Sep

Social Marketing is Simple

                                                           

In its very essence social marketing is based on one simple foundation - give first, take later.

This concept of giving to the community is hardly possible to overestimate. It defines the way social networks operate and goes even deeper, to the basic principles of social interactions among humans.

In fact it is a much healthier foundation for business than traditional one, based on advertising.

Yet it runs contrary to what many entrepreneurs and business people perceive as a proper marketing approach.

Traditional marketing, such as billboards, radio ads, posters, banners, emails blasts, etc is based on two principles, a) the statistical law of big numbers, aiming to reach out to as large audience as possible while knowing that only a small percent would become interested, b) message of self-promotion and self-advertisment.  

Social marketing negates both of these principles.

Social marketing is personal, it operates individually, and in a personalised way. Which makes perfect sense from a common perspective. Would you rather be bombarded by the generic ads that in most cases have nothing to do with your interests and desires, or approached on a one-on-one basis with a chance to discuss your specific needs?

Social marketing is directed towards promoting the interests of others, not yours (or your business). Again it makes sense as we are a social species, we live in societies and rely on communication. The most successful communication strategy is the one that takes care of the needs of your communication partner.

And so, opposing the traditional marketing approach, social marketing is based on the idea of giving to the community. Which makes it more efficient than traditional marketing, if measured against the effort applied. In other words, taken 100 random prospects, we are more likely to convert them into customers if using social marketing than traditional marketing.  

But is it scalable?

(to be continued)

 

Interested in reading more? Check out our other blogs:

Artificial Intelligence Chat Is Evolving Faster Than IVR

                                                         

Although it doesn’t feel like all that long ago, way back in the 90s one of the most important factors to a call center’s success was the ability to route a customer to the right support agent with the IVR (Interactive Voice Response). Countless hours were spent identifying the most efficient call routing patterns and expert agent capabilities to ensure that your request reached the right person quickly. This technology is still widely used today and there are still teams in the largest companies programming IVR systems to accomplish pretty much the same goal.

As the standard for customer support evolved there have been many attempts to improve the function and the customer experience associated with IVRs to reduce hold times and provide more relevant support faster. Even today some companies will use their IVR system as a way to keep a customer on hold, rather than provide a solution, when agents are inundated with calls.

For those of us who’ve worked in the voice industry for some time, we’ve seen first-hand the attempts to accomplish a customer’s need before reaching an agent. First there was expert agent routing that delivered your call to the agent most qualified to help you. Then came advances in voice recognition, which today has evolved to be a very effective tool to increase containment rates and deflect calls from reaching a live agent. My two favorite examples of the power of voice recognition are Cox Communications and Capital One, two examples of great voice recognition and routing.

Our memory, however, is short. It wasn’t so long ago that we were all pulling our hair out punching digits into the phone or constantly repeating “agent”, “Agent”, “AGENT”, AGENT!!!!!”.

Whether it was a limit of computational power or the sheer cost of developing and implementing advanced call center technology, it took decades for phone systems to be able to front end the customer support process as efficiently as they do today. Thankfully we all survived to see it without boiling over from the hypertension usually associated with calling with a customer service department.

Bad customer experience is definitely not the case with Chat Artificial Intelligence (Chat AI). While we seem to hear about the shortcomings of Chat AI like the disconnected conversations and the robotic like responses, these experiences are usually the product of Chatbots with limited AI functionality or early stage deployments. The increases in both computational power and the massive advancements in machine learning are driving excellent customer experiences that improve over time.

When was the last time you heard of technology actually performing better, on its own, without a ton of additional development work or continuous updates? Well, that’s the case with Artificial Intelligence. Like a person, the more experience it has interacting with customers and information, the better it performs with little need to be manually improved or fine-tuned.

Today, AI Chat can be used to answer a large majority of customer requests and because Artificial Intelligence learns as it is used, customers prefer to interact through AI chat to avoid all of the frustrations commonly associated with calling a contact center agent. 

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Beware the lure of crowdsourced data

Crowdsourced data can often be inconsistent, messy or downright wrong 

We all like something for nothing, that’s why open source software is so popular. (It’s also why the Pirate  Bay exists). But sometimes things that seem too good to be true are just that. 

Repustate is in the text analytics game which means we needs lots and lots of data to model certain  characteristics of written text. We need common words, grammar constructs, human-annotated corpora  of text etc. to make our various language models work as quickly and as well as they do. 

We recently embarked on the next phase of our text analytics adventure: semantic analysis. Semantic  analysis the process of taking arbitrary text and assigning meaning to the individual, relevant components.  For example, being able to identify “apple” as a fruit in the sentence “I went apple picking yesterday” but to  identify “Apple’ the company when saying “I can’t wait for the new Apple product announcement” (note:  even though I used title case for the latter example, casing should not matter)

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