Category: Marketing

Mitigating the risks of generative AI by putting a human in the loop

By Auther TGT,

Mitigating the risks of generative AI by putting a human in the loop

Making sure generative AI doesn’t go “evil” on you requires putting a human in the loop. But there are going to be a lot of loops.

“There is no sustainable use case for evil AI.”

That was how Dr. Rob Walker, an accredited artificial intelligence expert and Pega’s VP of decisioning and analytics, summarized a roundtable discussion of rogue AI at the PegaWorld iNspire conference last week.

He had explained the difference between opaque and transparent algorithms. At one end of the AI spectrum, opaque algorithms work at high speed and high levels of accuracy. The problem is, we actually can’t explain how they do what they do. That’s enough to make them more or less useless for tasks that require accountability — making decisions on mortgage or loan applications, for example.

Transparent algorithms, on the other hand, have the virtue of explicability. They’re just less reliable. It’s like a choice, he said, between having a course of medical treatment prescribed by a doctor who can explain it to you, or a machine that can’t explain it but is more likely to be right. It is a choice — and not an easy one.

But at the end of the day, handing all decisions over to the most powerful AI tools, with the risk of them going rogue, is not, indeed, sustainable.

At the same conference, Pega CTO Don Schuerman discussed a vision for “Autopilot,” an AI-powered solution to help create the autonomous enterprise. “My hope is that we have some variation of it in 2024. I think it’s going to take governance and control.” Indeed it will: Few of us, for example, want to board a plane that has autopilot only and no human in the loop.

The human in the loop

Keeping a human in the loop was a constant mantra at the conference, underscoring Pega’s commitment to responsible AI. As long ago as 2017, it launched the Pega “T-Switch,” allowing businesses to dial the level of transparency up and down on a sliding scale for each AI model. “For example, it’s low-risk to use an opaque deep learning model that classifies marketing images. Conversely, banks under strict regulations for fair lending practices require highly transparent AI models to demonstrate a fair distribution of loan offers,” Pega explained.

Generative AI, however, brings a whole other level of risk — not least to customer-facing functions like marketing. In particular, it really doesn’t care whether it’s telling the truth or making things up (“hallucinating”). In case it’s not clear, these risks arise with any implementation of generative AI and are not specific to any Pega solutions.

“It’s predicting what’s most probable and plausible and what we want to hear,” Pega AI Lab director Peter van der Putten explained. But that also explains the problem. “It could say something, then be extremely good at providing plausible explanations; it can also backtrack.” In other words, it can come back with a different — perhaps better — response if set the same task twice.

Just prior to PegaWorld, Pega announced 20 generative AI-powered “boosters,” including gen AI chatbots, automated workflows and content optimization. “If you look carefully at what we launched,” said Putten, “almost all of them have a human in the loop. High returns, low risk. That’s the benefit of building gen AI-driven products rather than giving people access to generic generative AI technology.”

Pega GenAI, then, provides tools to achieve specific tasks (with large language models running in the background); it’s not just an empty canvas awaiting human prompts.

For something like a gen AI-assisted chatbot, the need for a human in the loop is clear enough. “I think it will be a while before many companies are comfortable putting a large language model chatbot directly in front of their customers,” said Schuerman. “Anything that generative AI generates — I want a human to look at that before putting it in front of the customer.”

Four million interactions per day

But putting a human in the loop does raise questions about scalability.

Finbar Hage, VP of digital at Dutch banking and financial services company Rabobank, told the conference that Pega’s Customer Decision Hub processes 1.5 billion interactions per year for them, or around four million per day. The hub’s job is to generate next-best-action recommendations, creating a customer journey in real-time and on the fly. The next-best-action might be, for example, to send a personalized email — and gen AI offers the possibility of creating such emails almost instantly.

Every one of those emails, it is suggested, needs to be approved by a human before being sent. How many emails is that? How much time will marketers need to allocate to approving AI-generated content?

Perhaps more manageable is the use of Pega GenAI to create complex business documents in a wide range of languages. In his keynote, chief product officer Kerim Akgonul demonstrated the use of AI to create an intricate workflow, in Turkish, for a loan application. The template took account of global business rules as well as local regulation.

Looking at the result, Akgonul, who is himself Turkish, could see some errors. That’s why the human is needed; but there’s no question that AI-generation plus human approval seemed much faster than human generation followed by human approval could ever be.

That’s what I heard from each Pega executive I questioned about this. Yes, approval is going to take time and businesses will need to put governance in place — “prescriptive best practices,” in Schuerman’s phrase — to ensure that right level of governance is applied, dependent on the levels of risk.

For marketing, in its essentially customer-facing role, that level of governance is likely to be high. The hope and promise, however, is that AI-driven automation will still get things done better and faster.

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Stimulate Adrenaline with Cinema: Leveraging High Octane Visuals to Craft Epic and Heart Pounding Stories

By Alex Levit,

Stimulate Adrenaline with Cinema: Leveraging High Octane Visuals to Craft Epic and Heart Pounding Stories

Cinematic storytelling is all about evoking emotions and engaging viewers. And one of the most effective ways to do this is by incorporating high speed and adrenaline into your videos. Whether it’s a car chase scene or a heart-stopping sports moment, adding an element of danger or excitement can take your video content to the next level.

High speed shots can be used to create tension and suspense, as well as add a sense of urgency to your story. For example, if you’re shooting a car chase scene, using high speed shots can help build up the tension and keep viewers on the edge of their seats. Similarly, if you’re filming a sports event, using high speed shots can make the action feel more intense and exciting. In addition to creating tension and suspense, high speed shots can also be used to convey emotion. For example, if you’re shooting a romantic scene between two characters, using slow motion shots can help emphasize the emotion between them. On the other hand, if you’re shooting an action sequence, using fast paced shots can help convey excitement and energy.

Adrenaline is another important element when it comes to cinematic storytelling. Adrenaline-filled scenes are often some of the most memorable moments in films; they are thrilling, exciting and full of energy. By incorporating adrenaline into your videos, you can create moments that will leave viewers feeling exhilarated and wanting more.

The Science behind Adrenaline

Incorporating adrenaline-inducing moments into your videos can trigger a powerful emotional response in your viewers. When we experience danger or excitement, our body releases adrenaline, a hormone that prepares us for fight or flight. This hormone is responsible for increasing our heart rate, blood pressure, and respiration rate, putting our body into a heightened state of awareness. By incorporating these elements in your videos, you can create a stronger emotional connection with your audience.

One of the main benefits of incorporating high speed and adrenaline into your videos is the ability to enhance storytelling. By creating moments of tension and excitement, you can heighten the drama of your story and keep viewers engaged. For example, a car chase scene can add a sense of danger and urgency to a crime thriller, or a slow-motion sports moment can emphasize the skill and precision of an athlete. These moments not only make your content more visually stimulating, but they also help to move the story forward and create a powerful impact on the audience.

Here are some great examples of companies that enhanced their videos through adrenaline:

Red Bull: Red Bull has become synonymous with adrenaline-pumping content, featuring extreme sports and high-energy events in their videos. From wingsuit flying and base jumping to BMX racing and cliff diving, Red Bull‘s videos captivate viewers and showcase the brand’s association with pushing boundaries and living life to the fullest.

Mercedes-Benz: Luxury car manufacturer Mercedes-Benz often uses high-speed driving and impressive stunts in their promotional videos. These thrilling visuals help create a sense of excitement and luxury around their vehicles, appealing to consumers who crave both performance and style.

BMW: BMW is another car company that incorporates adrenaline-fueled action into their marketing campaigns. By showcasing their vehicles in high-speed races, drifting, and other exhilarating scenarios, BMW creates a strong connection between their brand and the thrill of driving.

GoPro: GoPro, the action camera company, has built its reputation on capturing adrenaline-packed moments. Their marketing videos often feature extreme sports, daring stunts, and breathtaking landscapes, all filmed using their cameras. This approach not only demonstrates the capabilities of their products but also appeals to the adventurous spirit of their target audience.

Nike: Athletic apparel giant Nike frequently uses adrenaline in their advertising campaigns, showcasing athletes pushing their limits and achieving greatness. From high-intensity training sessions to heart-pounding sports events, Nike‘s videos inspire viewers to strive for their personal best.

Incorporating high speed and adrenaline into your videos can be a powerful tool for brands to create emotional, impactful, and engaging content. However, it’s important to remember that it’s not just about adding excitement for the sake of it – it needs to fit your brand and story. When used effectively, high-speed moments can make your audience feel something, and that emotional connection can be a powerful way to build brand loyalty and generate interest in your products or services.

In conclusion, high speed and adrenaline can take your cinematic storytelling video content to the next level. By understanding the science behind adrenaline and its effects on the audience, brands and marketers can create powerful and engaging video content that resonates with their audience. However, it’s important to use these elements effectively and not just for shock value. With creativity and a clear understanding of your brand and audience, incorporating high-speed and adrenaline-fueled moments can be a powerful way to create professional and effective video content. So, with that in mind, what adrenaline-inducing moments will you incorporate into your next video?

How Adobe is adding new generative AI tools for enterprise clients and everyday users

By Auther TGT,

How Adobe is adding new generative AI tools for enterprise clients and everyday users

Months after debuting its generative AI engine Firefly, Adobe — with updates announced yesterday — hopes to drive more adoption across a range of users, from marketers to everyday enthusiasts.

In addition to AI-created images and videos, Adobe will also begin letting companies generate text for social media, marketing campaigns and other materials such as flyers and logos. Some features will be available through a new subscription-based platform called Adobe Firefly for Enterprise and a free beta version of Adobe Express, which is currently a desktop platform ahead of a mobile version “coming soon.”

The updates, announced during Adobe Summit EMEA, come as the generative AI space gains more momentum, with tech giants and startups alike racing to add new features that are being tested and adopted by large and small brands alike. So far, “hundreds” of brands and agencies — including IBM, Mattel and Dentsu — are generating content with Firefly, according to Adobe, which said it has already generated more than 200 million images for beta users since March. Adobe has also added a way for users to custom-train Firefly with their branded assets to generate content based on a company’s brand guidelines and existing creative materials.

“This brand guideline issue has been an issue for decades with creative teams,” said Ian Wang, head of Adobe Express Product. “What we’re trying to unlock is having Express [be] a platform that is more accessible to others, connected with our creative ecosystem that’s actually defining those brand kids. But having them connected is what unlocks velocity, so that’s really what we’re investing in because that’s what our customers are asking for — that it’s connected.”

The efforts come as more companies look to increase their AI investments on a number of fronts ranging from building tools internally to outsourcing. According to a new survey by G2, software buyers plan to increase AI spending by 60% in 2024, while 81% of software buyers think it’s important for the software they purchase to have AI.

Although many companies have experimented with AI-generated content over the past few months, plenty of others have been hesitant because of ongoing copyright issues and other risks that plague some generative AI platforms. As a way of assuring wary customers that Adobe’s own AI models are only trained with appropriately licensed content, Adobe is even offering IP indemnity to enterprise clients if they’re hit with copyright lawsuits related to content made with Adobe Firefly.

“We need to invest in models that really respect those things,” Wang said. “We also have a responsibility as a leader in the space to really think about furthering the thought leadership around provenance and tracking what is synthesized versus what is not.”

Adobe’s just one of many companies that are building out new generative AI capabilities. Along with Microsoft, Google and OpenAI, others include Canva — which recently added a range of new tools to its own platform — and Shutterstock as well as startups like Jasper, Writer and Bria.

According to Gartner analyst Andrew Frank, interest in generative AI has “redlined” along with both curiosity and concerns. He said the challenge for Adobe will be how to set standards for generative content while also both competing and collaborating with other tech companies.

“It’s important to create commercially sound enterprise tools for content and to respect things like intellectual property ownership and content provenance,” Frank said. “I think those particular issues have been given far too little attention.”

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The Secret to Creating a Compelling Brand Story!

By Auther TGT,

The Secret to Creating a Compelling Brand Story!

In today’s crowded marketplace, it’s more important than ever to have a strong brand story. A compelling brand story can help you stand out from the competition, connect with your target audience, and build loyalty.

A brand story is a narrative that tells the story of your brand. It’s about who you are, what you do, and why you do it. A good brand story is engaging, memorable, and authentic. It should resonate with your target audience and make them feel connected to your brand.

Cinematic storytelling and 3D rendering are powerful tools that can be used to create engaging and memorable experiences. They can be used to transport viewers to another world, make them feel emotions, and inspire them to take action. In today’s digital age, cinematic storytelling and 3D rendering are more important than ever. With so much content vying for attention, it takes something truly special to stand out from the crowd.

Cinematic storytelling is a technique that uses film techniques to tell a story. This can include using camera angles, lighting, and editing to create a cinematic effect. 3D rendering is a process of creating three-dimensional images from computer models. This can be used to create realistic and immersive environments, characters, and objects.

When used together, cinematic storytelling and 3D rendering create truly immersive and engaging experience that heavily contribute to product branding process. This combination is a powerful tool for businesses and  organizations, who want to connect with their audience and share their message.

There are a few key elements to creating a compelling brand story. First, you need to identify your brand’s unique value proposition. What makes your brand different from the competition? What problem do you solve? Once you know your unique value proposition, you can start to craft your story.

Your brand story should be authentic and relatable. It should be about more than just your products or services. It should be about the people behind your brand, the values you stand for, and the difference you want to make in the world.

Finally, your brand story should be memorable. It should be told in a way that engages your audience and leaves a lasting impression.

Here are a few tips for creating a compelling brand story:

  • Start with your target audience in mind. Who are you trying to reach with your brand story? What do they care about? What will resonate with them?
  • Be authentic. Don’t try to be something you’re not. Be honest and transparent about who you are and what you stand for.
  • Be relatable. Share stories that your target audience can relate to. Make them feel like they’re not alone.
  • Be memorable. Use strong visuals, vivid language, and memorable characters to make your brand story stand out.

Remember, creating a compelling brand story is all about combining different tools and techniques that cinematic storytelling and 3D rendering are just two of them. By utilizing different techniques and immersive technologies, you can transport your audience to another world and evoke powerful emotions that resonate with them. These tools are more crucial than ever in the digital age, where standing out from the crowd is a challenge.

To create a lasting impression, keep your target audience in mind throughout the storytelling process. Always start with understanding what they care about and what will resonate with them deeply. Be transparent and genuine, as authenticity is key to building trust and loyalty. Relatability is crucial too, as you want your audience to feel connected and understood.

Lastly, leverage meaningful visuals, simple language, and memorable signs to make your the story of your unforgettable. Address senses and emotions of your audience, and make sure to always leave theme with a taste for more.

In today’s crowded marketplace, a compelling brand story can be the difference between success and obscurity. Your brand story has the power to make a lasting impact – use it wisely.

Why video is the marketing channel you can’t afford to miss?

By Auther TGT,

Why video is the marketing channel you can’t afford to miss?

It’s been 96 years since the television was invented and we’ve entered a new chapter in video content and consumption. You’re more than likely consuming a ton of video content every day, whether you realize it or not. 

It’s amazing to think about the fact that Netflix users watch 203.8 million hours of streamed content each day. Meanwhile, the typical TikTok user spends 95 minutes daily scrolling through a feed of algorithmically suggested videos they didn’t choose to view.

Undoubtedly, video is the most rapidly expanding and potent marketing medium globally. Every marketer must incorporate this channel into their strategy.

Making videos used to be a complicated and expensive process. But thanks to technology improvements, it’s become easier and faster. That’s why there’s no excuse for marketers not to create and share video content.

Consider this your wake-up call. Embrace video as a primary marketing avenue. Those who won’t are about to be left behind due to the convergence of several major events happening simultaneously.

The tailwinds of video

The consistent surge in video content’s popularity is expected to grow exponentially in the near future. There are a few key reasons for this, including:

5G availability

High-speed 5G mobile networks have become readily available in the United States and are quickly expanding to other countries. As a result, the delivery and consumption of video content have become more accessible than ever.

Streaming TV

Everything is streaming nowadays and it’s a shame how many worthless DVDs we have sitting in our homes. Up to 57% of all U.S. citizens use a streaming service, with over half using Netflix.

One thing is clear — people love watching videos and doing so on demand. The access and availability of video continue to play a key part in its rapid growth.

Short-form video

TikTok‘s immense popularity may appear sudden, but it has been steadily growing for more than six years since its launch. It’s now a vital social media platform and poses a challenge to traditional search methods. 

In response, Google introduced YouTube Shorts and Meta followed suit with Instagram Reels, solidifying the significance of short-form video content.

Short-form videos offer an exciting avenue for creating easily shareable content that can lead to much higher reach with minimal effort and cost.

Artificial intelligence

There are already many tools powered by AI that can create videos in different forms. Many of them are rudimentary, unrealistic and simply unconvincing. AI will accelerate the adoption of video dramatically, but not because tools or technology will enhance or replace video — quite the opposite. 

Each of these has contributed to the increasing acceleration and adoption of video. As 5G availability spreads and AI gains a foothold, video will continue to become an absolute necessity for all marketing.

Unstoppable video marketing strategies

If you’re ready to embrace video for your marketing fully, here are three proven strategies to stand out, build a brand and capture an audience.

Start long and go short

YouTube is the number one platform and channel for video marketing. If you’re serious about investing in video for the long term, it’s hard to beat building a YouTube channel. After all, YouTube is one of the largest search engines in the world and many consumers use it to find valuable and interesting content.

The most successful YouTube videos are long-form, often at least 10 minutes long. This gives you plenty of time to create a connection, tell a story and provide lots of entertainment, education and value to the viewer.

But it doesn’t stop there. The smartest marketers will take their long-form video and distribute it everywhere, including slicing it up into short clips that can act as an appetizer to help people discover the full video.

2. The lean video method

If you’re unsure about producing video content, the easiest way to get started is to create a bunch of super short videos — less than one minute in length. Map out a few core topic pillars and then brainstorm different types of videos you could create.

Here are a few quick ideas you can get started with:

  • Behind the scenes
  • How to / Instructional
  • Did you know? / Statistics or facts
  • Common problems
  • Myths
  • Benefits
  • Industry information

You could probably think of 10 video ideas in 30 seconds just from skimming this list. Write them down, turn on the camera and record the videos.

This is the simplest and leanest way to get started with video. By avoiding overthinking it, you can put videos into the world and get reactions, engagement and feedback. You and your team will become more comfortable and familiar with the process.

3. Produce a show

Creating your own show can be a highly effective strategy. Many successful YouTubers have developed a devoted following by consistently appearing and discussing topics their audience cares about.

The essential components of any show are a host (or cast), a schedule and a specific focus. There are various ways to construct your show, but it’s crucial to experiment with different formats and engagement techniques to find out which resonates best with your audience.

Don’t let the term “produce” trick you into believing you need an expensive set, high-end equipment or polished post-production. All you need is commitment and consistency to produce something interesting for your audience to tune in to regularly.

Turn on the camera

If you’re not creating videos, start. Turn on the camera and start filming. Something. Anything!

The opportunity available to marketers in video is unrivaled and it’s crazy that every marketing team isn’t going all-in on producing and publishing video regularly.

You can start by posting videos on any social platform: Meta, Instagram, TikTok, YouTube or LinkedIn. Most of these platforms have some way to do live streaming, which is an even easier way to start pushing out video content to your audience.

Plus, you don’t need a strategy to start with video. The more videos you create, the more your brand will find its voice, build your audience and understand how to create connections and engagement.

Marketers who understand the power of video marketing will have a lot of power and be in high demand in the near future. Brands that go all-in on video will benefit from outsized awareness, reach and influence. Making videos might seem daunting or difficult, but it doesn’t have to be. Just turn on the camera and get started.

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Short-form video boom fuels brands’ embrace of longer-form content

By Auther TGT,

Short-form video boom fuels brands’ embrace of longer-form content

Apparently, size doesn’t matter, but some advertisers are totally obsessed with going big when it comes to video. As short-form video took the digital world by storm, brands couldn’t resist jumping on the bandwagon of longer-form content and branded entertainment. It’s no surprise, really, considering everyone wants a piece of the attention pie in this fast-paced, ever-distracted online landscape. 

Women’s fashion retailer PrettyLittleThing is one of them. To appear more meaningful and connected, PrettyLittleThing’s marketers hired production agency Wall of Productions to give their YouTube channel a total makeover. It used to be a mishmash of product-focused fashion and styling videos, whereas now it’s more lifestyle content.

It’s still early days for PrettyLittleThing’s strategy, around 18 months or so. But there are some hints of what’s to come. For example, the retailer’s dating show, called Love Lessons, hosted by influencer Nella Rose has blown up on social media, with clips racking up millions (9.9 million in total) of views on TikTok.

Oh, and there’s also a show called “The Pink Courtroom,” hosted by Rose and fellow PrettyLittleThing ambassador Indiyah Polack. It’s like a “Judge Judy” style concept, and they’ve aired four episodes since May, each around 15 minutes. Collectively, those episodes have racked up over 1.4 million views on YouTube.

“This type of content is moving from being supplementary on the channel to taking it over and in turn that’s growing the reach of the channel,” said Beckie Turnbull, head of social at PrettyLittleThing.

The success of this approach is partly attributed to the inclusion of Black influencers as the faces of these shows. In the past, PrettyLittleThing would typically rely on white influencers and celebrities to represent the brand. However, by incorporating Black voices, the brand is able to connect with a broader audience and resonate with a wider range of people.

“When creators share long-form content, it allows their audience to get to know them better, understand why they should care and listen to what they have to say,” said Temima Shames, CEO talent management company Next Stop Talent. “Short-form content is crucial to grab the attention, and long-form content makes someone truly believe.”

PrettyLittleThing noticed it had to make a change once it saw that the style and fashion videos it had been producing weren’t getting the type of engagement they wanted. Now, at least in part, Turnbull hopes more content means more eyeballs.

“When it comes to the success of our content on YouTube, I look at our viewers, not subscribers,” said Turnbull. “The value of subscribers isn’t as high as what it used to be a lot of our content because people don’t subscribe to everything they watch on YouTube. And even when they do it doesn’t mean they’re going to watch everything we post. It’s why we focus on returning viewers.”

In a way, these perspectives reflect the ripple effect of the short-form video phenomenon. As more people engage with these videos, creators and brands have a greater opportunity to generate interest in longer content. So, it’s not a simple win-lose situation with short-form videos taking over. Nowadays it’s all about building a para-social relationship with an audience.

“When creators share long-form content, it allows their audience to get to know them, better–understand why they should care and listen to what they have to say,” said Temima Shames, CEO talent management company Next Stop Talent. “Short form content is crucial to grab the attention, and long-form content makes someone truly believe.”

Bose subscribes to the same logic. 

“We’re creating a lot more long-form content these days,” said Bose’s CMO Jim Mollica. 

Some of those videos are part of a limited series like “5×5,” which focuses on how people can use radio communication in safer ways as a way to promote the Bose Aviation range of products. Then there are those films that focus more on artists like 21 Savage giving viewers an insight into their creative process and how the quality of sound they get from Bose products helps with that. Some of these videos are five minutes long, others are 25 minutes long.

“There’s no magic time limit to what makes good content,” said Mollica. “Our videos are as long as they need to be. And they also have to fit our editorial voice, which is very much about the love and passion of music or sound.”

‘Destination viewing’

With the short-form video boom, some brands suddenly realized that simply slapping their logo on a 15-second clip wasn’t cutting it anymore. They saw the need to stretch out their narratives and dive deeper into storytelling to capture those precious minutes of viewers’ fleeting attention. 

“The idea of what you can do with longer-form content is so much more compelling [than short-form],” said Dustin Hinz, CMO at Firestone Walker Brewing Company. “Sure, you can make a nice snappy 15-second or 30-second spot that makes you feel something. But when we think about really trying to tell incredible stories, that’s more destination viewing.”

Chatter like this tends to put corporate bean counters on edge. To them, longer-form content is a frivolous distraction, a vanity project that distracts from the real business drivers. Hinz overcame this issue by designing a model to show his CFO why it made corporate sense to let him create films instead of just ads. 

“The model we developed a while back was predicated on a cost of air time,” Hinz said. 

That cost is weighed against the earned media generated by a film, for example, as well as the engagement it generated, he continued.

“At the end of all of that we’re able to say none of these entities, or partners or athletes would have talked about our brand if we hadn’t made something that blurred the lines of advertising,” said Hinz. “It is very difficult to prove the value of long-form content when it comes to sales, so we don’t look at it that way.”

Rather than focusing on sales, Hinz spoke the language of ROI that resonated with his skeptical bosses. And guess what? It worked. Following in the footsteps of Red Bull and Patagonia, Firestone Walker Brewing Company revamped its entire advertising strategy around longer-form content. The films became the marketing for its brands. Commercials on YouTube became trailers for their films, not mere ads. Seasonal campaigns now revolve around a film or a limited series. Logos took a backseat, replaced by enticing lines like “An 805 Beer film.” It’s an entire storytelling ecosystem, as Hinz describes it.

“There have been years where we’ve done 20 episodes of TV or seven films, whereas this year we’re going to put out four big films because it aligned with what the priority of our athletes were,” said Hinz. “It does get to a point where you can run yourself a little too thin because the bigger the films get the more important the stories are.”

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How much content is too much? Agencies are starting to ask that question

By Auther TGT,

How much content is too much? Agencies are starting to ask that question

Agencies are beginning to rethink their approach to creating content for clients, thanks to the growing volume of content and more intense competition for eyeballs these days. From using statistical analysis to influencer marketing strategies, the content business is changing as agencies evaluate the quantity, ethics and impact of the content they make for clients. But how much is too much?

Brand-driven content has become a major way for marketers to reach consumers, generating awareness and loyalty along the way. Short articles or posts and videos were the top two content types that B2C marketers used in the past 12 months, per Content Marketing Institute in 2022.

The demand keeps rising, too. In the U.S., average time spent with digital media was 8 hours and 14 minutes per day in 2022, driven by consumption on devices like smart TVs, gaming consoles and other connected devices, according to Insider Intelligence. This was up 1.9% compared to the previous year’s 8 hours and 5 minutes per day. While the average isn’t increasing as quickly as 2020 pandemic rates, digital media time is still taking up a bigger share of our overall time spent consuming media.

Ethics and effectiveness of content creation

There comes a certain point in content creation strategizing in which brands need to weigh ethics and purpose alongside other more concrete goals, said Amy Luca, EVP, global head of social at Media.Monks. The goal is not to create as much content as possible, just for the sake of producing content — not to mention the mental health impact it could pose for people.

“I’m really trying to push my teams and the clients that we work with to really think about whether that content that we’re producing is adding value and is worth spending time with,” Luca told Digiday. “Are the imagery, topics, conversations, doing anything that will detract from mental health and or wellbeing of the consumers that we’re approaching?”

Luca believes the way to balance this is through analyzing the fit of the content, the audience and the brand’s goals. To improve this effectiveness, Media.Monks does statistical regression analysis for clients to determine the optimal amount of content. And clients are thinking more about long-term brand equity over the short-term views in social, Luca added.

“The algorithms don’t reward us for the content — we see a lot of diminishing returns from the algorithms if we’re just putting tons and tons of content that is content for content sake,” Luca said.

The influencer business

With a lot of social media content generated by influencers, influencer marketing agencies and firms are similarly having to strike the right balance between the quantity and quality of their content. Ryan Detert, CEO of influencer marketing company Influential, said influencers have to consider their content based on an individual basis, as well as what content and platform they are using.

“There isn’t going to be a one-size-fits-all answer when producing content for multiple platforms,” Detert said. “The same content that goes viral on TikTok may not go viral on YouTube Shorts and vice versa.”

Detert insists that quality content is not just high production value — it also needs to factor in relevance for that creator’s audience. The main elements for influencers trying to grow an audience are “consistency, authenticity and cadence,” he added.

At influencer management firm Cycle, the focus is on using certain lo-fi or low-resolution content that often drives more impactful results and makes the content feel more organic. Bea Iturregui, vp of creator and brand partnerships at Cycle, said the firm relies on influencers to know the best tactics for their particular audience.

“Sometimes this means having their Instagram Reel loop continuously or syndicating their in-feed post to their story,” Iturregui said. “Other times it means polling their followers or a quick piece of lo-fi content created in a home kitchen.”

“And it’s typically never a game of quantity,” added Corey Smock, Cycle’s VP of business development. “Influencer marketing isn’t about being the loudest in the room. It’s about making personal connections and cultural impact. That’s often accomplished through less, not more.”

Developing a content discipline

Some agencies are also focusing on their content offerings and working with clients on new approaches. Stagwell’s Instrument, a multidisciplinary digital and creative company, this month updated its brand positioning to bring together its product, digital design and brand marketing capabilities with two new core disciplines — content innovation and experience innovation. Last November, Instrument joined forces with digital agency Hello Design within the Stagwell network.

Instrument’s units will work with clients to scale across their content and digital experiences, focusing on creating stories it hopes will have impact. Paul Welch, executive director at Instrument, who leads content innovation, pointed out that the content landscape has changed a lot since the pandemic. There will always be new platforms, channels and types of media, Welch added, but Instrument focuses on partnering with right communities and a smaller quantity of content with higher value.

“It’s a lot of mid funnel work – we needed to have impact, we needed to have meaning and we needed to essentially move the needle or have an impression for our consumers,” Welch said. “So it isn’t necessarily about the highest quantity of viewership, it’s more about connecting more closely with whatever audience we want to talk to.”

Even though there is a lot of content in the market, consumers also have higher expectations now. J.D. Hooge, chief creative officer at Instrument, explained that consumers and clients are “more discerning” these days – and they also have a lot of options to watch something else if the content doesn’t resonate.

“They are going to call brands on their bullshit. They are going to hold brands to really high expectations as well,” Hooge said.

Luca of Media.Monks added: “[Marketers and social agencies] are going to erode brand equity, and at the end of the day, the consumers will switch. It will be high switching, because whatever gets their attention is the thing that they’re going to gravitate to.”

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The pitfalls and practical realities of using generative AI in your analytics workflow

By Auther TGT,

The pitfalls and practical realities of using generative AI in your analytics workflow

We’ve heard much about how generative AI is set to change digital marketing over the last few months. As consultants, we work with brands to harness technology for innovative marketing. We quickly delved into the potential of ChatGPT, the most buzzworthy large language model-based chatbot on the block. Now, we see how generative AI can act as an assistant by generating initial drafts of code and visualizations, which our experts refine into usable materials.

In our view, the key to a successful generative AI project is for the end user to have a clear expectation for the final output so any AI-generated materials can be edited and shaped. The first principle of using generative AI is you should not trust it to provide completely correct answers to your queries.

ChatGPT answered just 12 of 42 GA4 questions right.

We decided to put ChatGPT to the test on something our consultants do regularly — answering common client questions about GA4. The results were not that impressive: Out of the 42 questions we asked, ChatGPT only provided 12 answers we’d deem acceptable and send on to our clients, a success rate of just 29%.

A further eight answers (19%) were “semi-correct.” These either misinterpreted the question and provided a different answer to what was asked (although factually correct) or had a small amount of misinformation in an otherwise correct response.

For example, ChatGPT told us that the “Other” row you find in some GA4 reports is a grouping of many rows of low-volume data (correct) but that the instances when this occurs are defined by “Google machine learning algorithms.” This is incorrect. There are standard rules in place to define this.

Dig deeper: Artificial Intelligence: A beginner’s guide

Limitations of ChatGPT’s knowledge — and it’s overconfidence

The remaining 52% of answers were factually incorrect and, in some cases, actively misleading. The most common reason is that ChatGPT does not use training data beyond 2021, so many recent updates are not factored into its answers. 

For example, Google only officially announced the deprecation of Universal Analytics in 2022, so ChatGPT couldn’t say when this would be. In this instance, the bot did at least caveat its answer with this context, leading with “…as to my knowledge cut off is in 2021…”

However, some remaining questions were wrongly answered with a worrying amount of confidence. Such as the bot telling us that “GA4 uses a machine learning-based approach to track events and can automatically identify purchase events based on the data it collects.”  

While GA4 does have auto-tracked “enhanced measurement” events, these are generally defined by listening to simple code within a webpage’s metadata rather than through any machine learning or statistical model. Furthermore, purchase events are certainly not within the scope of enhanced measurement.

As demonstrated in our GA4 test, the limited “knowledge” held within ChatGPT makes it an unreliable source of facts. But it remains a very efficient assistant, providing first drafts of analyses and code for an expert to cut the time required for tasks. 

It cannot replace the role of a knowledgeable analyst who knows the type of output they are expecting to see. Instead, time can be saved by instructing ChatGPT to produce analyses from sample data without heavy programming. From this, you can obtain a close approximation in seconds and instruct ChatGPT to modify its output or manipulate it yourself.

For example, we recently used ChatGPT to analyze and optimize a retailer’s shopping baskets. We wanted to analyze average basket sizes and understand the optimal size to offer free shipping to customers. This required a routine analysis of the distribution of revenue and margin and an understanding of variance over time. 

We instructed ChatGPT to review how basket sizes varied over 14 months using a GA4 dataset. We then suggested some initial SQL queries for further analysis within BigQuery and some data visualization options for the insights it found.

While the options were imperfect, they offered useful areas for further exploration. Our analyst adapted the queries from ChatGPT to finalize the output. This reduced the time for a senior analyst working with junior support to create the output from roughly three days to one day.

Dig deeper: 3 steps to make AI work for you

Automating manual tasks and saving time

Another example is using it to automate more manual tasks within a given process, such as quality assurance checks for a data table or a piece of code that has been produced. This is a core aspect of any project, and flagging discrepancies or anomalies can often be laborious.

However, using ChatGPT to validate a 500+ row piece of code to combine and process multiple datasets — ensuring they are error-free — can be a huge time saver. In this scenario, what would normally have taken two hours for someone to manually review themselves could now be achieved within 30 minutes. 

Final QA checks still need to be performed by an expert, and the quality of ChatGPT’s output is highly dependent on the specific parameters you set in your instructions. However, a task that has very clear parameters and has no ambiguity in the output (the numbers either match or don’t) is ideal for generative AI to handle most of the heavy lifting. 

Treat generative AI like an assistant rather than an expert

The progress made by ChatGPT in recent months is remarkable. Simply put, we can now use conversational English to request highly technical materials that can be used for the widest range of tasks across programming, communication and visualization.

As we’ve demonstrated above, the outputs from these tools need to be treated with care and expert judgment to make them valuable. A good use case is driving efficiencies in building analyses in our everyday work or speeding up lengthy, complex tasks that would normally be done manually. We treat the outputs skeptically and use our technical knowledge to hone them into value-adding materials for our clients.

While generative AI, exemplified by ChatGPT, has shown immense potential in revolutionizing various aspects of our digital workflows, it is crucial to approach its applications with a balanced perspective. There are limitations in accuracy, particularly concerning recent updates and nuanced details. 

However, as the technology matures, the potential will grow for AI to be used as a tool to augment our capabilities and drive efficiencies in our everyday work. I think we should focus less on generative AI replacing the expert and more on how it can improve our productivity.

The bottom line is clear – ChatGPT and additional LLM AI tools will be more and more common in our daily routines. Having said that, it’s important to have  professionals managing your content and take care of your analytics workflow.