People are talking. Technology is listening.

Derek Franks

We live in an increasingly tech-centric world. We spend an average of five hours online every day.  Two out of every five of us (that’s 3 billion people) log in to a social network at least once per day. And 211 million pieces of content are created online every minute.

With so much activity happening in all corners of the web, it’s imperative for brands to capitalize on the intelligent tools and resources that are now available.

Brands are faced with the ultimatum: embrace emerging technology or be left behind. However, technology alone won’t solve business growth issues. That’s because the problem brands face is a people problem.

Thankfully, the right mixture of technology and authenticity can achieve the elusive growth companies seek. Let’s take a look at the current state of the digital landscape, the technological capabilities, and why it’s so important to gain a true understanding of online audiences. 

The evolution of the social world and how brands grow

Today’s content creators aren’t just brands, publishers, and online stores. They’re people, like you and me.

And one of the key changes that’s happened during the “digital revolution 2.0” of the last few years is that the quality and value of a piece of content—a blog post, a tweet, a review—has risen dramatically. And it will keep going up.

This has created an interesting challenge for those of us in the marketing and advertising space: How do we stand out? How do we reach the people we need to reach for successful business? How do we get discovered in this infinite sea of people interacting online?

The answers lie in a key practice that all brands will need to implement if they strive to achieve business growth in our increasingly social world: listening.

Why listening and understanding people is so important

There’s a missing element that marketers and advertisers aren’t thinking about when it comes to technology: the human element. Achieving true brand and business growth in our ever-evolving digital world will come down to better understanding people. This requires business leaders to adopt a culture that is based on listening to the communities they aspire to reach.

Ryan Holmes, CEO of social publishing tool Hootsuite, made the important point in a recent op-ed that the future of online content and brand engagement is authenticity. Right now is the moment in which brands must decide to establish ongoing and more personal relationships with their customers and fans.

While marketing has always aimed to speak to audiences, the tides are now changing. The Best Global Brands do more listening than talking.

What people have to say about you, themselves, their needs, your industry, and your competitors, offers a deeper look at the customers and brand loyalists we’re looking for. This information provides a qualitative case study into how brands can nurture the necessary relationships with the right people.

Businesses need to utilize this information in more imaginative ways if they intend on growing their customer bases.

How technology can help uncover the human element

Technology is taking over the marketing and advertising space. Just look at the eruption of interest in Artificial Intelligence in the industry. Marketers appear committed to taking the challenges of an increasingly social world head on by turning to technology to find solutions that humans have struggled to find on their own.

But the technological abilities are still well ahead of the rate of adoption.

What people are frequently missing out on is the human element that technology brings to the table. Brands need to find ways to make more human connections with their customers.

Technological advances give marketers and advertisers newfound access to the data needed for such connections. Infegy utilizes machine learning to search through the endless reaches of the internet and process unstructured language and text, helping brands discover insights about people: their thoughts, feelings, and emotions;who they are; what they do; and how they live.

Infegy_People are talking. Technology is listening.

This kind of information is crucial to understanding the human element. When implemented across teams and used as part of a focused marketing strategy, this technology, and other platforms, can help brands achieve growth. The more high-quality connections that are built, the more viability brands have in their competitive marketplace. It’s that simple.

The Best Global Brands think and act human

In 2017 and beyond, achieving brand growth will be impossible without the right combination of technology and authentic human connection.

The teams that rely completely on brainpower and guesswork and don’t invest in technological resources and data will be left behind. By the same token, the brands that lean too heavily on automation and fail to make real connections with people will be overlooked.

 

Nearly two-thirds (63%) of consumers said they are highly annoyed with brands’ continued practice of repeating generic advertising messages

Marketing Daily 2015 – Survey of 2,200 global consumers

The data on online behavior is clear: people want authentic, personal connections. The best way to do this is to get to know your audiences and customers as best as you can, then use technology to help you reach and connect with them. social listening technology enables brands to get a deeper understanding of their audiences and the people who talk about and interact with them. The data and analysis made available by these tech advances allows us to be closer to audiences than ever before.

It’s truly fascinating that something that sounds like a bunch of “0”s and “1”s can help us think in more human terms, but that’s where we are. In this social, digital, artificial intelligence, and virtual reality world, it’s the brands that are the most human that will ultimately make it to the top.

The Methodology

Infegy is an intelligent social listening platform that helps brands and agencies discover key insights about their customers, online audiences, competitors, and influencers. Its premium search and discovery capabilities help marketers, strategists, analysts, social media, and advertising professionals conduct deep, intuitive research of online audiences. With the powerful natural language processing technology at your fingertips, you have a flexible, easy-to-use tool that delivers fast, real-time data. These insights can help inform strategies, measure performance of online and offline campaigns, gauge reaction to product launches and events, conduct customer persona and audience segment research, closely monitor your industry and competitors, and more. Check out Infegy here to get a free, personalized demo and find more useful content.

Content Manager & Strategist