With Natural Language Processing (NLP) slated to become a multi-billion dollar industry by 2020, we can expect to see more and more uses arising for this technology. The marketing sector stands to see some dramatic changes from NLP, as so-called “conversational marketing” becomes an increasingly common buzzword. So how will companies be using Natural Language Processing for marketing in the coming months and years? And what will this mean for consumers?

Natural Language Processing for Marketing

What is Natural Language Processing (NLP)?

Natural Language Processing refers to the technology that has the ability to understand the meanings associated with written and spoken words. Human language is extremely complex, with intricate grammar rules that can result in different meanings for the same term or phrase. Add in tone of voice, slang, relationship amongst the words, and other variables and you’ve got a complex word soup that takes the average human child many years to master.

The task of creating a computer program that truly “understands” human language seems quite daunting from a development perspective, but it’s not only possible; it’s become a part of mainstream life. Think Siri, Alexa and Cortana.

But Siri, Alexa, Cortana and other virtual NLP tools are sure to seem downright infantile in their language “comprehension” when compared to the more sophisticated Natural Language Processing technology that we’ll see in the not-so-distant future. And the marketing sector is an area that is certain to see tremendous gains from these advances.

How Can We Use Natural Language Processing for Marketing?

At its very core, marketing involves selecting imagery, words and messaging that will resonate with a specific group or demographic. NLP gives marketers the ability to craft a message that’s more accurate and more effective. Let’s look at how companies will be using NLP for marketing as this technology advances:

  • Marketing material will be more targeted. And well-targeted marketing collateral tends to feel a lot more relevant and engaging. In fact, the best marketing materials don’t seem like overt marketing collateral when they’re presented to the right audience; the reader/viewer may simply interpret it as engaging content. This is often considered the ideal in the marketing world, as this scenario tends to involve an extremely high degree of engagement with a high conversion rate. Marketers of the future will leverage NLP and machine learning technology to identify new target groups and then, communicate with those groups more naturally, organically and effectively. Over time, we’ll see a reduction in the amount of irrelevant marketing that we encounter, as more and more marketing teams refine their approach to target more precisely.
  • Marketing costs will decrease. In theory, if companies leverage Natural Language Processing in a way that allows them to connect with their target audience more effectively, then this should gradually lower the cost per conversion. Lower marketing costs could benefit everyone, as many companies would pass those savings on to the consumer. Companies could also reallocate excess marketing monies toward product development, resulting in more new, higher quality goods.
  • Marketers will gain more insight into the written word and the spoken word. We write in a manner that’s far different from the way we speak and even the best marketing experts can struggle with this differential. A well-developed NLP algorithm could recommend the best phrasing for written marketing materials and marketing videos, commercials and other marketing collateral that uses the spoken word. The net effect would be better engagement with content that feels less like marketing material and more like useful content.

Machine Learning Will Advance Alongside NLP

We can also expect to see lots of advances in the marketing sector thanks to new developments in the area of Machine Learning—a technology that is one of our specialties here at SevenTablets. Machine Learning can be used to comb through mountains of raw, unstructured data, deriving meaning from the patterns and trends that are detected. This technology can be used to refine and perfect Natural Language Processing algorithms, allowing for greater accuracy.

In fact, this data can also be leveraged by marketers who are attempting to connect with a specific type of person. In addition to making for a better NLP algorithm, Machine Learning technology can provide marketing teams with recommendations for phrases and terminologies that are most likely to resonate with their target audience, whether it’s a phrase spoken in a video or commercial, text on a website, hashtags on a social media post, or terms in an advert. Soon, manual keyword research will be a thing of the past; we’ll have clever algorithms that will ensure companies are using language that maximizes their ability to connect with their target audience.

Big Data also holds the potential to dramatically improve the products and services that are available on the open market. Companies collect billions of data points each day; Machine Learning gives companies the power to analyze and interpret that data in ways that far surpass what’s possible for even the most experienced data analysts. What’s more, Big Data and Predictive Analytics engines are also becoming more commonplace, allowing companies to predict trends and patterns with incredible accuracy.

The coming years will bring some dramatic changes to companies worldwide, as Natural Language Processing, Big Data, Machine Learning and Predictive Analytics gain more traction in the business world.

At SevenTablets, we specialize in technologies such as Machine Learning, Predictive Analytics and Natural Language Processing. Our product, Sertics, gives companies the ability to harness the power of Big Data, with Data Lakes, Predictive Analytics Engines and more. We also have extensive expertise in areas such as  Augmented Reality (AR)UI/UX design, app security and app testing.

7T is based in Dallas, with regional offices in Houston, Austin, and soon, Chicago. Our clients are situated across the globe, so whether you need a custom predictive analytics engine, an enterprise mobile app or another piece of custom software, we invite you to contact the team at SevenTablets today.

Anand Balasubramanian

Anand Balasubramanian

Chief Technology Officer at SevenTablets
Anand has been a technology executive for more than a decade with a deep background in driving the alignment of government, business and information. He has broad experience building revenue-generating products and services through a hands-on approach. Anand was also a delivery leader for Secretary of State solutions in the U.S. He earned his Master's of Computer and Information Science from the University of Madras in '98.
Anand Balasubramanian