LightArrow Technology Series:
How Big Data and Automation Are Changing Written Marketing
Guest post from freelance contributor, Lindsey Patterson, who specializes in business technology, customer relationship management, and lead management.
Thousands of people make a living writing for newspaper sites, online magazines, companies and organizations, but big data may be preparing to change all that. It seems that big data tools are being put to the test to see how well they can tell a story. This day seems inevitable, as big data is already being used to write fact-based news stories quickly. You’ve probably come across one of these stories. They give you the facts, but occasionally, there is an odd sentence isolated by itself that doesn’t quite make sense logically in the flow of the article. The real value of big data is in running a business and using features like Excel reporting in Hadoop. The technology isn’t perfect, but it’s certainly out there and it’s getting better.
Putting Journalists Out of a Job
Big data algorithms are a concern for journalists who feel it could put them out of a job. And, they aren’t entirely wrong. Big data can more than adequately gain information from a local area using visual, text and other cues to help compile and tell a story. Investigative reporting should remain unaffected, but big data can help in that area too. Imagine an investigative journalist that can compile the facts of a situation and then run the information through a machine to arrive at a more accurate and factual story.
Reluctance to Admit Articles Are Generated
There is huge reluctance to admit than an article is automatically generated by a company. You’re not going to get the computer to admit it wrote the article, and companies usually use the name of the company as the author. The articles are well put-together and as far as news is concerned, most people won’t know the difference between a real or generated article. Grammar, syntax and all the requirements that go into a good story remain intact. Sometimes, it’s only parts of the story that are created by a computer. In these cases, the article is reviewed and then edited by an editor.
The Real Value of Big Data in Marketing
Writing articles quickly and cheaply isn’t the real value of big data. A marketing company that uses big data to create content tailored to a large audience is the real benefit for big data. The problem with this is creating content based on user interests without creeping customers out. When a customer sees an ad for something they were just searching for, it makes them feel as if they don’t have privacy and that they are being spied on. Some people don’t mind, and appreciate the coupons and discount offers they receive. Others will actively avoid the site since they feel the company is responsible for the ad. Big data can overcome this by using this type of marketing on their company websites and having users accept a brief notice stating that cookies are provided to create a more individualized shopping experience. The best way to implement big data in these situations is to offer discounts that are more general and apply to a broader area.
Big Data Article Marketing
The real solution for big data advertising may be in article marketing. If a user is searching for information, they tend to use a search engine to find data. Search engines offer a portal to millions of articles written by people in hopes that their article might be beneficial to someone. With big data, an article can be written in any language very quickly, and pull from several sources of data. Big data can generate an article that uses language which can be interpreted in more than one way. Each audience has a specific targeted list of information that applies to them, without the need for extraneous information that doesn’t apply to the current group. This is a great way to provide relevant information that makes the reader feel like they’re getting valuable information and not just being sold a product or service.
Creating Timely Sales
Since big data can be used to create timely information for specific groups of people in particular geographic areas, it should come as no surprise that marketing is also improving. Stories can be generated with information about sales that might pertain to a local festival or event. A mariachi festival that only occurs in a small portion of town might get past the eyes of a human, but big data can see an influx of tickets being purchased in an area of the festival and either determine a sale on mariachi-themed items would be relevant, or alert a human to the unusual circumstances. Flyers could be provided to the hotels with the most reservations, and local businesses could advertise their wares.
Individual departments can get specific, real-time reports that describe any bottlenecks in plain English, or any other language. This can help boost revenue, productivity and keep the company on track to meet its goals.
Please let us know in the comments below if you have any questions or comments.
Lindsey Patterson is a freelance writer and entrepreneur who specializes in business technology, customer relationship management, and lead management. She also writes about the latest social trends, specifically involving social media. Find her on Twitter: @LindseyPatter19