The average consumer is exposed to 10,000 messages daily, switching between screens more than 20 times per hour. In this always-on world, content consumption is truly multidimensional — spanning different time-zones, devices, platforms and more. Technological advancements are allowing people to engage with each other and brands in ways never before possible, creating a challenge for modern marketers.
So how do brands cut through the noise to create meaningful relationships when attention spans are limited and consumers are bombarded with content at all times, across all channels?
The answer: artificial intelligence. Here are the most important ways AI is helping fuel more impactful marketing initiatives right now and in the future.
Merge the art and science of content creation
Whether a brand is looking to decrease CPA, increase CTR, or increase digital sales, it is critical to dynamically optimize content based on performance. As Dana Kraft, digital & social advisor for Kraft, Kellogg’s and PepsiCo says: “How you use real-time data is how you can create a competitive advantage with paid marketing efforts.” AI is empowering brands to remove the subjectivity surrounding creative and replace it with an objective understanding of what works and what doesn’t.
At Social Native, we’re using AI, powered by IBM Watson, to predict which creators and content will achieve maximum results for each brand’s unique goals and initiatives. Our tech platform surfaces qualitative and quantitative feedback (including brand scores, content performance metrics and a proprietary Social Native content score) to create a continuous improvement loop, where data is used to inform future content development. In this way, we’re merging art and science to reduce uncertainty when making creative decisions and ultimately, increase performance. An example of this is in action is Panini NFL, who implemented a rapid creative iteration strategy powered by Social Native, and as a result, acquired high-quality users at 58 percent lower CPA.
Give your brand a voice
One-to-one marketing seems simple enough on a small scale. However, as more consumers become comfortable researching and buying products online, it’s becoming increasingly difficult for brands to keep up. To improve customer communication, many brands are leveraging AI to create personalized chatbots throughout the customer journey. These bots can help to understand complex requests, personalize responses and improve interactions over time.
Recent research shows that five percent of companies worldwide said they were using chatbots regularly as early as 2016, while 20 percent were piloting them today. Among these early adopters is Gap’s new menswear brand, Hill City. It has implemented chatbots on both Twitter direct message and Facebook Messenger. According to its head of marketing, Eric Toda, implementing chatbots has completely transformed the brand’s relationship with its consumers.
As Toda explained in a recent industry podcast, “so far, personalized means re-augmenting a website for your preferences. We’re working towards a specifically tailored Hill City experience 24/7 and 365 days a year, and we can do that with text and messenger in a really rich way.”
Taken together, the explosion of e-commerce and ever-evolving consumption behaviors are forcing brands to find new ways to merge communication, transaction and service. Although chatbots may seem daunting to implement, if your company doesn’t take the first steps to connect with consumers on a deeper level, then you run the risk of losing mindshare in the long-term — not to mention a decrease in sales and consumer trust.
Create personalized content experiences
The future of advertising will not continue to target people with a one-size-fits-all approach. Consumers have high standards for brands — including ads that are relevant, engaging and tailored to their lives.
In a comScore study, 86 percent of consumers claimed that relevant content increases their interest in a brand’s products and services. For an advertiser, aligning content with the target audience delivers an equally big benefit, increasing engagement by up to 60 percent.
As technology evolves, advertisers can get smarter and more granular with their advertising — to the point where no two people receive the same digital content experience. Critics might argue that this advertising breakthrough is impossible. How could a brand possibly create content for every target segment? How would this content be tagged and communicated to advertising distribution partners like Facebook or Google? Again, marketers should look to AI.
With advanced targeting, filtering and activation technologies, we can now automate and scale the creation of content. Instead of one photo shoot, it’s possible to activate hundreds of creators, with various backgrounds, interests and preferences, to create a library of unique content that’s personally relevant to niche and diverse audiences. When content creation is no longer a barrier, the possibilities for personalization are endless. Now, the yoga enthusiast gets an ad of someone doing yoga, and the dog lover gets an ad of someone with their dog. Personalizing the creative, in addition to the copy and targeting, is the final step needed to create truly impactful advertising experiences.
Modern consumers aren’t looking for products; they’re looking for content. They’re judging with their eyes first and they don’t want polish or perfection — they want real, meaningful connections. Consumers want to feel like the brands they’re buying from understand them. With the continued integration of tech and creative, we’re at an inflection point. There are endless possibilities when AI is involved.
This article first appeared in www.digiday.com
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