[A guest post by our co-founder Thomas about the future of marketing. This must be important.]
What's up ya'll.
We're fairly certain that 2017 will be one of the best years yet. Because we care about others, ourselves, and our craft, we find there is an unprecedented opportunity to bring joy through action, and shine light on the world.
More on that below.
With Creative AI, [@starbucks](http://instagram.com/starbucks) would gain access to the treasure chest of content optimization.
Dash Hudson powers visual intelligence across social, e-commerce, brand design, and advertising for the world's raddest brands including HBO, Vogue, Glossier, Puma, Kylie Cosmetics, REVOLVE, Hyatt, and Marc Jacobs. Among many others, you know.
One of our core principles is taking care of one another. That means mutual support, both professionally and personally. This ethos extends to our customers, who we figuratively (and sometimes literally) smother in hugs. We care for each other, and try to make their day a bit easier, a bit brighter, and a bit more fun by creating products they actually want to spend time with.
Our conversations with customers and other super smart people generate ideas, just like sparks from a flame. Several months ago, there were some serendipitous moments (ask me about an elevator encounter with a wiener dog named Figaro sometime) that pushed us to embark on something new.
But first, a little lesson in alchemy. What if we told you that we could create something the world has never seen before by combining the creative, data-driven mind (you guys) with artificial intelligence, visual search, and machine learning? The merging of these elements will enable us to solve two of the biggest problems facing brands today.
The time has come to share content that people really care about across all visual touchpoints.
It's a travesty. Becoming more successful as a brand inevitably means creating more content, which snowballs into others also creating more content about you. These photos and videos live on social, on your site, or in your CMS/Dropbox/Drive. It's so plentiful that it can end up feeling like a tidal wave constantly washing over you and into the distance — beautiful, engaging photos and videos lost, never to be recovered, nor remembered.
In a world where there are billions of visual touch points with customers — social marketing, e-commerce, advertising, PR, brand design initiatives — you need to get those interactions right. And in an era where the consumer is savvier and more demanding than ever, the stakes are astronomical. To soar, you need to ensure you are making marketing strategy decisions around visuals that you know will perform.
It's not just about recovering and discovering the best photo and video content, it's also about making creative and data-backed decisions about what will perform. Add to that where it will perform best and when it will perform best. Boom.
Admit it. We all get that feeling way down deep in the pit of our stomachs before we commit to pushing a piece of content out into the universe. Yes our curatorial acumen is strong, yes we believe in data, but still that indescribable anxiety persists.
New technology can help creative marketers fine-tune their decision-making. Perhaps machine learning and the rise of artificial intelligence rings a bell? Used properly, these technologies can surface the insights you need on command to help you make better creative decisions, faster.
What is artificial intelligence in today's content-focused landscape? It's about generating the creation and distribution of more photos and videos that people actually care about.
Remain resolute in the face of these challenges. The fate of the galaxy (or at least your bonus) depends on it.
You have thousands of branded visuals being created by you and by others, every single day. As your partner in visual marketing intelligence, how do we make sure we find the photos and videos that will bring you the most value?
In 2017, new methods of search will emerge, letting you instantly find any photo or video in which your brand has been featured. Looking for an image of a black dog on a beach with a yellow umbrella? De nada. Been trying to surface that pic of that influencer that tagged your LBD at Coachella? Kūru. New tech science makes it easy to find a photo or video by color, by the items and subjects in the image, as well as by location.
Sound like magic? Maybe it is a little bit. And it's also your future.
At the end of the day, a photo or video has two jobs. The first is to entice. This happens through creating awareness (reach, impressions) and driving engagement (likes, comments, views). The second is to elicit emotion that will drive customers to take action, whether that's to learn more, to desire further experiences around your brand, to discover other touch points, to make a purchase, to share with friends, the list goes on.
Ultimately, your brand will earn that deeper customer connection if your content fulfills both duties. Obtaining trust means extra opportunities to offer them additional content, products or services.
To complete these two jobs, a photo or video requires careful curation powered by a sharp creative eye and data savviness. AI will be a game-changer for creatives in 2017, assisting them in surfacing relevant, timely, emotionally-ridden content that drives performance. The curator will then decide what will truly stand out amongst those potential high performers.
At Dash Hudson, we think a lot about Creative AI, which understands the fundamental elements of what makes a photo or video great. It knows this by constantly evaluating historical and real-time image performance, learning what works, where it works, and, more importantly, when it will work. Its learnings can then be applied to content creative across a brand's business. Essentially, this technology will help teams better understand what will work and ultimately, inform future creative.
Forecasting consistent high performance is only one of the perks of Creative AI. Another is simply making your day-to-day easier by surfacing the best content, in turn making your decisions uncomplicated and your life that much less challenging.
Ya'll like video? Distributed social video is skyrocketing in importance for brands. Snapchat is video first, YouTube remains a leading media channel, and Facebook HQ has deemed it a massive priority at both Facebook the network and Instagram.
Brands are struggling to keep up. Video is harder than a static photo because there needs to be a story, interesting characters, personalities, outcomes. And unlike for images, there are very few tools that allow brands to segment and truly understand what elements of a video drive performance consistently.
In 2017 new solutions will arise and brands will finally get to go deep on video. They'll enable the understanding of what types of videos perform best (BTS versus takeover, for instance), as well as how elements like cover frame can be used to get cracking results.
Creative AI will reverberate across your business. Thousands of photo and video decisions are made every day in brand design, e-commerce, advertising, strategy, digital marketing, social, and sales. An incredible amount of time is consumed making suboptimal decisions.
It will also make creative marketers more productive, smarter and able to create consistently great moments that build real relationships with customers. The apex of content management.
It's a brave new world. Make it count.
Got it? Good.
This is a brave new world. The discussion about AI and machine learning in the creative process can scare some. In reality, it's just a deeper form of analytics, and one that is more responsive to an ever-shifting world.
The smartest marketers jumped on data, be it in the early days of web commerce and advertising, or during the rise of social. Today's smartest marketers will jump on Creative AI, leaving others in a trail of sparkling metallic dust.