With the start of a new decade comes the start of new and innovative trends taking place, particularly in the tech world where instant communication is rising, online consumer behaviour is changing and businesses are adopting tools that will advance them ahead of their competitors.
But one trend that will have a bigger impact on marketing this year is the continued use of Artificial Intelligence (AI). With a proven record of providing better quality insights into audiences and the ability to spot online trends and conversations quicker, AI powered systems are becoming more of a need for brands and businesses who want data-driven strategies for a better ROI.
So why is AI so important for marketing in 2020? What is it about these new, innovative systems that will better enhance marketing strategies in the new decade? Here, we take a deep-dive into why AI-powered insights are important for Marketing this year.
While “digital marketing” may be one of the buzzwords of 2020, marketing, as a whole, goes far beyond the online world. Marketing is the process of products and services moving from concept to the customer – in other words, marketing is about creating a demand among customers for what your business has to offer.
Now, where does AI fit into this? Well, in order to create demand for a product or service, you need to understand who the customers are that you’re creating demand for. There is no point in wanting to market fitness products to customers more interested in the travel industry. You need to learn what your customers want, what appeals to them, and the kind of content they enjoy. This starts by first knowing and understanding who your audience is, and creating buyer personas or segments This can be achieved by using an AI powered tool, like news media monitoring or social media listening.
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By listening to and monitoring the conversations your customers are having about your business, the data you collect from this is richer. This gives you the ability to craft a marketing strategy with your audience in mind, instead of trying a “one-size-fits-all” approach that often falls flat. In 2020, data segmentation won’t be the only trend to look out for when it comes to AI. Audience segmentation will be just as important in understanding your audiences to better tailor your marketing strategies this year.
AI also helps you see the conversations taking place online, allowing you to get a real time sense of what your customers say, think and feel about your business. The key phrase here is ‘real time’. We know that, particularly in PR and Communications, when a crisis strikes, time is of the essence to get in front of the heat and extinguish it before it flares up.
In 2020, the trend to look out for in PR and Communications is one where strategies are just that – strategic, but more so in the prevention of a crisis instead of just knowing how to avoid one. Various brands have experienced a disruption in their usual PR and Comms strategies because of social media. Information spreads quicker. Bad press reaches wider. And giving simple statements are no longer effective.
With the way that online ‘cancel culture’ is growing, so is online activism on social media and brands being boycotted when they don’t live up with their values. So for PR and Comms teams, AI systems can help with not just seeing the conversations during a crisis, but also see who is influencing public opinion and what the perception is on your brand during a crisis. And with a tool, like Meltwater’s Smart Alerts, you’ll be the first to know on developing stories where your brand is involved.
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Now that you have an abundance of information and data – the keywords and trending themes or profiles of social influencers – what do you do it with? For one, analyse the data you collected, but this using an AI-powered tool. The advantage you have by doing this is gaining deeper insight into the quantitative data you have.
Vanity metrics are falling away in 2020. Likes won’t matter so much anymore on platforms like Instagram and Twitter. So when you want to run a social media campaign to increase audience engagement, your metrics will need to include more than just the number of likes and comments to understand the true success of your campaign.
This is where using an AI-powered tool is important for marketing. It won’t always be about the quantitative metrics that will determine if your marketing strategy was successful or not. From what people are saying, to how your brand is being spoken of, or where in the world these conversations are happening, insights into these qualitative metrics can be analysed using tools driven by AI.
Proving your ROI becomes easier, then, because of the analysis that tools like this can provide. From sentiments to heat maps, these visual representations of the metrics set out in your marketing strategies help you to better understand the impact, and overall success.
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You may not know this, but if you look closely at the data you collect and analyse on your audience, you’ll begin to see certain patterns emerge, which can often be helpful to you. According to Forbes, one AI trend to look for in 2020 is predictive analytics, and using the trends and patterns you pick up to improve your marketing strategies.
In South Africa, January has been nicknamed “Januworry” because of how much longer the month tends to feel. But South African social media users also begin to share their humourous feelings and experiences of the month, and in 2020, South Africans are already speaking more about “Januworry” as compared to 2019.
With insight like this, generated from a social media monitoring tool like Meltwater, this can drive the decisions you make based on facts and real data. From here, a brand may want to create a campaign for the month that’s aimed at creating audience engagement with ‘Januworry’ conversations on social media. Or, your strategy may change to focusing on an email marketing campaign dedicated to informing your customers about discounts you have on products or services. Either way, you can make data-driven decisions from actionable insights gained from facts.
Total Media Exposure on Social Media for ‘Januworry’ in South Africa from 1-15 January 2020 vs 1-15 January 2019
With the trends that we will see in 2020, there’s no doubt that AI will continue to rise. And when it comes to Marketing, it’s clear to see that AI has an important role to play. From finding insights on customers and conversations, to understanding your metrics better and seeing how you can improve, try using AI to ensure that your marketing efforts in 2020 are well optimised.
Meltwater has enabled Ogilvy Mather Namibia to manage what they measure. Read the Case Study to see how else our AI-powered solution met their challenge.