Media and Entertainment Brands Get More Human — Through Machines

Media and Entertainment Brands Get More Human — Through Machines
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For the future of marketing, what’s more important — the rational or the emotional? The human or the machine? With recent advances in automation, artificial intelligence, and data science, you probably answered that machines will reign supreme. It’s true — the marketing industry has been innovating with digital tools for decades.

But in a recent Think Tank by Adobe in New York City, we were struck by the focus on the emotional, human aspects of media and entertainment marketing — specifically in measurement — by media leaders, including USA Today Network and National Geographic. Their vision of the M&E future kept circling around how deep human insight is the evolution of data science. According to them, things are about to get way more emotional.

The next big leap — human emotion

The leaders we talked to are looking beyond clicks to human emotion. They’re predicting it may take us a few years to get there, but that the future of data science is married to human insight, well beyond today’s distinctions between online and offline behavior.

Jill Cress, CMO of National Geographic Partners, is seeking new ways to uncover the psychology behind the consumer. She said the current state of measurement is more about “measure what you can” than “measure what you need to measure.”

“Today, marketers focus a lot on the vanity metrics,” she said, referring to metrics that feel good — like total views or minutes — but don’t offer clear guidance on what’s working. “We’re at a moment where we’ll see an ambition and a shift to emotional connection and the psychology of the consumer. That’s how brands will differentiate.”

Jill wasn’t the only one in our Think Tank who focused on psychographic measurement. Kelly Andresen, senior vice president and head of GET Creative at the USA Today Network, agreed: “We must move away from the transactional metrics to the value-based metrics that accurately measure human emotion and sentiment.”

They see these changes coming soon:

  • Future measurement platforms will collect facial recognition to gather emotional information. This may be an opt-in on your phone, tablet, or smart TV. Virtual reality will take the emotional connection and data collection to the next level.
  • Data collection will include emotional states or moods connected to viewing experiences. A robust platform that integrates both qualitative and quantitative data sources across devices is a must.
  • Companies will hire psychologists and neuroscientists to augment their data scientists. Human emotion analysis will also be key in content creation and targeting. Machines and automation may improve our marketing programs’ effectiveness, but we still need a deep understanding of the motivations and vagaries behind human behavior.

In the future, we anticipate further melding of data and insights — the psychographic with the demographic — and the digital with the personal. If media and entertainment brands can measure how a specific ad or piece of content creates a human emotion that leads to a purchase, the impact for advertising and advertising platforms will certainly be huge. The machines may be everywhere, but the humans are still in charge.

Dive deeper

Listen in and learn more from what industry leaders had to say in “Modern authenticity: Media and entertainment leads on being real in a digital world.

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