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Arvinder Gujral

In 2018, the key to navigate customer conversations is by being live, predictive, and personalized. Businesses and brands witnessed unimaginable and disruptive moments in 2017 which led to new opportunities to understand and engage with customers.

Last year, creative minds in the industry raced to capitalize cutting-edge technology while avoiding the dangers that lay in wait. Twitter campaigns such as Coca Cola’s (@CocaColaPH) #CokeStudioPH, Cream Silk’s (@CreamSilkPH) #WearTheCrown, and Closeup’s (@CloseupPH)’s #CloseLangToCloserPa testify that brands are already adopting results-driven and innovative online business platforms to effectively tap and engage closely with their markets.

This 2018 is proving itself to be another dynamic year; marketers in Asia Pacific and the Philippines must gear up as they manage their brands.

With over 2.8 billion social media users, brands find it difficult to fully understand what is happening online. Investing heavily on social media listening may be helpful but the most effective way for brands would be to explore and become innovative in the ways they listen to and analyze their customers. Brands should capitalize on the next wave of marketing, AI and machine learning. These present new approaches to understanding real-time trends and predict future narratives. Arvinder Gujral, Managing Director, South-East Asia at Twitter identified the different trends marketers must be ready for when they manage their brands.

 1. From social listening to social prediction

The traditional social listening technique which involves the use of predefined keywords to search for topics online has a limitation; words that are not covered by the original keyword query aren’t discoverable. Predictive analysis which takes a more natural ‘bottoms-up’ approach to trend identification is the solution to this problem; this technique relies on statistical analysis of word usage and distribution.

According to Steve King, CEO, Black Swan Data (@blackswandata), social prediction is radically changing how progressive consumer-led companies are at implementing and leveraging data to shape some of their most exciting innovation projects. PepsiCo’s Global Insights team had recognized a strategic opportunity in detecting emerging trends and growth spaces faster than the competition which allows them to determine how and when to respond.

“We’ve long known there’s power in the crowd, but never before has it possible to really harness it smartly. Brands can gain invaluable insight into consumers’ needs, desires and beliefs by understanding what’s being said online. But listening is only the tip of the iceberg. The scale of data available combined with advanced data science techniques opens up the possibility of prediction,” said Tim Warner, VP, Insights & Analytics, PepsiCo.

2. Fast, efficient, and effective live videos

Creating and safeguarding a stellar customer experience plays an important role in engaging customers in real time through different channels. Twitter had witnessed the significance of videos in bringing opportunities for brands to interact with their customers and having a speedy, efficient, and effective live customer strategy is crucial for marketers to win the war on real-time engagement this 2018. Marketers must see videos as more than just attention-grabbing or awareness-raising tool; they must equip it with more interactive features to create a personalized experience.

3. The rise of context validation

Despite all the development in technology, brand safety remains to be a top priority for the digital advertising world this year. In 2017, Twitter observed three major themes that brands face in evaluating the value of their spend: viewability, fraud, and brand safety. But a new and pressing concern will emerge this year, context validation. This tells brands if the ad was delivered through content that was relevant to the audience, brand, or product message.

4. Marketing gets personal at scale

2018 is also proving to be a turning point in marketing as it gets personal at scale. Technologies enabling automation of voice, text, and media content in a personalized manner is how marketers will stride in 2018.

A simple Tweet can become memorable to a user by entering a personalized environment that replicates a mobile showroom, wherein the attendant asks them for relevant information such as preferred screen size, battery, etc. and then recommend a device that will fit their requirements.

Personalized marketing is no longer a fantasy as marketers, aided by AI and voice powered interfaces, are creating environments that allow for one-to-one marketing. Those who ventured into BOTs in 2017 will also take a step further in 2018 to reach personalized marketing.