Posted by Matt Register and George Walden

Aprio Chief Behavioral Analytics Officer, Ark Rosental joins us in this segment of the National Advisor Showcase to discuss how CEO’s can use human behavior analysis to grow their business.

Please excuse any typos in this hasty transcript.


Matt Register: And welcome back to the show. Texas Business Radio. TexasBusinessRadio.com is the website. 844-814-8144 is our 24 hour call in line. Means get your calls in now, get them in later, get them in in the middle of the night. I don’t really care. We’re going to have the experts on here to get those questions answered.
I’m your host, Matt Register. Jay Curry my normal co-host had to step our for a little bit. In his chair is my business partner George Walden. What do you think man?

George Walden: Well, business owners are faced with information overload. They get a lot of data, and how do you look at that data and finally come to a conclusion about what your next step should be. We’re actually talking to a very interesting person today. I’ve never heard this title before, Behavioral Analytics Officer. Fascinating. He’s actually the Chief Behavioral Analytics Officer of a company called Aprio.
This is going to be fun.

Matt Register: No, it’s going to be a whole lot of fun. Guys, there are people that come in, national level experts really smart guys that come into Texas, talk to CEOs. Help you to grow your business. We like to have them on here on a segment we like to call ‘The National Advisor Showcase’. This is one.
As George alluded to, Ark Rozental is the Chief Behavioral Analytics Officer for Aprio. Aprio is an accounting firm out of Atalanta, Georgia. He’s here talking to CEOs about how they can use human behavior and the understanding of human behavior to grow their business.
Ark, welcome to the show.

Ark Rozental: Pleasure being here.

Matt Register: So tell me a little bit about behavioral analytics. What is it you do, who do you do it to?

Ark Rozental: Well, if, say, college and data analytics had a love child it would be called behavioral analytics. It’s a branch of science. Probably one of the youngest ones on the books which uses data to predict and affect human behavior at scale.
Where that manifests itself the most, probably for businesses, is their website visits. Because if you look at the number of people who hit your website, it would blow your mind. I mean, you take all your business development, sales, marketing folks combined and the number of people who visit your website will blow that out of the water.

Matt Register: Sure.

Ark Rozental: So how do you … Why is it, first of all, that we don’t do as well with our web visitors as we do in the face-to-face conversation? What’s up with that? What does it take for our website to be able to compete with our top business development, marketing, sales people?

Matt Register: Well, when two people are speak … When a salesman face-to-face is talking to a potential client, there’s instant feedback in that communication. Right? There’s facial expression, there’s verbal feedback, there’s non-verbal communication that’s going on there. A lot of ways that, that salesman can adjust what he’s doing to impact the outcome of that conversation.

Ark Rozental: That’s right.

Matt Register: On a web visitor it is entirely one dimensional. You have no visibility of what they do. But you do have data that comes out of that visit. There are things that you can then use to adjust. What kind of an impact is this understanding having on companies that adjust their web presence and web experience based on that analytics?

Ark Rozental: Okay. So, two things. One, you are absolutely spot on about the salesperson having a conversation versus somebody visiting our website. The most beautiful thing is when somebody is having a conversation with the salesperson, they are guarded. They know they’re going to be sold something, right. When somebody is on the website they’re their true self. They’re like, “Nobody’s watching. I can do whatever I want.” It is actually much easier to understand and leverage the real intention that the person has when they are on the website.
Now, you’re asking what do the companies get. A science says that the very fact, if the companies did nothing different from what they’re doing today but they just got a mastery of data. If they just reduced their systemic waste they would pick up 12 to 40% of business.

Matt Register: No kidding.

Ark Rozental: Yep.

Matt Register: So, how deep does this go? I mean, I know technically you have the ability to adjust content on the site based on behavior, right. I mean technologically if something happens here than it changes something here. Do you have the ability to customize based on known … I guess it would be interesting to find out somebody that actually did go through and buy, what is it they did and how did they manipulate their way through a website and try to replicate that with other people. Is that right?

Ark Rozental: That’s an excellent insight because what it sounds to most people, especially CEOs, company owners, that this is a technical conversation. It’s anything but. It’s a psychology conversation. It’s a human behavior conversation. Because the point of the website is to substitute for us in the situation when we’re not available to have a face-to-face conversation.

Matt Register: Sure.

Ark Rozental: We know … I mean, we wouldn’t be in business if we didn’t know what it takes to get a person to the next step in the conversation.

Matt Register: Sure.

Ark Rozental: Yet how many of us apply that knowledge, that perspective to our website? Our website are just digital brochures.

Matt Register: Well, you know it’s funny. We were talking during the break about I recently had to buy a bunch of parts for a bicycle. Every website I went to assumed that I had a level of knowledge about these parts that I did not have. Except for one, and that’s where I ended up buying all of our parts. It’s very difficult for a company to put themself in the shoes of the consumer. Because the people in the company know more about the product than anybody else does, right?

Ark Rozental: That is precisely right. An assumption is the most dangerous thing, the most dangerous activity you can engage into when you’re not facing the person in a conversation like we’re having right now.

Matt Register: Sure.

Ark Rozental: Because, once we make an assumption it’s an emotional decision. Assumption is just that, it’s a decision we make in the absence of fact.

Matt Register: Okay.

Ark Rozental: There’s been study, after study, after study which shows how ineffective humans are at making arbitrary decisions. It’s whatever … You know, they did this study where surgeons interpreting, or radiologists interpreting CT scans looking at the same scan first thing in the morning gave a more favorable read to it than right before lunch when they were hungry. I mean, we as humans are-

Matt Register: That’s a little scary, yeah.

Ark Rozental: It is. It is. But that’s how the … I mean, they did the same thing with Parole Officers at prisons. When we are at our best we are the most generous. When we are worn down by, you know we’re tired, we’re hungry, we’re whatever our outlook changes. In absence of fact when we have to make assumptions we will make assumptions different from what we would have when we were in a different state of mind. People make decisions emotionally and then they do a pretty good job at rationalizing what ever decision they made.
So, when people look at our website we need to get in … It’s not what I want to tall them. It’s what they need to hear from you. They come to do a job. You know, to solve the problem, to get something off their plate. To avoid something, to gain something. Whatever going on in their heads is what we need to figure out.

Matt Register: Interesting.

Ark Rozental: The websites are not there to earn design awards.

Matt Register: No, I get that. And in fact some visitors need to immediately go away, right. And them understanding that this is not a product or service that I’m interested in is good information for them too.
One of the very interesting things we talked about very briefly during the break is the fact that visitors to your site that are not a fit for your product or services that may end up being a revenue stream. Because you may be able to package these folks up and send them elsewhere and be able to generate a revenue stream off of it, right?

Ark Rozental: Absolutely. Like, I’ll give you an example. Where Aprio thrives, like if you’re a manufacturing firm and you become our client we improve your results in the next 12 months. We improve your [inaudible 00:08:53] by 15% with our eyes closed doing back flips. If you’re a company in agricultural business, we don’t have the same level of expertise. There are other firms we know who we would refer that out too.

Matt Register: And can be able to generate some revenue based on that.

Ark Rozental: So, it’s a valid lead just not for us.

Matt Register: Yeah. Interesting stuff. I promise you this is something, George this is something a lot of CEOs do not get right.

George Walden: Oh, I agree. I agree. This is attribution theory at its best. I love it.

Matt Register: Well, you know this is only going to get easier and more prevalent with the technology that’s coming on board. I mean, wait until you get artificial intelligence that can identify trends and things that humans are having trouble … I mean, this is going to get to more and more, less and less art, more and more science, right?

Ark Rozental: It’s already here. It’s already here.

Matt Register: All right. Interesting. Ark Rozental with Aprio. Aprio.com is the website, the accounting firm out of Georgia. Aprio.com, A-P-R-I-O.com. I’m going to have that linked right from TexasBusinessRadio.com.
Ark, thank you for joining us but we’re completely out of time. We’re going to join you right on the other side of the break with a whole lot more Texas Business Radio. You don’t even have time to go anywhere guys, we’ll be back a whole lot quicker than that with a whole lot more. We’ll be back.

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About the Author
Matt Register

Matt Register

In addition to hosting "Texas Business Radio," Matt is an investment banker and serial entrepreneur from Montgomery, Texas. He is the owner of RREA Media and Register Real Estate Advisors and a Managing Director and Principal at Corporate Finance Associates. He has a BS from the United States Military Academy at West Point and an MBA from Rice University in Houston. You can read more about Matt HERE.

Matt Register

George Walden

George Walden is a Managing Director and Principal in Corporate Finance Associates’ Houston office with twenty-five years experience as a middle-market investment banker. George is a member of CFA’s equipment industry practice group and an expert in the precision machining industry with special emphasis on manual machining, CNC precision machining, and gun drilling services and has been responsible for several industry-leading transactions. You can learn more about George HERE.

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