Smart social: three companies using AI to revolutionize social media marketing
In 2017, the global market for artificial intelligence (AI) driven social media marketing was valued at $465.2mn. According to a Markets and Markets report, that figure is predicted to grow to exceed $2.1bn by 2023. The ability for intelligent machines and applications to add value to the way companies engage with their customers, partners and employees is incontestable. Use cases range from chatbots that improve customer service to platforms that can identify and generate optimal cross-platform content.
The jury remains out on the best practice applications for most of these technologies. According to a Forbes report, while most companies selling and buying AI-driven social media solutions seem intent on replacing their human workers, the tipping point where a content curator will be made obsolete may be some years away. “Facebook represents this contradiction. While publicly touting the company’s AI-driven future and investing heavily in building a world-class AI research staff, the company is also rapidly hiring human content moderators,” writes Kalev Leetaru, internet entrepreneur and Fellow in Residence of International Values, Communications Technology & the Global Internet at the Institute for the Study of Diplomacy in the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University.
While the number of companies entering and operating in the field increases on a daily basis, and the final efficacy of AI as a job replacer remains to be seen, we’ve identified three leading AI companies with products, services and solutions capable of transforming a company's social media capabilities.
Small, Boston-based AI startup Cortex touches more lives on a daily basis than most major advertising firms. Founded in 2015, the company owns and operates a proprietary AI platform that reportedly eliminates the need for a dedicated social media data analyst.
“Cortex learns what makes better marketing content and offers creative direction, social media insights, and competitive benchmarking based on his data analysis.”
Trusted by diverse global brands like Heineken (achieving a 39% increase in engagement with the beverage giant’s Dos Equis property) and band Maroon 5, Cortex uses its algorithmic analysis of social trends to “know exactly what to post, when, how often, and instantly add the most effective photo or video. No more guessing, no more searching. Done in no time at all.”
Founded in 2008, Santa Barbara-based analytics firm Invoca has spent over a decade selling the idea of relationship insights as direct value creation. The company is centered around its AI-powered call tracking and analytics platform that helps marketers get campaign attribution and actionable data from inbound phone calls.
The approach is a less common one, given the focus of most social media solutions on internet engagements over social media apps. However, with the US outbound telemarketing market predicted to reach higher than $12bn annually by 2025, the application of AI to gain greater insight into the space has its appeal.
In an interview in 2017, Invoca CEO Gregg Johnson said: “With the massive rise of mobile, which is driving 85 billion calls to businesses globally and influencing more than $1 Trillion in U.S. consumer spending, it’s becoming even more important for marketers to integrate call intelligence with their marketing automation solutions. As consumers increasingly combine their digital interactions with voice interactions, live conversation has become the new competitive battleground for customer experience. Call intelligence allows marketers to connect digital consumer interactions (clicking on paid search ads, browsing websites, etc.) to the voice experience (talking to a human), to have a holistic profile of the customer.”
Another Bostonian firm, Drift was founded in 2014 and has since become the world's leading conversational marketing and sales platform that helps businesses connect with their customers. With a focus on immediate revenue generation for its clients, Drift has undeniably displayed the trend with regard to its own development.
After just two years on the market, the company has become one of the fastest growing SaaS companies of all-time and was named to the Forbes Cloud 100, LinkedIn Top 50 Startups, Entrepreneur's Top Company Cultures, Boston Business Journal's Best Places to Work, and SaaS Company of the Year by the NEVCA.
“Using Drift chatbots you can answer common questions in real time, route qualified leads to the right sales reps and start conversations with prospects in real time. Rep in a meeting? No problem, leads can book a time that works for them and your rep in seconds flat,” according to the company.
Intelliwave SiteSense boosts APTIM material tracking
“We’ve been engaged with the APTIM team since early 2019 providing SiteSense, our mobile construction SaaS solution, for their maintenance and construction projects, allowing them to track materials and equipment, and manage inventory.
We have been working with the APTIM team to standardize material tracking processes and procedures, ultimately with the goal of reducing the amount of time spent looking for materials. Industry studies show that better management of materials can lead to a 16% increase in craft labour productivity.
Everyone knows construction is one of the oldest industries but it’s one of the least tech driven comparatively. About 95% of Engineering and Construction data captured goes unused, 13% of working hours are spent looking for data and around 30% of companies have applications that don’t integrate.
With APTIM, we’re looking at early risk detection, through predictive analysis and forecasting of material constraints, integrating with the ecosystem of software platforms and reporting on real-time data with a ‘field-first’ focus – through initiatives like the Digital Foreman. The APTIM team has seen great wins in the field, utilising bar-code technology, to check in thousands of material items quickly compared to manual methods.
There are three key areas when it comes to successful Materials Management in the software sector – culture, technology, and vendor engagement.
Given the state of world affairs, access to data needs to be off site via the cloud to support remote working conditions, providing a ‘single source of truth’ accessed by many parties; the tech sector is always growing, so companies need faster and more reliable access to this cloud data; digital supply chain initiatives engage vendors a lot earlier in the process to drive collaboration and to engage with their clients, which gives more assurance as there is more emphasis on automating data capture.
It’s been a challenging period with the pandemic, particularly for the supply chain. Look what happened in the Suez Canal – things can suddenly impact material costs and availability, and you really have to be more efficient to survive and succeed. Virtual system access can solve some issues and you need to look at data access in a wider net.
Solving problems comes down to better visibility, and proactively solving issues with vendors and enabling construction teams to execute their work. The biggest cause of delays is not being able to provide teams with what they need.
On average 2% of materials are lost or re-ordered, which only factors in the material cost, what is not captured is the duplicated effort of procurement, vendor and shipping costs, all of which have an environmental impact.
As things start to stabilise, APTIM continues to utilize SiteSense to boost efficiencies and solve productivity issues proactively. Integrating with 3D/4D modelling is just the precipice of what we can do. Access to data can help you firm up bids to win work, to make better cost estimates, and AI and ML are the next phase, providing an eco-system of tools.
A key focus for Intelliwave and APTIM is to increase the availability of data, whether it’s creating a data warehouse for visualisations or increasing integrations to provide additional value. We want to move to a more of an enterprise usage phase – up to now it’s been project based – so more people can access data in real time.