Since the arrival of the internet age and social media, marketing as we know it has changed. Long gone are the days of broadsheets, TV commercials, and magazine ads. Marketing is not about advertising agencies drilling new ideas and trends into the consumers’ minds anymore. So long, Mad Men!
Nowadays, brands must keep up with their audience.
And, in a twist of fate, the audience now dictates what brands must do. Today’s consumer is more than just aware of the trends and of what they want. They know it, they live it, they create it; and they will only communicate with brands who live by the same set of rules (or non-rules) and ideologies that they do.
Let’s just take a glance at the fashion industry.
Streetwear labels like Vetements and the Anti-Social Social Club are creating a community of like-minded individuals who take normcore to the next level.
As much as the big brands and designers are a mainstay, these newly launched “anti-fashion” labels are making more and more of a statement because of the story they portray. They are hip, they know who they are, and they know who their audience is. These labels were created out of a need, out of what the people want.
What these brands have in common is an excellent grasp of social listening. In the image-driven social sphere that we are accustomed to, marketers often shift their focus on what message they must put out.
These include the images, videos, and related influencers that suit the campaigns. And then they evaluate which ones gain the most impressions out of what they implement. They look at the tags and the hashtags. What they normally miss, however, are the consumers that don’t really put in any of these related tags.
Social listening is often overlooked by marketers, mainly because despite the advancements in social media marketing tools, it’s still fairly difficult to measure customer inputs in a comprehensive way.
The rise of artificial intelligence and image recognition technology is changing the game.
These tools can detect images even without an explicit mention of the brand. Instead of manually scouring through thousands of photos manually, these tools can do the job for marketers– in an exponentially more effective way.
An example of this could be using image recognition to capture photos containing the brand’s logo. Say, one brand sponsored an event, and they want to see how effective it is. Typically, social media monitoring means looking through everyone who used the brand’s hashtags and tags, or even mentioned the brand name.
The future of social media marketing, then, lies in these artificial intelligence and image recognition tools.
What these new tools can help companies with is finding everyone who engaged with their brand – even those who didn’t mention any brand names.
They can be holding a cup or wearing a shirt with the brand logo, or even just posing in front of the booth tarpaulin. The options are limitless.
These tools can help dictate what exactly the consumer wants.
Which festivals does the target audience go to? What are their living and spending habits? How do they spend their time? With these tools, a brand’s consumer psyche can be more holistic. In turn, marketing budgets will be maximized, and campaigns will increase in effectivity.