As marketers assess strategies over the next 12 months and how the media landscape will be monitored, digital transformation is here to stay. Antony delves into the risks posed by the spread of online misinformation to brands’ trust and credibility. He gives insight into why sentiment analysis is no longer effective and the value of artificial intelligence for tapping into undefined and high volumes of data to quantify human behaviour in various domains.
The global pandemic has not only been a health crisis – it has also been challenging societally and economically too. Brands have had to navigate the expectations of the ‘new normal’ by relying on and shifting to digital technology. This has highlighted many brands are lacking the necessary technology to ensure a seamless and easy switch for customers.
As we emerge from the pandemic, brands face new challenges. With new platforms constantly emerging, poorly researched and verified user-generated content is circulating faster than ever before. Not only are human analysts struggling to keep abreast of the number of mentions and opinions, but also its rising power and influence.
The risk of exposure to bias, misinformation, and potentially harmful content will continue if brands don’t reclaim control of their narratives. Trust and credibility are at risk, and strategies must shift in a future where brand safety is paramount.
Brands are representing people
Being active online has become part of everyday life for most people. . According to a 2020 study, global online content consumption doubled that year, a surge attributable to lockdowns. Not only that, but reliance on platforms as information sources has grown with Data Reportal revealing 7 in 10 internet users go beyond search engines to find information.
More and more people trust brands to represent, inform, entertain and inspire them. Marketers are working overtime to monitor conversations and trends in their infancy, to predict how they will grow over time, before turning into potential threats or opportunities.
The volume and pace of misinformation have grown exponentially. From climate change, racism, migration to the pandemic, harmful content has become more prominent, aggressive, and difficult to control. The growth of data across multiple platforms means we need to be more specific about how technology is integrated into businesses to allow marketers to be more strategic and creative.
Media intelligence with AI
Brands have had to drastically improve their social listening to keep up with what is shaping public opinion and how. Analysing sentiment to determine feelings towards a brand or topic is no longer as effective as it once was, nor sustainable. Context has always been important, but now more than ever, it’s driving the way we measure opinions.
Consumer intelligence is evolving. Brands are responsible for investing in media monitoring to improve how they understand their target audience and identify a crisis before it breaks. New models of measuring context are emerging for marketers as technology becomes more advanced and easy to deploy.
Stance analysis can account for the nuances in a language like geographic, political, and cultural influences. This media monitoring model can triage and characterise context by using artificial intelligence to track algorithms and natural language to make sense of content. Brands can now identify and predict intent, something not easily possible with traditional media monitoring.
There are many ways to express the same idea. Different people might be saying the same thing in many ways using figurative language. Brands can harness the capabilities of stance analysis models to tap into undefined and high volumes of data to quantify human behaviour in various domains.
The future of brand safety
COVID-19 and the digital transformation brands had to under-go overnight highlighted changes needed with we monitor media online. Social media and other content platforms show no sign of relenting, and to scale efforts to keep up with the amount of data churned by the minute, brands need technology to keep up with narratives.
Stance analysis presents brands with an exciting opportunity to follow narratives and trends to see how they develop. Marketers can get deeper insights into the conversations happening around their business and predict customer opinion and intent before narratives go viral.
Artificial intelligence and natural language processing are getting smarter, and it’s time for marketers to do the same.