The communication profession is changing rapidly. AI-based tools like ChatGPT have become indispensable in the permanent optimization and personalization of communication. This has major implications qfor communication agencies and their clients. MarketResponse, thanks in part to its recent acquisitions of automation company Underlined and communications agency Reputations, is at the forefront of the new communications industry, points out Jos Frijters, CMO/CSO of MarketResponse.
Many communications agencies and professionals still have to swallow softly when asked how they deal with the stormy developments in their field. Not so MarketResponse. There, the future started years ago. “Much of the formal, informational communication we had already automated for our clients. The advantages of efficiency, cost savings, acceleration and uniformity are obvious. Until recently, the disadvantage was that this is one-size-fits-all. Then there is a risk that expressions come at the expense of the human touch. With the rapid development of AI, we are now making automated communication personalized and interactive. For example, we now permanently deploy text-mining and conversational analytics to analyze communications in the customer journey and interpret user sentiment. This is how we continuously optimize communication,” Frijters said.
New competencies are needed in communications teams
The fact that tooling like ChatGPT is now unthinkable, he says, has major implications for communications agencies and their clients. “This requires new competencies in communications teams. Not only do you need developers and data scientists, the role of the communications professional becomes more strategic. Deployment of AI technology requires a new way of working in which the communications professional has a great responsibility when it comes to final editing and ensuring ethical frameworks. Our content creators are trained as prompt engineers. We use fact-checkers in custom tooling and selected, screened sources for the information. This technology allows us to leverage the talents of our creatives and content creators for concept development, depth and surprising angles and perspectives.”
One customer is not the other
At the same time, according to Frijters, it is vital to maintain the human touch when digitizing. “People expect digital ease of use, speed and efficiency from an organization, but at the same time do not wish to be treated as a number. Communication plays a vital role in this. One customer is not the other, which is why validated target group segmentation is essential. The decisive factor is to identify a customer at the very beginning of the customer journey on the basis of psychographic data or lifestyles. We use our scientifically validated BSR model for this purpose. That makes it possible to know the preferences for communication styles and means for each segment.”
Perception determines judgments about an organization
As an agency, it is necessary to offer a total solution in the field of insights-driven marketing and communication, Frijters argues. “Everything is communication. Consistency and coherence are required in all conversations with and expressions to your target audience. People do not judge a brand or organization solely on advertising, a well-written blog or a slick video. Image formation based on expressions in the media, personal experiences and those of their peers determines how they judge an organization. A well-thought-out communications strategy that oversees all these domains is the basis for creative concept development and data-driven activation, both in campaigns and in day-to-day interactive communications. Concept development and activation require a multidisciplinary, agile approach. For this reason, MarketResponse has developed into a full-service provider. In addition to market and audience research and behavioral influence services, we acquired two companies early this year: CX and EX automation company Underlined and the communications agency Reputations, which specializes in communications strategy, content and campaigns.”
Monitoring sentiment and acting on it
In addition to AI tooling, Frijters sees reputation management as a current development that today’s communications agency must provide. “Every year, top executives internationally name the lack of direction and grip on their reputation as one of the greatest risks. This is on virtually the same level as a pandemic or a natural disaster, according to the Allianz Risk Barometer. The environment is empowered and critical. Through social media, it has the tools to easily organize pressure. As a result, response times for an organization in crisis have dropped from a day to a few hours or even minutes. Monitoring sentiment among target groups is then essential. Here, too, new technology is playing an increasingly important role. With predictive modeling, for example, we can quickly recognize and act on negative sentiments with associated risk scenarios. Restoring trust, the human touch and authenticity are key words in any contemporary communication strategy. They are also precisely the concepts that cannot be fulfilled by technology alone. Our behavioral scientists and specialists in neuromarketing provide important added value here.”