The Role of Machine Learning in Local Marketing. Our IFA 2019 Experience & The Massive Opportunity Ahead.
This week our Eulerity team was fortunate to spend time with thousands of entrepreneurs & franchise executives at the IFA annual convention. This conference is a gathering for likeminded entrepreneurs running some of the largest multi-location brands to come together and discuss everything from operations, technology, to marketing and expansion.
For Eulerity, this was our first annual IFA (International Franchise Association) convention. Our founding team spent the last decade frequenting The Consumer Electronic Show (CES), a conference attended by fortune 500 brands, occurring a month earlier.
A key topic at the convention? Where consumer attention is in 2019, and where it isn’t. While we know marketing should follow consumer attention, it may not be the case among all franchisors. Gary Vaynerchuk’s thought provoking keynote brought this topic to life in an approachable way emphasizing methods like artificial intelligence & machine learning to gain key business results.
One of the topics that our COO Adam Chandler addressed during his roundtable session attended by senior level business owners - was the role of machine learning in the context of driving local marketing results. Certainly an emerging topic to this audience which included brands across consumer categories ranging from home services to retail.
Let’s be real. Machine learning can often be dismissed as a meaningless term. This can be the consequence of lack of explanation in the context of business results. Time to bring this topic down to earth.
Machine learning (ML) is the scientific study of algorithms and statistical models that computer systems use to effectively perform a specific task without using explicit instructions, relying on patterns and inference instead. It is seen as a subset of artificial intelligence.
The reason we’re so excited about it at Eulerity, and the reason we think it will become the industry standard for marketing, is because it works. With ML, you have greater assurance your message is reaching the consumer that responds and drives measurable results for your business. To break this down, let’s review the most popular methods to target online advertising.
1 — People based marketing. Enter Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, etc. To target new prospects (or retain your customers) brands target people who fall into different business categories via display, video, and email marketing these platforms enable. While ML may be utilized within these platforms, it’s a one platform approach.
2 — Contextual marketing. This oldest form of marketing aligns your marketing investment with topics of consumer interest (whether that’s vertical media properties or topic based groups).
3 — Machine learning. Software meets computer science to determine the most effective media channel in real time. ML can combine people based marketing & contextual targeting across all major digital marketing channels simultaneously.
The very fact ML deploys 24/7 algorithmic based optimization in the interest of the business owner marketing objectives — creates a sizable competitive advantage. Let’s use an analogy to drive this point home.
Let’s take your travel booking experience today. Next time you search for a hotel for your future vacation, imagine calling up a brand you’ve never heard of and booking that brand on the spot. No searching for how the brand stacks up from a price perspective, understanding the room experience through photos, what is said via online reviews, room size availability, etc.
Now apply this same example to your marketing efforts.
Imagine you want to market your product to prospective new clients in your local community. Suppose you bought a few billboards? Or bought one search term on Google? How about just a paid marketing strategy on Facebook only? Maybe just running videos targeted to other business owners on YouTube to attract prospective business owners? You would get what you paid for = a singular approach to a business outcome.
Instead, you enabled ALL of these marketing tactics at the SAME time — on a daily basis. But this time, you only paid for what channel brought you the highest return? That is essentially what machine learning does in the world of online advertising.
At Eulerity, we are proud to take a proven concept like machine learning and share it with the multi-location and franchise business community. With some education, usage, and further adoption, brands can feel more comfortable automating their marketing in favor of business results — aligned with some of the largest brands on earth.