Frontline Marketing

Marketers Invest In Machine Learning; VR Users Say Video Is The Future

Man wears virtual reality headset and reaches out to artificial intelligence data

By | July 14, 2017

This week in marketing statistics, brands feel good about machine learning, watching video in VR could be the future and Siri has some serious competition.

Machine (And Marketer) Learning

Machine learning is already assisting marketers to process big data, according to a recent survey conducted by MIT Technology Review Custom for Google Cloud. Among the 375 business and IT leaders surveyed, 95 percent have already embraced some form of big data technology, or plan to do so.

Respondents were confident in machine learning, with 50 percent able to quantify ROI from their investment and 26 percent saying they’ve already gained a competitive edge from machine learning. As a result, those surveyed are continuing to invest—26 percent of respondents commit more than 15 percent of their IT budgets to machine-learning projects.

Meanwhile, 78 percent of executives planned to spend at least five percent more on AI marketing technologies in the next 12 months, according to new data by Forrester. Of the 700 business leaders working for retail and ecommerce brands with revenue of at least $50 million, 54 percent said they’re already using AI marketing to better personalize the customer experience. However, 70 percent of respondents cited technical skills as a barrier to mainstream adoption of AI marketing technology.

Voice-Activated Rivalries

Virtual assistants are a common form of AI used by consumers daily, and Siri is still the most popular. Apple’s “it-girl,” however, is starting to feel the heat from rival assistants Cortana and Alexa. According to a new report by Verto Analytics, Siri usage has declined by 15 percent from May 2016 to May 2017. Amazon Alexa usage, meanwhile, has jumped 12 percent in the same time frame and Microsoft Cortana usage tripled from 19 to 60 percent.

Alexa got some help on Prime Day, which was Amazon’s biggest ever—surpassing Black Friday and Cyber Monday in terms of spend. The best-selling item during the annual sale event was the Echo Dot speaker, which was discounted by 30 percent.

The Future Of Video

Can watching video in VR be social? About half of existing users say yes, according to Ericsson. A study of VR device users worldwide found that 51 percent think video in VR will become popular because it will combine with social networking.

Fifty-four percent of respondents agreed that VR devices will be the new screens for video and 53 percent said video will be one of the most popular uses of VR.

Consumers may be torn on whether to watch video in VR, but watching in 4K resolution is an entirely different story. The global4K TV market is expected to reach $380 billion by 2025, according to a new report by Grand View Research, Inc. Declining prices and increased penetration of ultra-high-speed internet are expected to contribute to this growth.

Advertising: Direct, Organic And TV

When a business advertises locally, many choose to stick with tried and true methods like direct mail. In fact, at $37.1 billion, direct mail contributes 25 percent of US spending in local markets this year, according to BIA/Kelsey’s Local Advertising Forecast.

Rounding out the top five types of media advertising are local TV ($20.9 billion), online and interactive ($18.6 billion), newspapers, and mobile ($16 billion each). Local radio dropped to number six from BIA/Kelsey’s last forecast, with $15.6 billion in revenue.

You have to spend money to make money, but organic views can be just as—if not more—beneficial to a brand campaign. According to L2’s 2017 Intelligence Report, Activewear brands enjoy the highest organic view rate on YouTube at 24 percent, followed by consumer electronics (23 percent), retail (19 percent) and luxury brands (17 percent). Nike’s February Equality campaign earned a 57 percent organic view rate across digital platforms, including nearly four million organic views on Facebook in the days and weeks following the initial paid post.

Brands with multiple locations are receiving 25 times more impressions on individual location Facebook pages as opposed to the brand’s official Facebook page. MomentFeed did an analysis of aggregated customer data from “more than 50 clients from October 2016 through April 2017.” The social media management platform reported that 84.8 percent of all consumer impressions happened on assets that represented individual stores, showrooms and restaurants, while just 15.2 percent of impressions happened on brand or corporate assets.”

Addressable TV ad expenditures will grow 65.8 percent to reach $1.26 billion this year, according to new forecasts by eMarketer. The company’s predictions includes broadcast and cable TV in its TV ad spending forecasts, but excludes digital. Meanwhile, programmatic TV ad spending will grow 75.7 percent to $1.13 billion in 2017—representing 1.6 percent of total US TV ad spend.