Brands and their agencies are experimenting with AI for a variety of applications, from generative art to generative chat.
The Boathouse Group, an independent marketing agency outside of Boston, is using AI for new forms of social listening, web monitoring, and reputation management.
On Tuesday, Boathouse launched a product called Narrative Transformation through a partnership with consumer and market intelligence platforms Signal AI and NetBase Quid.
The tool gathers data from tens of thousands of publicly available online sources, including tweets, Glassdoor comments, Reddit posts, blogs, news reports, regulatory filings, and a host of other English-language conversations happening around the world. This data is then placed into categories such as source, sentiment, passion, theme, and conversational tags.
The aim, says Boathouse president Peter Prodromou, is to “monitor and understand the evolving conversation at the micro level” and “form recommendations for how our clients should engage with the narrative.”
To win in today’s climate, he said, companies need to stay ahead of the “hustle and bustle on the internet” so they can “anticipate potential crises or opportunities.” This rule is correct, however, with current technology, predictions are not 100% accurate.
Prodromou said the unsolicited message approach is not optional.
“[But] The question becomes… how do you make sense of the conversation that is taking place? ’ he said. ‘For us, that’s where artificial intelligence comes in. “
Boathouse’s dashboard allows companies to leverage hashtags, topics and terms that define conversations about them. For example, CEOs can see when employees, customers, or investors are dissatisfied with their organization, allowing them “to not only set the narrative, but to make business decisions,” Prodromou said.
Brands need to “set things right, get into the 10 or 15 most important conversations and provide actionable insights,” he said.
Although Narrative Transformation is still in beta, several customers have already begun testing it, including the University of Massachusetts Global (UMass Global).
UMass Global is using the tool to better understand in real time how people perceive the university and how it compares “in terms of thought share, enthusiasm and sentiment” to other online colleges, said Terri Carbaugh, vice chancellor for public affairs.
For example, by searching for terms related to institutional, corporate and nonprofit partner C-suite, think tanks, trade outlets, and student and alumni experiences, UMass Global uncovered local, state, and national trend lines.
These insights “underpin our strategic communications activities,” Carbaugh said.
“We have identified specific areas where communication can and must be enhanced if we are to achieve our reputation goals,” she said.