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Why CMOs Are Blind to 90% of Their Content Experience

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It is best practice — and common — for marketers to pre-test human response of their premium Video content. That typically includes big event-driven “tentpole” TV spots, like Super Bowl ads, and evergreen content that is designed to be relevant for a long period of time.

That’s logical: If you’re spending millions of dollars on creative production, and millions of dollars to distribute that content, it is only responsible to test, diagnose, improve, predict and select the highest performing ads. More specifically, tentpole and evergreen Video content represents about 10% of a large marketer’s content portfolio. It is common for this minority of premium content to command 50% of the media budget. That is not a rule, but a common ratio.

The other 90% of Video content – called the longtail – often commands the other 50% of media spend. This content includes regional or market-specific ads, seasonal or one-time promotions, digital and social derivatives of tentpole content, or ads tailored for specific audience segments.

While the longtail of content contributes the most to total consumer experience, it is seldom tested for human resonance prior to launch, and often goes without rigorous testing once live in the market.

Read more: How to Avoid Tone Deaf Marketing in Uncertain Times

We Can Put Astronauts in Space, so Why Can’t Marketers Test All Their Content?

Marketers and agencies are eager to preach best practices of pre-testing and in-market testing, though shoddy execution is a dirty secret in adland. The reason why is related to inertia, economics, and complexity.

Inertia -The industrial-age mindset of survey research and focus groups may work for a single or handful of assets, but conventional methods don’t scale as well in the age of digital video experiences.

Economics – The exploding volume of digital video content across channels, digital walled gardens, and formats make traditional creative testing — and even in-market A/B testing — cost-prohibitive.

Complexity – Moreover, the complexity of digital video channels and formats is daunting. Then consider the challenges of multiple markets and languages, distributed agency networks, varying testing sophistication, and personalization requirements. 

Removing the Longtail Blindspot With AI

While the deterrents to comprehensive content testing with yesterday’s tools like brand-lift surveys and focus groups are real, we’ve since entered the age of AI. By 2024, AI identification of emotions will influence more than half of the online advertisements you see, according to Gartner.

Emotion AI, Computer Vision, and Automation are making one-off creative tests that take days, weeks or months a thing of the past. Now marketers are adopting the concept of “always-on human response” to power their Marketing systems.

The economics have evolved from larger research agency engagements that cost tens of thousands of dollars, to predictable Cloud software subscriptions that cut unit costs by orders of magnitude.

The science of Facial Coding and Machine Learning to understand emotion and attention is getting so precise, it rivals psychologists and trained human observers in some contexts, including the viewing of Content and Advertising.

That unlocks precise human measurement at scale, along with the ability to translate responses of opt-in audiences into actionable intelligence to create even better consumer experiences. It helps marketers move beyond the quality limits and biases of self-reported surveys.

Emotion AI is transforming the way we manage content for total optimized experience, and there’s no turning back. Enter the age of Content Intelligence.

Read more: Brands Take Note: Personalization Will Make Everyone a Pampered Consumer

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