Diversifying marketing strategies by making use of Big Data and artificial intelligence

08:00 | 07/12/2018
As new marketing tools based on Big Data and artificial intelligence are being developed to help businesses’ marketing strategies succeed, Le Quoc Vinh, chairman and CEO of Le Invest (Holdings) Corporation, talked with VIR’s Van Anh about the powers turning the wheels of advertising.

How are new marketing strategies different and what added benefits can they bring to businesses?

diversifying marketing strategies by making use of big data and artificial intelligence

Before Facebook and Google, we had had many other different media outlets for advertising, such as TV, radio, word of mouth, and out-of-home advertising. Today, with the introduction of new technologies, we have plenty more.

You probably saw demonstrations of new technologies and platforms for advertising and marketing at the Vietnam Sales & Marketing Camp (VSMCamp 2018) last week in Hanoi, such as the event audience engagement technology for experiential marketing, which utilises data collection and analysis techniques to increase sales and marketing effectiveness, or the virtual reality and augmented reality technologies that connect multiple spaces.

Big Data and artificial intelligence play a crucial role in marketing and advertising. We have seen the invention of new technologies that, based on structuring collected data, can understand the deep insights of every single person and predict his/her behaviour and actions. With profound knowledge of the audience, today’s marketers can design the most effective customer journey, with touch points that engage customers with the best fitting brand experiences.

We have a great database of the audience’s likes and dislikes, emotions, hobbies, interests, and even their relative connections on the Internet. All these will help target precisely a small segmented audience, and, at an even higher level, every single person. We call this personalised marketing.

Can small- and medium-sized enterprises apply these new technologies? Well, yes. Luckily, martech companies provide these technologies on a subscription basis, which gives us multiple choices of solutions which are appropriate to different sizes, industries, and locations.

How are Big Data and ­artificial intelligence better than Google and Facebook? To approach plenty of ­customers, do new marketing strategies necessitate collaboration with the two giants?

In fact, the technologies I have just mentioned help us utilise Facebook and Google more effectively. When we understand out audience better, we can better utilise Google tools to create communication materials that target the right potential leads, prospects, and make it easier to turn them into customers.

For example, my agency Le Bros signed a collaboration agreement at VSMCamp with Five9, a leading martech company, to bring to life their solution called CyberTargeting. This technology will help our clients to find potential customers among 60 million Facebook profiles.

To make it easy to understand, with this technology, we know pretty well who we should talk to and in what way, when, and how the message should be conveyed.

You may be familiar with something we call influencer marketing. CyberKOLs, a technology based on Big Data analysis, will help us to connect our clients with the right micro influencers who may have the communities that we want to explore and can show us what and how we should communicate with them to maximise the effectiveness of the key conveyed messages.

We still use Facebook as the main media platform for communication, as you can see, though we are not short on alternatives either.

In your opinion, will the new marketing strategies be able to replace Facebook and Google?

Google and Facebook have been proven the super powers in the media industry. In the short run, I do not see any alternatives in Vietnam.

Vietnam is not like China whose population is big enough for locally-developed solutions to replace US networks. Obviously, Google and Facebook are both allies and rivals to the local media, especially traditional channels such as terrestrial broadcasting and print media. This status quo is not unique for Vietnam. The circumstances are similar in most other countries.

The new developments, as I said, are not meant to replace Facebook and Google, but join the already rich ecosystem to better exploit all the opportunities lying within.

However, nothing stays forever and nothing is irreplaceable. Disruptive technologies will perhaps bring new choices.

We have been waiting for over-the-top technologies to bring about a miracle, akin to WeChat in China. Let us wait and see if Coc Coc, Zalo, and other local inventions can make a change.

Why do Facebook and Google win so easily over local businesses to dominate local advertising market? More specifically, what demand can they meet that locals cannot?

Google is not only a search engine, it is an ecosystem, and the same goes for Facebook. These ecosystems are designed and gradually developed to satisfy our demand for experiences, and most of the demand did not even exist before the products were introduced.

Meanwhile, the media in Vietnam and perhaps across the globe are individual platforms with clearly delineated territories. Google, for example, can connect millions of publishers together, and that is their power. Admicro, a local ad network belonging to VCCorp, claims to have 90 per cent of internet readers in Vietnam, but is only a child next to Google.

Facebook, the largest social network in the world and in Vietnam, has been trendy for a decade. Social media give people the ability of three-dimensional communication and complete interactivity, which traditional media cannot do.

If conventional media were serious about counterbalancing the influence of Facebook and Google, they would have to build similar networks. In the US and Europe, alliance and protective networks do exist, where they set their own rules of the game, with the core as an exclusive ad network, exchange desk, and advertising distribution platform.

However, Google, Facebook or any new media are just communication platforms. Owning platforms or channels do not guarantee success. As I said above, understanding the audience, feeding them the right morsels at the right time and in the right way is far more important. This leaves room for creative advertising agencies, martech companies, and many other players.

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