Why natural language processing (NLP) could be important to you as a marketer

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Natural Language Processing (NLP) is a branch of technology that has stemmed from one of the main functions of Artificial Intelligence: to read and make analytical sense of words. Beginning as one of the tertiary functions of AI to analytically understand words, graphs and charts, it has become one of the biggest challenges for AI as NLP took the front seat with its demand becoming primary.

An everyday usage of NLP is when you type half a sentence on Google search and it tries to auto-complete it with different options. The same technology is used when your phone suggests the next word that you might want to type while sending messages. However, what it lacks is that it doesn’t quite “understand” the meaning of words; suggestions are given based on the past behaviour of the user.

So the challenge right now is to make the computer understand words, grammar and perhaps most important, semantics — the meaning of texts. This has been the holy grail of NLP: to convert ‘unstructured data’ (text and multimedia) into structured data. Lest you think it’s a thing of the future, we are already inching closer toward that goal with advances in NLP and multimedia indexing technology.

With advancements and research that has already lead to its usage in the industry, it’s time B2B marketers understand what NLP does, and learn a few ways to harness its power to increase business leads.

Here are a few reasons why marketers should consider using NLP:

1. Understanding social patterns and trends: Given the number of comments and posts that a social media manager might come across on the web related to his or her company, it would be almost impossible to take all the required actions, based on them. However, with the use of NLP, one can easily find patterns and trends to better assess which lead requires prioritized attention. Alternatively, one can address negative feedback by users who have had a bad experience with a product. NLP solutions would not let those comments fall through the crack and help you respond to them immediately. Moreover, by analysing tweets and Facebook posts, NLP will let you know the overall mood of users and potential buyers about your company.

2. Analysing phone calls: With NLP solutions it is now possible to transcribe phone calls of customers and potential customers into texts and analyse them for trends. Once you know your potential buyers’ concerns, you can decide how, as a company, you want to address them. And accordingly, direct your telephone representatives to change their narrative while speaking with potential customers.

3. Increasing response efficiency: With loads of emails coming your way every day, it becomes quite a task to differentiate between the ones that need your immediate response and the ones that don’t need your attention at all. You can use NLP now to categorize your emails the way you want them, scan them and forward them to the appropriate customer reps!

 

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