Written by Chris Younger

Modern marketing is about applying creative decisions to logical data. The promise of the next campaign-changing piece of consumer intelligence has engineers fishing in an ocean of noise and media teams clamoring for their next meal. Even if discovered, understanding how to formulate those decisions and identify which data to act upon is an incredible challenge. Approaching marketing as a science has long been the market’s potential solution.

Marketing science, as expected, takes a scientific approach to marketing. Data architects and psychologists work together to map social speech against interest, reverse engineer location patterns to decipher passions, and follow crumbs of browser history to identify purchase intentions.

The practice exists at the intersection of human-powered strategic marketing and tech-powered data analytics. By combining the human and the machine, brands have the ability to build more intuitive customer journeys, identify and reach segmented audiences, and deliver personalized content.  

While various options offering slightly differentiated solutions currently dominate the market, here’s how marketing science enables brands to better understand their audiences and produce measurable outcomes.

Finding Signals, Not Noise

Strategists are finding actionable takeaways through marketing science. No longer burdened with “let’s give this a shot” attempts, marketers will eventually be able to reduce uncertainty to nearly zero.

Marketing science platforms like that of a.network’s Soulmates.AI, are built to explore the signals in social speech, such as personality traits, passions, aversions and preferences. It then uses those signals to uniquely engage each personality, celebrate what audiences love and avoid certain users because they just don’t care for you. These signals allow brands to use their budgets more effectively and build more personalized messaging for each consumer.

It combines the best of technology, analytics and marketing under one umbrella. After all, machines still can’t match human intuition, but humans can’t compute large data quantities. By bringing these disciplines together, marketing science empowers brands to discover unprecedented connections and predictive insights about their audiences.

Quality Insights Demand Investment

Marketing science isn’t an experiment that ad agencies and brands can explore for a one-off video or social ad. It requires a major investment in time and money and a top-down commitment throughout the organization.

Brands and social media creators typically keep their feeds public and that makes it easy for AI systems to offer predictive insights based on both the raw data on their profile and analysis of that information and their content. Working with a marketing science team, brands and their creator partners can provide additional follower details that help round out the picture of their audience to allow for profiling, targeting and audience segmentation.

It’s also important to note that marketing science is often powered by purpose-built technology created specifically to understand the nuances of social speech, marketing trends, consumer behaviors and interests. It stands apart from other AI systems that take a more general approach to gathering and understanding data by excelling at deciphering social conversation.

Yes, the investment is substantial, but the results will transform the way you approach marketing—for the better.

Marketing Science In Action

For a brief example, consider a blind case study involving our firm, the Ayzenberg Group, and a major gaming brand. Ahead of a major product launch, the brand needed to better understand its core audience.

Using marketing science, the agency ran a custom research study which, in an effort to divide their audience by motivations, used artificial intelligence to ‘read’ social speech. After all, psychometricians have long regarded expressed speech, be it in-person or writing, as a key identifier of personality and passions. By evaluating that speech, Ayzenberg was able to understand why these people were gamers: Did they want to compete, make friends, or just recreate? Once the system read and analyzed social media posts to understand conversations, topics or even declarations, it identified those motivators and gauged how each audience segment spent time on the gaming console. After various cycles of input, analysis and filtering, the agency pinpointed which consumers were most likely to respond to sales efforts based on their behaviors.

Once we had our findings, we redesigned the brand’s communications and media strategy for the upcoming year. The product launch campaign was adjusted to prioritize one key audience segment and resulted in a 300 percent sales increase in the proceeding first quarter alone.

The process amounted to textbook AI put into action: We input data, made decisions about that data, and then used those decisions to inform our next strategy, all of which converted sales.

What It Really Takes

It has become increasingly important for brands to have a partner that can cut through all of the social noise while still keeping analytics and the art of strategy intact.

Agencies that are optimally suited to be that partner, with years and millions of dollars invested in artificial intelligence technology, will lead marketing science and redefine how audiences are engaged and motivated. By integrating the social and data sciences, scientists and engineers can build the best possible relationships between brands and audiences. The result is a modern, results-driven system that is custom-made to discover new human insights and truths.

The business of now will use analytics to build insights and strategies, applying data to the art of storytelling. There’s no question that an abundance of data exists and marketers have long sought to apply the promise of science to the potential of creativity. What’s important now is applying the tools of today to make sense of that data, leverage the insights it brings and act upon those signals in order to motivate behaviors in a way that’s genuinely helpful.