI and all these other AI tools are getting pretty much advanced every day by day. We have to keep abreast with those changes to keep that momentum. That’s what I see.
Can you tell me a bit more about your competitive landscape altogether? Because I don’t see much around AI, wealth management, or niche altogether. Can you put some light on that?
Yeah, definitely. There are a lot of fintech people. They are trying to build wonderful solutions for financial services. I agree with that. But I don’t think that we have a lot of competitors out there because we have our uniqueness. We have created our niche there already because the main thing that we have is our Knowledge Graph. That is something lacking in every other competitor. I’m not going to say that and these are the people, but that’s a unique thing that we have, the CogniCor has the Knowledge Graph. We are using that very brilliantly to address the pain points of the customers and to address the challenges. And there are the lines, the difference between CogniCor and the other, the other people who are in there. I don’t even want to use the word competitors. I just want to say the people who are in the Fintech, right? So yeah, that is the difference.
What’s the difference? I think we’re coming when Lucia and I would like to have a quick rapid-fire with you. Are you ready for that?
What is your last Google search?
My last Google search? Oh, God. I usually search for a lot of things. I don’t remember. Can I check that?
Last Google search. What is the relevance of this question? Can I ask you?
It’s just one question.
Oh, it’s torn into time.
What is not a big deal to most people, but is torture to you?
Torture to me?
Are these the unathletic people?
I.Don’t like to be around such people, the people who bring a lot of negative ideas and thoughts. People are my problem.
Okay. What world record do you think you have assured at the meeting?
I don’t get that question. What?
What world record? There could be any skill that you feel that you’re very good at. Okay. Do you have a chance to beat that world record?
Oh, I don’t know. Honestly, I don’t know.
It could be anything.
It’s no idea. Maybe running. I don’t know. I don’t know. I don’t have an answer for it.
Okay. Are you more cautious or bold?
Coming to my last question. Do you watch shows one episode at a time or binge-watch the whole series?
No, I usually don’t watch series because it’s very time-consuming. Because in business, time is money, right? I don’t watch all these series. I usually don’t watch.
Thank you so much, Manjusha, for all the information you shared and I really appreciate your time here. Thank you so much.
Thank you. Thank you so much. Bye.
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