Big data and identity resolution technology are changing digital marketing by offering many opportunities to build artificial intelligence algorithms to drive B2C digital lead generation. These tools are readily available from the big advertising networks like Facebook, Google, and YouTube as well as through private companies like Akela Partners who can build customized, company specific, targeting algorithms.
Since all digital engagement is based on relevance, using these tools effectively is the key to building campaigns that convert and do so less expensively than your competition.
A.I., Big Data and Identity Resolution
When we are talking about artificial intelligence (A.I.) we are referring to the process of machines evaluating huge chunks of observable behaviors and identifying the common threads. Then using that knowledge to identify other users who are doing the same thing.
The internet is full of data. Everything everyone does is captured, tracked, and analyzed. In 2010 Eric Schmidt of Google is famously quoted as saying that “5 exabytes of information was created between the dawn of civilization through 2003, but that much information is now created every 2 days”.
According to Techjury, today more than 2.5 quintillion bites of data are produced by humans every day. There are 18 zeros in a quintillion … FYI.
463 exabytes of data will be generated each day by humans by 2025.
With practically unlimited computing power (through Microsoft and Amazon scalable servers) we can build very sophisticated algorithms that predict what we are interested in based on the things we are doing.
Applying this theory to the job of generating leads for your business
If you are a financial advisor looking for new clients, how can you use this information to win new accounts?
First is to lean into the algorithm.
Using financial advisors as an example is a great place to start because they will all tell you they sell based on relationships and that digital advertising does not work. Nothing is farther the truth. The problem is to build relationships digitally means trusting the algorithm and meeting your prospects where they are.
Today, we all go online to research everything we buy. No one wants to talk to a salesperson until they are ready to talk about the details of buying from that company. Therefore, we all leave digital fingerprints as we navigate the internet to solve our problems. The artificial intelligence platforms can see all those fingerprints and identify the patterns that lead up to a conversion.
Back to our financial advisor. Let us say she sells annuities and wants more clients. Traditionally she would advertise to the masses in one form or another (billboard, newspaper, radio, tv, little league fields, etc.) and wait for the phone to ring. This means that her ad is not relevant to everyone who sees it, AND she is hoping that the people she can help, make the connection from her product to their safe, secure retirement.
When she takes the same style campaign to the internet, she finds cost go up and conversions are few and far between. That is because she is not letting the A.I. engine do what it does best. Find her prospects who are actively in the market for her product.
A.I. can predict with great accuracy who will be receptive to her message, when they want to see the message, what style they prefer consuming, and more. This is accomplished from training a tracking pixel to know what it is looking for.
The internet is full of tracking pixels. What the pixel is doing is bringing together the identity of the user with the actions that user is taking online. Then looking for patterns. When we want to target new prospects, we know the pattern we are looking for and the A.I. engine can crunch through mountains of data to find other people who are fitting that pattern. What we call an InMarket audience.
For any event, we can identify all the observable behaviors that indicate someone would be interested in buying what you sell. This means building out a conversion behavioral profile. The URL’s visited, keyword searches performed, the content reviewed, and online engagements performed. Looking at one or two is not enough, but again, we know have data on everything and everybody and computers that can crunch numbers all night long, so we can evaluate billions of behaviors and conversions to identify the best behavioral profile possible.
It takes a little time and effort to train your pixel, but once you have, it can feed you an almost unlimited supply of ideal target prospects to talk with.
Second is to match your marketing content to the customers buying journey
Notice I said above that a mature tracking pixel will send you an unlimited supply of ideal target prospect so talk with. I did not say prospects to advertise to. Because in the new digital world, advertising is really a series of online conversations. Just like the financial advisor is used to developing relationships over time and in person, now she must learn how to build the same know, like and trust using relevant digital conversations.
This means that your content must match the customer and where he is in the buying journey. The A.I. algorithm is smart enough to know exactly where he is in the buying process and can figure out what is the right content to share with him at the right time.
This does mean that you must build out the content library so the algorithm can show that content to the right person at the right time.
No longer is it possible to just have one or two ads that grab someone’s attention and then push them to the end conversion. No one buys an expensive or trust-based product over the internet after one or two ads. But they absolutely will consider building a relationship with you if you address their issues when and where they want to be.
The beauty of leaning into the A.I. algorithm is that it delivers unprecedented results. Since all digital platforms are running on a relevancy model, the more relevant your content, the less you pay to deliver the content. This makes sense when you realize users do not pay to use the platforms. Facebook for example is a free service. So, the most important thing to Facebook is that you have an enjoyable time using the platform. The more you enjoy, the longer you are on and the more ads they can show you.
Relevance in advertising means you are seeing ads that are relevant to you. The opposite of a billboard. The billboard does not change, its value is determined by how many cars drive by every minute. For digital, the ads you see are based on what Facebook things you want to see.
When you are creating content that is relevant to users, Facebook wants to show it and it creates the ultimate win/win relationship.
Let us say you have an ad that converts (gets a click) one out of every 100 times it is shown. Giving a 1% click through rate. You pay $2 per click. So, if they show your ad 1,000 times, you get 10 clicks and they are paid $20.
Now, I have an ad that is both a better ad, content wise, and the algorithm is able to determine who best to show it too, so I get 5 clicks for every 100 people who see it. Facebook will want to show my ad more than yours and will do so at a dramatically reduced price. Say $0.50 per click. In my case when they show the ad to 1,000 people, I will get 50 clicks and they will get paid $25.
|FB Revenue for 1000 impressions|
Thus, the win/win/win. With my ads the FB audience is getting more relevant ads and enjoying the online experience more as indicated by the higher click through rate, and Facebook makes 20% more on my account while I pay 80% less for my ads.
Back to our financial advisor selling annuities.
By creating content that explains and educates how and why the product works, what buyers need to know to make a good buying decision, and why they should buy from her, she can develop know like and trust digitally by giving relevant content to her ideal target audience when and where they want to consume the data.
She does have to build good content, but the A.I. system will figure out who should see what piece of content, when to get the best results.
Then, once someone is educated and ready to purchase (sales ready) they will be ready to talk to our intrepid financial advisor. Now when they see an ad that takes them to a scheduling page, they raise their hand and schedule a consultation.
The advisor still must make the sale. Be responsive, answer questions, etc, but the prospect is only there talking with her because he knows she offers a solution to the top of mind problem he is concerned about right now.