In the digital world of today, it is impossible to manually monitor all online conversations that is relevant to your business. But with AI-based media monitoring tools, it becomes possible to monitor the world around you.
One of the companies active in the media monitoring and intelligence space is Meltwater with multiple products for PR-professionals, marketers and decision makers. I got the opportunity to interview Sophie Hedestad, the Head of Marketing for Meltwater in the Nordics.
She oversees all Meltwater’s marketing efforts in Sweden, Finland, Norway and Denmark, and has a deep interest in how technology and AI can be used in marketing.
Now, over to the interview, in which we will discuss AI-based media intelligence!
What is Your Company’s Background?
In 2001, in Oslo, Norway, CEO Jorn Lyseggen founded Meltwater with just US $15,000. Focusing on the nascent field of digital news, Meltwater became the leader in Media Monitoring. With the advent of social media, Meltwater advanced media monitoring by integrating social media into its platform, creating Media Intelligence. Knowing that digital data from individuals and businesses is growing exponentially.
Today, Meltwater is a pioneer of media intelligence and now Outside Insight, gives businesses the information advantage they need to stay ahead. More than 30,000 companies have used Meltwater’s media intelligence to stay on top of billions of online conversations and extract relevant insights to strategically manage their brands. With nearly 20 years of experience analyzing data, Meltwater is dedicated to personal, global service built on the local expertise of 55 offices across six continents.
Meltwater is leading the pack by applying AI to identify trends, extending the reach of media monitoring.
What Problem Does Meltwater Solve?
Meltwater’s media intelligence software make sure our clients stay on top of billions of online conversations and extract relevant insights to strategically manage their brands.
What Does Meltwater do, and why is it Important to Your Customers?
Meltwater offers multiple products for PR-professionals, marketers and decision makers.
The product we are known of is our media monitoring. In Swedish we call this “omvärldsbevakning” it basically means you will monitor the world around you. If you are able to understand the world around you, you will make informed decisions and put together competitive strategies.
With Meltwater you can monitor media and social media globally. We have competitors around the globe but no one that is present locally in the same way as us, our global and local approach has been very successful and we definitely consider this as our USP. To have a global top-class technology and consultation and support locally.
We serve our clients with information about their own brand, about competitors and about the industry as a whole. The information is sent to our clients through: morning reports as an email, through our mobile app, via logging in to our platform or through our open API that clients can integrate into their own systems. Staying on top of conversations we are helping our clients to stay out of media crisis and to make informed decisions.
To stay ahead of competition our clients can also do a lot of different analysis to understand their position in their markets. They can in a couple of seconds pull a dashboard with Share-of-voice, sentiment analysis and trending themes.
We have a huge product offer alongside our monitoring service. In the Meltwater platform you will find relevant journalists and influencers, you can send press releases, you can feed your website with media hits and positive mentions in social media etc. You can also handle all your social media channels via our platform to increase engagement in your community. To have one platform where you can login and handle all internal and external communication is appreciated by the market, we call it a one-stop-shop for marketers and PR-pros.
For decision makers and organizations with enterprise solutions
Meltwaters products make it possible to understand the real-time ebb and flow of your competitive landscape to flag opportunities and anticipate future threats to stay ahead of the competition. It is also possible to match your strategy to your competitive environment by incorporating key external drivers and competitors. And therefore, ensure that external forces are accounted for in forecasts and revenue models.
The Meltwater products makes it possible to reduce the time spent on sourcing competitive information by centralizing the flow of outside information. By centralizing the collection and dissemination of outside data with daily, weekly or monthly reports. As a result, make knowledge a resource within your enterprise. By ensuring that the most important external forces are accounted for they can be incorporated into your internal strategies, across teams, countries and expertise.
We use technology to make your workdays easier, for example by automating workflows into custom systems. For example by working together with your existing workflows and analytics platforms. You also can choose that information you want to extract from Meltwater, and incorporate trends, sentiment or mentions into your internal applications. You can judge the value of the future based on competitive benchmarking instead of historic financials, thanks to our AI that helps you to stay on top of financial, market and competitive information.
Lastly but not least the mobile application makes is possible to capture and share external insights as well as encourage internal discussions, directly in the app.
How Does Meltwater use AI?
Natural Language Processing
Meltwater use an AI technique called natural language processing. Let me explain: Imagine you want to find all journalists and influencers in a specific country talking about “New energy sources”. We can analyze previous articles written by social and news influencers to find those who write often about “new energy sources”.
We can create a list of these specific influencers to coordinate a relevant match and a much higher likelihood that the influencer will be interested in covering this story. Over time, as you maintain relationships with these influencers, the AI can even sort out which influencers have higher open and response rates to your pitches and suggest them for future, even more effective campaigns.
Today PR pros are looking to make data-driven decisions based on social listening and competitive benchmarking. However, building reports on these activities requires going through a lot of data and building spreadsheets. Meltwater are already here to automate this process. By detecting patterns and changes over time, Meltwater translate trends into dashboards so our clients understand the massive amount of data found online.
A key tool for understanding brand perception for any marketer involves looking at audience sentiment. Meltwater use AI to do sentiment analysis on media and social media so our clients can get an understanding of how our their customers are feeling about their product, service, or brand as a whole.
In Your Mind, What is the Future of AI in Business and Marketing?
Being able to take in and connect the dots between all the information found across different data sources, enables marketers to better understand the world in which they act. Knowing what is going to happen before it does, gives marketers the chance to be one step ahead in their work. Thanks to AI’s increase, the work within marketing will be more about working with foresight and less about solving crises that occur.
Marketers must provide insight that matters to their specific audience. AI can help identify what is relevant to the specific audience by pulling information from the mass amount of data on the web. It will be necessary for marketers in the future to work with AI and base their work on the data that AI presents. Ideation and creation processes will be based on the insights produced by AI. Using AI will make it possible to enhance the experience of the user with nuanced costumer data insights and make it easier to provide personalised experiences.
When it comes to decision-making, we all have mental biases that effect our decision-making. AI makes it possible to look past those and get the brand’s data from a third party perspective, in order to get an accurate perspective of the brands place in the market. In marketing, it’s crucial to make decisions based on facts, and not just a gut feeling, in order to work strategically long-term. AI will affect marketing in making it more about numbers and statistics, the kind of content that is produced will be based on statistics of what the audience wants and not what the marketer thinks.
Do You Think Marketers Will be Replaced by AI Robots?
When it comes to transforming industries, AI has (so far) received a bad reputation for its potential to replace humans and take away jobs. And in some industries, this may very well be the reality. But in marketing and communications, my prediction is that it will be actually the opposite—that AI will pair with you to make you far more data-driven, streamline your workflows so you can focus on what you do best, and help you amplify your message at a scale far beyond what is imaginable.
The skillset of marketers will change as a result of AI systems being more present. Marketers will need to have more knowledge about computer science as well as current skills about communication.
The marketing role might also be more about communicating within the company about how to use the new technology and also making sure that the insight provided is relevant and correct. The marketer must make sure AI remains unbiased and isn’t affected by its previous analyses in an incorrect way.
It will be required to predict what is coming and not just what’s been done in the past. Working with insight from external data will be instrumental for success in marketing and business. Since it’s estimated that at least 70% of companies will have adopted some form of AI by 2030, it’s crucial that marketers understand how to work with the data that AI presents, because if they can’t contribute with more knowledge than the system already does, they do risk being replaced by robots.
Do You Have Any Other Thoughts on AI in Business and Marketing?
AI solutions will in the near future be built into all companies to increase efficiency. Most likely in ways that the user won’t be aware it’s an AI system involved. It will become a definite part of everyday life and therefore an important aspect of all businesses and in the marketing world as well.
A future with AI require that companies recruits competence in order to use it properly. Lack of competence will be seen as a risk, implementing AI in your business in fear of missing out on it, will result in incorrect analysis and systems. Without knowledge, putting big amounts of unstructured data into a system and then using the results for making important decisions is problematic.
There are also examples of when knowledge has been good, but the end result still has been wrong. An example: using AI for simplifying the hiring process has resulted in the system giving women a big disadvantage based on that previous hires has been men. Implementing something new as AI to your business will take some time and a few miss-tries before it’s benefiting.
Finally, artificial intelligence is an extremely helpful enhancement, not a mysterious looming threat. When we let the machines do the heavy lifting—the counting, the categorizing, the detecting—it frees us up to do even more of the strategic and creative work we signed up to do in the first place. Let’s look forward to the amazing developments to come in this field in 2019 and beyond.
In this blog post, Sophie Hedestad presented interesting information on AI-based media intelligence. I think this type of tools will be instrumental in media analysis onwards.
I am an author, speaker and consultant in marketing automation and artificial intelligence.
Do you need help with marketing automation or AI-based solutions? Contact me and let’s discuss how I can help you!