AR and AI capturing advertising
An augmented and virtual reality, chatbots, voice and visual search, digital assistants, and personalization are just some of mega-developments influencing the marketing and communication management. Television and print media are on a downwards slope while Facebook and Google share oligopoly of digital ads, - how to adjust communication strategy to stand out and lead the markets? This article dives in the future of effective marketing strategy and current trends.
Direct mail is one of the most traditional communication channels in marketing that has ever existed. On the first glance, it may seem that new digital technologies take the place of traditional methods. Nevertheless, experts predict direct mail to take a new turn bringing higher returns than any other options. Digital world over floods customer attention with a relentless volume of digital messages causing usage of ad blockers or just making customers blind to the excessive amount of visual contents. As a result, the effectiveness of digital messages plummets down. The new era of direct mail is a utilization of new personalized techniques and creativity of using the data acquired from big data.
Epsilon survey reports that 60% of the respondents reported an emotional boost for receiving a personal letter. Moreover, "consumers said that they found mail to be more trustworthy than other forms of communication." It is essential that the direct mail is as personal as it's possible. And one way of ensuring it is the correct determination of target audience. A great example is a love letter from the city of Pori in Finland. After rebranding, the city has sent a handwritten love letter to people who have recently moved out to other geographies. The letter stated that Pori is in pain after the breakup and, while wishing all the best to its ex-citizen, the city would always welcome him or her back. Such a move has received a positive response from the customers and reached a high social share.
with a twist
A rosy future of direct mail is predicted by Gavin Wheeler, CEO of WDMP, Director at The Science Dept & DMA Group Board Director, in an interview for Proactive Marketing. Gavin underlines the importance of integrating new technologies with traditional methods. Namely, delivering "direct mail in a programmatic and trigger based manner, linking online behavior to offline channels and then adding digital engagement techniques... to get people online to close the loop."
What is more, Augmented reality is a gem for direct mail enabling print to come alive as a window to new reality. The New Yorker cover of May 2016 came to life when viewed through the lens of a smartphone. AR technology enabled a three-dimensional city on the one-dimensional paper. “The idea of an augmented or virtual reality is inherent in any drawing—it’s almost the definition of a drawing,” says the creator of "On the go" Christoph Niemann. “If you create a world on paper, you create a window. Usually, you just break the surface with your mind, but you always have the feeling of: What if you could step into that world or if something could come out of it?” The time for Augmented Reality is here, and it is ready to promote your product like no one else.
helping with digital reach
Artificial intelligence is mostly discussed for other reasons than advertising. Nevertheless, Google, Microsoft, and Facebook are heavily investing into AI for their ad platforms. The accurate targeting is one of the crucial parts of successful ad revenue as most of the ads are paid for clicks. Artificial intelligence is one key solution to this challenge. Microsoft’s Bing search unit reports that “even a 0.1 percent accuracy improvement in our production would yield hundreds of millions of dollars in additional earnings. Chinese e-commerce giant is to adopt deep learning for improved recommendations as well called deep interest network. As they put it, a young man may be shopping for himself and his family - this should be predicted via AI. “If machine learning can improve the efficiency of their advertising platform by showing the right ad to the right guy, then more power to them—they are creating value,” says Benjamin Edelman, a professor at Harvard Business School. “But a lot of the things that Google has done haven’t enlarged the market.”
Moreover, the digital world seems to have an oligopoly. While other media like Twitter and Snap are struggling with their ad revenue, Facebook reports 45% growth this year up to $9.3 billion and Google's Alphabet posts 21% increase in earning - resulting in $26 billion. The biggest bulk of that growth is accounted for advertising revenue. Improved algorithms have an immediate effect on market ad leaders as well as its customers.
Being able to offer customers a real human-to-human experience with minimal human capital is a dream for sales teams and definitely high expectations from the customer side. “Consumer expectations have sky-rocketed to the point that hyper personalization is no longer optional for brands, it’s imperative,” said Aseem Chandra, vice president, Adobe Experience Manager and Adobe Target. Adobe has launched its AI powered personalization engine in Adobe Target. The development allows enhancing marketing platforms with proprietary algorithms. It helps to predict customers needs not just as a group audience but personally tailored offers that would come just in time when a client would need it.
“Progressive brands are already developing proprietary algorithms. When integrated into Adobe Target, brands can combine their own expertise with the power of Adobe’s AI and machine learning tools to predict what customers want and deliver it before they ask, driving strong business value and brand loyalty,” specifies Aseem. Adobe Target personalized experience offers following essential tools like One-Click personalization that determines the desires of the customer out of his/her preferences increasing the engagement level and loyalty scores; Personalized Recommendations uses natural language processing catching words-like signals to predict the future needs of the person; Automated Offers ensures that the offer price and conditions are the best for the client at the moment; Precision Targeting utilizes behavioral analytics and audience data to inform deeper segmentation. Also, all those tools perform across various online channels making sales seamless for the customer. The recognition of Big Data existance was a first step towards Ai, and now its time it integrates in the brand communication with its clients.
While the methods and meaning of advertising remain the same for centuries, the details evolve together with technology. It is time to take AR and AI as the partners in business. AR will definitely increase engagement and response rate for both direct mail, print media and other channels. At the same time, improved algorithms and deep learning will find customers and their habits to reach them in the most efficient way.