Article originally published on Outside Insight.

New technologies are often adopted early in the marketing and storytelling space. With the advent of television came a revolution in mass advertising and outreach, while mobile and internet brought in a whole new level of targeting and contextual marketing. Similarly, technological advances in AI have changed the way people are able to interact with information, brands and services, and the way those brands understand their audience.

Marketers today can use insights from AI to inform more advanced targeting and strategies.

Content is (still) king

The integration of marketing and AI is growing, and more and more companies are turning to AI powered technology to support their marketing strategies. It is especially relevant in the case of content ideation and generation. Careful curation and personalisation of content is becoming even more essential, as savvy consumers no longer want to feel like they’re being marketed to. Rather, brands need to offer them something useful in return.

The key is to stay relevant by providing insights that matter to your specific audience, and showcasing your expertise. With the help of AI, content marketers can pull information from the mass amount of data on the web, which should guide their ideation and creation process to better target a particular audience.

AI-powered systems like Scoop.it help support a more refined and strategic content curation process by analysing audience sentiment and honing in on niche subjects that catch their attention.

Similarly, tools like Meltwater help marketers understand how their brand and their competitors are being perceived in the market, how effective their content is, what customer sentiment is, who’s talking about them, and possibly most key – what is trending in different markets and for different audiences.

Predicting trends before they peak can offer marketers a major advantage and enable them to establish their authority on a subject early on (see how Impossible Foods uses Meltwater to inform their market entry strategy).

Understanding these trends and conversations can help marketers create campaigns that are much more targeted and relevant. Today we can use AI to collect insights customers leave behind online to further build profiles that can then be used to create more relevant marketing.

Influential uses AI to transform influencer marketing

Influencer marketing remains one of the most dynamic channels for effective consumer engagement. However, despite the volume of influencer marketing agencies and platforms which work to pair brands with the best influencers for their products, it’s notoriously difficult to accurately predict ROI on many influencer campaigns.

Enter Influential, a Los Angeles-based AI platform, powered by IBM Watson. Influential’s Social Intelligence platform analyses a number of variables for brands, enabling them to assess how effective their marketing campaign is in terms of contextual relevancy and psychographics.

Through augmented intelligence and machine learning, Influential matches brands with relevant influencers in their markets, and their data is used to help brands to better hone in on characteristics of their specific core audience.

ai_smarter marketing image 2.jpg

Hyundai Motor America Turns to Influential to Launch Kona

Chief Marketing Officer for Hyundai Motor America, Dean Evans, leveraged Influential for the launch of the brand’s small SUV ‘Kona’ model that launched last year.

Based on previous research, the brand was going after the active millennial group as its ideal audience for the new vehicle. To them, this meant millennials who are into the outdoors, adventurous and potentially live outside the city.

However, looking at data from a beta version of Influential’s AI-enabled social intelligence tool, they soon realised the audience they targeted wasn’t behaving in the way they were often portrayed in other advertising.

Evans says, “We partnered with Influential around two pillars. The first was leveraging the power of AI to help define audiences better, using the world of social media and social content to help power that. The second was to find real influencers in the marketplace to help us get the word out through more organic and rich content.”

Thanks to insights from their campaign data, team at Hyundai ended up refining the way they defined their audience to focus more on “urban dwellers” vs the hikers and adventurers, whose lifestyles were more aligned with their product vision.

Ryan Detert, CEO of Influential, says, “Our core business has always been based off the idea of matching the brand’s psychographics with how they speak to and are perceived by their audience. We do this through Big 5 theory, much like Myers-Briggs, which is that a brand’s personality is made up of 47 attributes. We use an IBM Watson API called Personality Insights and we’re able to take the information we’re gleaning about what is being shared about a brand on social media and provide insight on brand health and the psychographics of their audience.”

These rich insights are now possible thanks to AI, and as a result marketers can create content that feels much more organic, personal and relevant, as we continue to move away from the outbound, push style marketing and further toward contextual relevance. The marketers that will win in the future will be able to leverage external data insights about their industry and their consumers to inform their next steps.

ai_smarter marketing image 3.jpg

AI is continuing to impact the marketing industry in a big way. Looking at your own historical campaign results is no longer enough – the best marketers need to be able to predict what’s coming next. Insights from external data, via AI powered platforms like Scoop.it, One Spot, Influential and Outside Insight, will be instrumental to future success.