The majority of advertisers understand that keyword research for search campaigns, analysis of web logs, and use of social media monitoring products is a great way to infuse content that will reflect the terminology and articulation of consumer wants and needs – essentially the voice of the customer. When done correctly, the process leads to better ranking on relevant keywords from a search perspective, and more generally, marketing creative that connects directly to consumers on other media – TV, print, display – everything.
The trick is how to do this at scale. Harvesting the voice of the customer is a huge challenge for a large advertiser – with many websites, in many countries, in many languages, and across multiple devices – mobile, tablet, and desktop.
Smarter Marketing is the leveraging of this same voice of the customer information to automatically infuse content into web pages using sophisticated analytics and natural language processing concepts. The technology exists – what is missing is the application of it to drive these processes globally for large advertisers.
Smarter Marketing is a way of making individual pages on a website, individual creative used to promote goods and services, and individual campaigns “smarter” through the use of real time data on consumer behavior patterns and analytics to determine which of those patterns to actually apply to content and media planning. Smarter Marketing will impact web marketing in three key ways:
1. Smarter Web Pages
Retailers face a tricky problem – shared by travel companies, global advertisers, etailers, consumer electronics companies – that humans realistically can only optimize a handful of pages. The concept of using the search query to auto-optimize allows them to provide some “other than manual” or logic-based process to optimize the long tail.
By doing nothing more than upgrading title tags on pages, you can improve overall SEO performance by 10 percent over a six-month time period. By making the pages smarter, you allow them to dynamically optimize themselves based on how their audience finds them. This can be done in any language, on any page.
In the future, by augmenting this process to include mining of not just search query data, but also social media data, pages will be able to optimize themselves for SEO. They will be inherently aware of their natural audience.
Note that this is different from “dynamic content generation” like that used by organizations recently thrown into the Google doghouse for auto-generating irrelevant content. No, this is about aligning the voice of the customer with the content in very precise ways, improving its ability to be found.
What other way is there to ultimately build globally scalable SEO programs that touch every page and align all content? Pages must become smarter, and they must use real time data mining automation to do so.
2. Smarter Creative
Another area where voice of the customer drives scalability is in creative development. How many companies use social media data specifically to understand the effectiveness of their creative – not just web creative, but the overall creative concepts?
An interesting application of the concepts comes from the Hollywood studios. Promoting a film relies heavily on creative – the trailer played in theaters, on websites, on YouTube. This is critical in driving buzz around the film. For the studios, leveraging social media data is key in understanding the effectiveness of their creative in attracting the appropriate sized audience and the key demographics.
Here's an example. Last summer, one of the studio’s launched a film marketed as a standard espionage film starring an A-list actress. Several video trailers were launched through the web, and a constant theme kept coming through, as measured through Twitter, cinemphile blogs, and market commentary – the A-list actress was generating the buzz, not the film. So, over the period of weeks leading into the theatrical release, the creative was recast to emphasize the actress more and more, until finally the film was remarketed as the A-list actress starring in an espionage film.
Done on a global basis, this methodology of leveraging social media data to evaluate the creative messaging concepts is an absolute must for driving smarter marketing through smarter creative.
3. Smarter Media Planning
The last area where the voice of the customer must be used is in the evaluation of the effectiveness of global media campaigns and campaign planning. Big advertisers are trying to build a global network to acquire as much data centrally, as quickly as possible, to evaluate the effectiveness of media plans in reaching the appropriate target markets.
The voice of the customer is evaluated based on advertising response rate – specifically in digital. This too is a form of smarter marketing – using data, analytics, and alerting to identify everything from consumer responses to media channel (display ads vs. search ads, improvements or degradations in competitors search rankings, changes in consumer brand mentions or sentiment through social media). This is becoming a must in the instrumentation of global media campaigns.
The Question for Advertisers
How can advertisers create a unifying theme around their marketing efforts – specifically around how to make them more scalable, how to make them more responsive to the wealth of information that is available to marketers, and also not become bogged down in “data” that lacks insight?
Smarter Marketing is a powerful way to organize investment into improvements into advertising and media programs. The goals are to make all aspects of media programs trackable, measurable, and globally actionable, while unleashing the voice of the customer in a way that it is measurable directly, consistently, and constantly, and have it auto-infuse the web pages, the creative, and the media plans.