Remember the first iteration of Siri on the iPhone 4s? She was charming but clunky – and ended up being more of a curiosity rather than a real voice assistant. Today, however, Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant are both powerful and deeply integrated into our daily lives, thanks to advances in natural language processing (NLP). If you’re a brand or a digital marketing agency, these advances in NLP can also be used to help create more effective and engaging campaigns.
The evolution of NLP
Natural language processing draws on computer science, linguistics, machine learning, sophisticated language modeling, and analysis to allow computers to generate and understand human language. In essence, it’s the technology that allows computers to finally interact with us in an intuitive, seamless — and human sounding — fashion.
The introduction of smartphones and other mobile devices made communicating, working and performing basic life tasks easier and more efficient. Smart speakers and other NLP-equipped devices are taking things a step further. Instead of mediating interactions through a keyboard, we can navigate with simple voice commands to a sophisticated AI-based voice assistant.
As you might expect, this is not an easy endeavor, as language is deeply complex; until the last few years, NLP-equipped devices were limited in functionality and were largely unable to have advanced, human-like conversations. Humans pick up complex language because we are naturally hardwired to understand it; machines, however, have no such innate advantage.
Today, NLP technology has taken a quantum leap forward and is now being used in smart speakers, chatbots, and predictive text suggestions — the kind you see in search engines, email, and smartphones. It also has an important role to play in another human endeavor with digital marketing agencies.
How NLP is transforming the way we live, work and sell
The business of marketing has become incredibly data-driven in recent years. In order to effectively market and sell products and services, businesses need to target the right audiences. In order to do that, they need a way to identify who they mean to target — and that’s where data analysis enters the equation.
There’s still one significant challenge, however: More than 90% of the data that’s generated online falls into the category of “unstructured data.” This includes emails, reviews, social media posts, etc. Because this information is not classified or structured — and because enormous amounts exist and are being continually generated — it’s difficult for marketers or anyone else to make sense of it, let alone derive actionable insights. Which is where a digital marketing agency & NLP come together.
NLP offers one solution to this problem. One recent example: EssayPro, an online service that helps students become better writers, uses NLP to analyze unstructured data in an effort to better understand the problems students have when composing their papers. It then applies these insights to its marketing strategies, targeting students with specific solutions to the precise problems with which they are dealing with.
Businesses can also use NLP to conduct sentiment analysis and identify propensity signals on social media. By analyzing this data, brands can learn — almost in real time — how audiences are responding to goods, services, and marketing messages.
NLP can also be used to help businesses that gather high volumes of customer feedback through chats, emails, voicemails, and social media posts. By applying NLP to this data, businesses can unlock deeper insights into customer experience, and make any necessary adjustments to their marketing strategies.
We believe great campaigns require more than compelling creative work — they also need to be supported by a sophisticated understanding of the latest technological tools. If you’d like to learn more about how NLP can help you improve your marketing efforts, please contact us today.
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