The use of data has always played a role in helping to map out new digital marketing campaigns. What has changed now, however, is the increasing robustness of the tools and technologies used to analyze that data. For example, the new buzzwords now are artificial intelligence, machine learning and deep learning. The growing belief amongst digital marketers is that, armed with these new tools, they are getting closer and closer to “cracking the secret” of how to deliver hugely successful online campaigns with maximum ROI.
The new era of hyper-personalization
One big trend within the field of digital marketing, for example, is hyper-personalization. The idea here is that no two customers or prospects should ever see exactly the same content. Prospect A arriving to your website from Facebook should see different content than long-time Customer B arriving to your website from a link within an email newsletter.
And now the ability to crunch all the data that’s out there is making that dream a reality. Theoretically, if you visit an e-commerce website based on a tweet you saw on Twitter, then you should be shown a customized page of products that perfectly reflects your tastes, preferences, behaviors and interests. Machine learning tools should be able to make inferences.
For example, say you tweeted about an upcoming birthday party last week and that you have already spent time on a particular website in the past, checking out new dresses. The AI tool can then offer up a perfect selection of birthday dresses that it has expertly calculated to match your income, demographic and geographic location.
Semantic search and sentiment analysis
Another big trend is the use of AI tools for semantic search and sentiment analysis. For example, consider the monumental task of any brand trying to sort through what people are saying about it on social media. A single human couldn’t possibly parse all that information, but a machine can. And even better, these text analysis and sentiment analysis tools are becoming so advanced they can differentiate between real sentiment and sarcasm or irony. (When you consider how much sarcasm and irony exists on social media today, you can see why that’s a powerful tool to have in the toolbox of any brand.)
Moreover, brands now have a much better idea of what people are actually searching for. As a result of integrating semantic search tools, for example, Walmart claims that it has boosted conversion rates by as much as 10-15%. The idea here is simple: if a customer has searched for something on your site, you want to be able to show relevant results immediately. Failure to do so means that a customer might soon abandon your website entirely.
Other possible use cases for Big Data
Of course, that’s really just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to data and analysis. For example, new AI tools might make it possible to come up with more sophisticated tests than just A/B testing in which just a single variable is tested. Imagine tests where multiple variables are tested at the same time.
And, of course, the Holy Grail for digital marketers is being able to predict the behavior of customers in the future with near 100 percent certainty. That would take all the guesswork out of crafting a digital marketing campaign and ensure that digital marketing resources are used as effectively as possible.