When a big event happens, such as Advertising Week (#AWNewYork) from September 25-29, you’re able to gain insight into what matters most to the people attending without having to step foot on-site. This is one of the positives of social listening, and one level deeper, social media analysis. When an event brings together some of the brightest minds in marketing, advertising, and technology, you have the opportunity to listen and learn from what they say, even if you can’t attend yourself. You can be a part of the action and learn from the best.
It’s now easier to understand trending topics via social media and to learn what frequent conversations are developing within them. As a social media strategist, it makes me giddy when events like this take place. It’s like unwrapping a present on your birthday. Because in sorting through all the expressed thoughts of others via social media – there’s a story to be told, usually one with a few morals.
When I ran a Watson Analytics for Social Media analysis, I could see that the conversations surrounding New York’s Advertising Week include the larger-than-life suggested themes of competitors, AI, brand, marketing, data, technology, ad fraud, and more. Despite these top-of-mind technology and data-oriented concepts, I also learned there is a more human component behind all of this…
So, what lessons did I uncover when listening to and analyzing the great minds at Advertising Week?
To uncover these insights I looked into both the share of voice around trending topics that were suggested for me, in addition to the sentiment, or how the audience feels toward the topics.
With easy-to-understand, and, frankly, very cool visualizations, I was able to easily see that conversations with the highest levels of positive sentiment included those regarding competitors, marketing and technology. The highest levels of negative sentiment surrounding these topics included marketing and AI. The topic with the least negative sentiment was technology. This tells me that marketing is slightly more polarizing than other topics, and perhaps people still have fears surrounding AI and its implications. It also tells me that the infusion of tech in advertising is something that the Advertising Week audience is embracing positively!
When I looked at the share of voice trend, or mentions per topic, I was able to see that the audience conversation was greatest around the competitor discussion. AI, brand, and data also dominated, with marketing and tech, trailing not far behind. Authenticity was not as commonly mentioned, although it might be because it’s conceptual and the word “authenticity” might not always be raised in conversations pertaining to the softer side of advertising, or the people-oriented aspect. To me, it seemed that it was an important message behind Advertising Week, but one that might not have been mentioned as explicitly as the other topics.
Authenticity, Marketing, Brand
In marketing, advertising, and technology – you market, advertise to, and build for your prospective and current customers. Without them, there’s no purpose. They can be your biggest advocates, and become the mirror that reflects how your brand is perceived. Consider, what are your customers trying to accomplish? What type of experience are you providing during the customer journey? How are you using data to further customize and personalize your customers’ journey – to provide better content and value based on better understanding who they are and what matters most to them? This also applies to your employees. They too, can make an impact through their daily interactions across many types of media and social channels, and they also represent your brand.
Not only do your customers matter most, it’s important to realize that people do business with people. They want to know who’s behind the curtain – who encompasses your brand. They want a more customized experience – one where they’re valued and heard.
While using Watson Analytics for Social Media to analyze the social streams, I found that this concept resonated at Advertising Week. Some of the key thoughts that popped up in the mentions view included:
AI, Data, and Technology
A frequent topic spanning throughout #AWNewYork is data. Through new technologies such as augmented intelligence, you have the opportunity to gain insight through rapid data analysis. In digging through the specifics of the conversation, it’s clearly critical to go from insights to impact with tact and caution. Leverage the insights from data to tell a story and provide a personalized customer experience to further connect with your customers. But with all the glamour and sparkle that new technology like AI and data can offer, don’t lose the emotion or the root of the story.
Ad fraud, also known as invalid traffic, is another data and technology-related topic on the minds of those attending Advertising Week. Ad fraud can be described as the misrepresentation or over-inflation of advertisement KPIs such as clicks, impressions, conversion or other data to deceptively increase revenue. It’s estimated it will cost companies upwards of 6.5 Billion in financial losses globally according to a new joint study by the Association of National Advertisers and White Ops. Addressing ad fraud will require a new approach to programmatic advertising. The misrepresentation of data can cause major catastrophe. Having the full story; including having the right solutions to accurately measure advertising traffic, involving the right people at the right time, and having all the correct available data, will be vital for the future of advertising.
Analyzing Advertising Week: win big by understanding your people
It’s been great to listen in via social media to better understand the key topics and sentiment around #AWNewYork. I was also able to take it a step further, and have been fortunate to have access to Watson Analytics for Social Media. With this platform, I’ve been able to analyze millions of relevant social data sources and provide instant insights into the Advertising Week attendees and audience. Going beyond social listening, I was able to understand how attendees truly felt, and kept plugged into all the new developments. Although I wasn’t there to experience it, I was able to glean some valuable lessons. Winning big means connecting with your customers, and putting your people first. Don’t just listen. Understand your audience. Get into their minds and feel what they feel so you can better cater to them. That’s what advertising – and business for that matter, is all about!