Automation and AI will help brands have better, more human interactions with their consumers, nowhere more so than on social media, according to Hootsuite CMO Penny Wilson.
While there will be significant changes as these new tools become the norm, Wilson said marketers need to look at the opportunities AI will afford, as it takes time-sucking work off their desks.
“We’re going to get overwhelmed in data, and that’s where AI will play a big role,” she told Campaign Asia-Pacific in Singapore. “It will allow you to become more human. Everybody says chatbots and AI are the same thing, and therefore everything will become talking to a robot.
“But the key is to use AI so you get your customer to whatever they’re looking for faster, and when they can’t get there, they get to a person, who can spend more quality time with them. So AI will only heighten the value of social.”
From a pure marketing perspective, Wilson said AI will help marketers test content and the results of their ad spending more effectively. Moreover, it will help brands with one of the most important aspects of social-media strategy: listening.
Wilson said while there’s plenty to gain from engaging consumers through social media, listening, rather than talking, is often overlooked.
“I often say, having been an over three-decade marketer, marketing has gone from send mode—doing a big campaign and putting it out there—to receive mode, where listening is a really important way to establish that relationship with the individual consumer,” she said. “Listening puts your customer at the centre, and helps you create something relevant.”
For Asia-Pacific specifically, Wilson said the understanding of and appetite for comprehensive social media strategy is growing rapidly, as businesses are seeing how social media is moving into all areas of their organisations, from brand building and corporate communications to social selling.
“It’s clear that people are starving to really understand social [in APAC], how to build their strategies, and where social can take them,” she said.