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Published March 19th 2015

Commentary: Predictive Tech Will Transform Marketing. Here’s Why

It’s 7pm, and the hardworking community manager in your office has finally conceded that the day is over.

They’ve been responding to customers, fans and critics all day. It took a keen eye and relentless attention to detail, but now it’s all done.

Every now and then, a new controversy kicked off. Luckily, they were at their desk. They composed an appropriate response and dealt with the situation with an alley-oop of social posts, press releases and emails.

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Now they’re at home. After a warming columbian stew, they’ve done the dishes and bed is calling.

Elsewhere, an angry young comedian has had a bad experience with your brand.

He’s witty, he’s got a following and he wants to take your brand down a peg. Late at night, he writes 140 characters which slates your company so deftly, even your CEO might say “he’s got a point, y’know.”

It gets 10 RTs, then 100. Soon it’s at over 1,000 RTs.

It’s posted on Imgur and instantly hits the front page of Reddit.

Buzzfeed publishes an article titled ‘Young Comedian Absolutely NAILS This Terrible Brand’.

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As you wake up, you see the Tweet on the morning news. You panic. Your community manager rings up in tears, your CEO rings up in fury.

By the evening, Jimmy Kimmel has invited the young comedian onstage.

Ellen DeGeneres is laughing at you.

Couldn’t this have been avoided?

Getting closer to social omniscience

Most social media suites offer some form of automated reporting.

Key insights delivered to stakeholders on a periodic basis has saved community managers and social analysts hours a week.

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Most automatic reporting in its current form is limited.

Most platforms will only seek out what you tell it to look for – changes in sentiment, spikes in mentions, or a mention by a pre-defined influencer.

Predictive analysis will be the next leap in social and PR management: it will seek out things you didn’t even know you were looking for.

Real-time alerts will highlight potential crises, issues and trends as soon as they occur.


Systems that intelligently anticipate what the user wants to see will change the function of social marketers. The time saved setting up reports and checking dashboards will allow analysts to think more strategically, ensuring nothing slips through the net.

Force for good

Common uses for this kind of technology will revolve around crisis management. Like Chevy did with the infamous ‘chevy guy’, responding quickly when you’re the laughing stock can turn your fortunes around.

Social media managers spend hours a day searching for next big trend they can piggyback off of.

Sometimes they surf Reddit, some create lists of in-the-loop social bigshots. Predictive analysis platforms will deliver whatever the ‘next big thing’ is in a real time email alert.

There’s already technology being developed that can make platforms like this a reality. When it hits the market, brands who adopt it will instantly save hours a day. It’ll save their skin when no-one’s manning their social command centre.

Most importantly, Ellen DeGeneres won’t laugh at them. Unless they want her to.

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