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A New AI Powered Era Of Data-Driven Creative Strategy

With 400% more content each year, marketers are struggling with quality & quantity – until now…

The fundamental dynamics of marketing have changed over the last 20 years – massively. Today, marketers must create more content than ever. Brands have gone from producing ~10 unique pieces of content per year to producing 14,000 unique pieces across 19 different content types. This means every year marketers must create 400% more content than the year before. And not just any old content – it can’t be beige or boring; it has to be great.

Marketing tools were previously designed with one main focus in mind: distributing a plethora of content at scale. What this means is there is a danger that quantity precedes quality. In crowded consumer markets, content for the sake of content will do little to prompt an audience to act; if anything, you’re in the spamming danger zone. This balancing act of market share in a saturated digital space is a complex conundrum – until now, that is.

"Superior content at scale is possible, thanks to Artificial Intelligence. There does not need to be a sacrifice of quality, just because there’s a demand for quantity."
Brennan White, Cortex CEO and Co-Founder

A real reflection of consumer preferences…

Artificial Intelligence is transforming the marketing space and allowing marketers to create high volumes of quality content. For starters, AI can discover consumer preferences in a way that humans cannot. For example, when St Regis Hotels partnered with AI content experts, it discovered that publishing an image with a reflection in it (a mirror or a pool, for instance), social media performance increased by a whopping 85%.

When Visit Utah deployed AI across its social media content, the travel bureau realized their content was missing the mark and driving fewer customers to action. AI data unearthed that Instagram photos containing Fir trees performed 53% better than average. On the flip side, photos of families were 30% below average. The data showed that the fewer people in their marketing photos, the better. And children? They unilaterally failed to motivate audiences to action. The biggest lesson for marketers here is: what makes something great is not always obvious, but the impacts of getting it right or wrong are huge. 

Strategic power of AI…

AI gives you the insight to discover these subtle ingredients. AI data enables you to see what your audiences *really* wants, so you create content that is engaging and more likely to convert to a sale. AI-enabled content also allows you to plan, create and deeply analyze your activity. It also opens the gate to creativity too, by freeing up time otherwise spent on laborious administrative tasks, and steering marketers away from churning out less effective content. AI captures the all-important consumer triad of ‘react, engage and purchase’. And according to AI content experts, Cortex, all this can be done at scale.

“Superior content at scale is possible, thanks to Artificial Intelligence. There does not need to be a sacrifice of quality, just because there’s a demand for quantity. That’s because AI is able to precisely craft your content – even take care of vast amounts of the legwork for you – by discovering what triggers audiences to convert. Creative decisions without AI are just politics. Without data, creative decision-making is an exercise in getting others to agree with your opinion. Not only does this result in bad decision-making, but it also doesn’t scale,” says Cortex CEO and Co-Founder, Brennan White.

So just how did Visit Utah and St. Regis mine the power of AI for their social media content? They did it by using ‘Creative Strategy Reports.’ This AI-led marketing service, offered by companies like Cortex, gives marketers data-driven creative insights into their strategy, competitors, audience and content –  ultimately leading to objective decision-making.

“Given the state of AI today, there’s no excuse to not have data driving every step of your content operations,” says White. “Every decision from high-level strategy development to individual elements of every piece of content needs to be underpinned by data. The result is a compounding effect that gives marketers an exponential increase in performance.” 

Building an actionable plan

How does this software work? By sourcing every piece of marketing content posted across all social channels, from more than 35,000 brands, the AI “brain” holds a baseline repository of content. Software analyses the material – photos, videos, and text – to understand what worked and what didn’t, including objects, colours, aspect ratios, shot angles, keywords, hashtags, times of posting, channels, performance data and many, many more considerations. By analyzing how these elements impact performance, the software turns the findings into an actionable plan. 

Social media is a great place to start incorporating AI into your marketing strategy, because of the sheer volume of content that is generated and shared daily. AI can automate many of the editorial decisions around social media content, freeing marketers to concentrate more on creativity, and less on mundane production-related tasks. AI can even be trained to do what you want it to. For example, if there is a specific promotion you want to run, it will train itself to that particular algorithm.

“When companies integrate AI into their creative process, they drastically improve their output and ability to execute and can scale that process to meet any demand. These companies are quickly becoming the fiercest competitors in their space,” according to White.

Quality AND quantity

Marketers who embrace AI and machine learning tools have a massive competitive advantage over those who don’t. AI gives them a way of working smarter, while simultaneously allowing them more time to be creative. It empowers marketers to make strategic decisions that are based on actionable data, rather than biased opinions. With a data-driven understanding of their audiences – both in their everyday lives and within that specific industry – businesses will know more about what motivates potential customers than ever. With concerns about quantity over quality in the past, the future of marketing is smart, highly creative and more consumer-focused than ever.