WARC recently published this article by Head of R&I, Paul Greenwood, looking at why the ongoing development of artificial intelligence is providing brands with more opportunities to connect with consumers on an emotional level. They’ve been kind enough to let us reproduce it below.
With all the talk in recent years of big data, machine-led marketing, and algorithm-driven platforms, you could be forgiven for thinking that emotion is slowly being drained out of marketing. So it may come as a surprise to find that the ongoing development of artificial intelligence is providing brands with more opportunities to connect with consumers on an emotional level.
But with AI-led possibilities comes pitfalls and ethical grey areas in which brands will need to navigate if they want to stay relevant amongst an audience which increasingly expects a personalized experience.
Knowing your audience, better than they know themselves
For years, marketers and brands have been looking at the latest digital technology to better track and understand the emotional responses of their audience through analysis of social sentiment. However, as brands look for smarter ways to combine these analytics with technology to create opportunities for hyper-personalized content, the resulting delivery can often remain relatively blunt. While brands may be able to understand the context behind what a user is posting at the moment, they are unable to understand the emotional state of the person at the time – and so still can’t properly meet each consumer’s specific needs.
AI is now making it possible is for brands to feed off emotional data to create even deeper connections with consumers. Used correctly, it can assist in decision-making, determine a person’s mood and even replicate human emotion. Companies like Affectiva and Realeyes are already using AI to monitor micro-expressions to discover what people really feel when watching adverts, opening up a wealth of untapped opportunities for marketers. Walmart has even incorporated this technology into stores to identify customers who are frustrated, so they can alert staff to assist them. We’re just seeing the beginning of what this disruptive technology can do and how brands can understand their audiences further based on this emotional analytics.