Consumer interactions with companies are constantly changing due to greater uses of technology. To keep up with changes, understanding a consumer requires current analytical methods that hone in on data points to reveal the behavior and interactions with a company’s product.
Marketing research is undoubtedly the foundation of any company’s business plan, discovering insights about consumers and generating prospective sales. As data collection and analysis technology advances in the revival era of artificial intelligence, company marketing methods need to be revised as well to effectively adopt the new digital resources. The greater and more widespread amounts of data available at companies’ disposal opens new opportunities, and challenges, for marketers to learn about their consumers and produce leads.
A new focus on marketing research sets up businesses in the direction to conduct more efficient, in-depth research to better cater to their consumers, find new market opportunities, reduce risk in investments, stay ahead of competition, maintain brand identity and make up-to-date, strategic marketing decisions.
The next level of marketing research is marketing intelligence. Marketing intelligence is defined as the management of digital consumer data, from collection to analysis, to construct a comprehensive outlook on the consumer, in order to deduce conclusions for marketing decisions. Throughout the history of marketing, research and analysis has been crucial in finding and seizing opportunities in business markets. Market research in the 1900’s was limited in time and scale to the in-person, qualitative questionnaire.
Today, marketing research has evolved with a digitally-focused consumer base and additionally, new technological tools for data management. The greater divide technology previously created on consumers’ social interactions and commercial habits is now narrowing with the ability to track online activity precisely through the development of even smarter technology, artificial intelligence.
Artificial intelligence is providing more detailed navigation for marketers to follow the digital path of their consumers. Data collection and analysis methods that were previously inefficient and broad can now be simplified and specified with big data and machine learning.
Big data, the umbrella term for the increasing scatter of data in the digital landscape, allows marketers to hone in on consumer data points to the unique individual by enabling web mining, search data and transaction tracking. Machine learning is a technical capability that makes a computer learn without specific programming.
These processes of AI are increasingly valuable in marketing because they allow marketers to discover actionable patterns in their research, learn more about specifications in the market and automate advertising to engage with the consumer. Marketers can further form an outlook on market segmentation, product augmentation and differentiation among competitors in the market.
As technology gets closer to consumers and more information becomes available about their interactions and buying habits, maintenance of data management is increasingly needed to understand and keep up with the changing individual consumer behaviors and social trends.
Data is only as useful as the marketer’s input in finding out how to frame their analysis towards their objective. The deeper look on the consumer allows marketers to personalize advertising towards a segmented market while adapting to trends in the market allows for more effective widespread marketing campaigns.
The benefits of utilizing the AI component in marketing intelligence extend with personalization. Understanding the consumer better as an individual allows marketers to produce more accurate buyer personas that in turn help to create more relevant content, offer consumers a more personal experience, track the progress of their campaigns and attribute trends and specific consumer activity to data touch points.
Although AI takes over the tedious and never-ending task of data collection and analysis, the human role of marketers is indispensable. Efficient data analysis and trends alone cannot be the complete solution in marketing. Marketing is for humans, by humans. AI will be a major asset to the future of marketing as long as marketers enforce the use of data in line with company’s goals. Human intelligence is still a key component of marketing efforts in shaping a business’ future.
Every business can set a marketing plan but it is worth investing in marketing intelligence. Businesses can create their own marketing intelligence strategies based on the needs of the company. According to Think with Google: Google Analytics Solutions, intelligent “marketers who deploy a complete marketing analytics stack of five or more tools are 39% more likely to see improvement in the overall performance of their marketing programs.” A few components to gear a company’s marketing team towards marketing intelligence are data collection, analysis and end use.
Intelligent digital data collection consists of both quantitative and qualitative data from existing and future consumers through all available sources. Marketing intelligence zooms in on data from a digital consumer that provides a complete, and a potentially new lead generating outlook on the individual’s buying behavior as well as trends. Efficiently and accurately, machine learning can use cluster models to identify groups of individuals that share similarities and provide acute focus on the consumer as well as their behavior, emotion and unique characteristics.
Data can be made useful when it is then analyzed and prepared into insights. With the use of machine learning data analytics, information pertaining to individual consumers can be deduced and translated for targeted ads and predicting behaviors and trends. Once the data is collected and analyzed, marketers can leverage the data that is relevant for reaching their objectives. For example, a marketing team aiming to guide consumers to follow a call-to-action, can closely observe how the user interacted with their page, and test iterations to improve engagement and conversion.
The “final” step of utilizing marketing intelligence is simply a transition to the next phase of a cycle - translating insights into actionable solutions for ongoing marketing strategies and for purposeful leads for future strategies. While a successful CTA may provide a lead, marketers can expand this lead to customer acquisition by using the insights from existing loyal customers’ purchasing behavior data and setting KPIs of their targeted counterparts. Formulating the strategies based on the insights through marketing intelligence will allow companies to better maintain engagement with their consumer base and take advantage of new business opportunities.
The accessibility to visual content online is further opening opportunities for marketers to better understand consumers and generate sales. Marketing intelligence strategies have proven successful by companies that have thoughtfully integrated digital resources into their marketing efforts. The surge of AI development has many companies rushing to incorporate the new technology without adapting it to their company’s goals. With clear objectives in mind, companies can use technology to their advantage rather than falling short to the hype.
At Dashmote, we look at another side of marketing intelligence, focused on visual content. With more than 1.8 billions images shared online every day, the intelligence gained from images can transform marketing efforts. Through visual market research, we can identify consumer trends for specific topics to gain initial insights leading to visual marketing intelligence. Visual marketing intelligence involves looking deeper at consumer insights and the company competition to optimize content strategies, and visual sales intelligence consists of utilizing insights to achieve a focused view of market segmentation and improve overall account intelligence.