Matt Dombrowski, a solutions architect at Amazon Web Services (AWS), detailed how marketers can tap into the cloud-based computing division's machine learning tools for social listening and sentiment analysis in a company blog post shared with Mobile Marketer.
By leveraging a smattering of solutions offered by AWS, marketers can monitor their mentions on platforms like Twitter, Facebook, Google and Amazon at scale, set up recurring campaigns based on certain customer characteristics and ensure users aren't receiving redundant messages. This could help retailers develop their mobile strategies around sales windows like flash sales and the holidays, according to the post.
Dombrowski broke down how this works using Twitter as an example. Amazon can tap into a mobile client like Twitter and plug data — in this case, tweets that refer to a brand's handle — into Amazon's sentiment analysis tools. That data can be linked with data from other platforms like Facebook, point-of-sale terminals and website clickstreams. An Amazon Lambda function can analyze the data to provide a score and gauge when and how a marketer should engage with a customer. Amazon Pinpoint is leveraged for the engagement piece of the equation.
As use of social media by consumers continues to grow, this online activity provides a new source of data about consumers' interests and behaviors, which is why the social media analytics market is forecast to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 28.2% over the next few years. Amazon is not the first social media listening tool to come to mind for many something the company is clearly hoping to change. One potential competitive advantage for Amazon in social listening is if it can seamlessly link this insight to making a purchase on the platform.
Dombrowski's post arrives ahead of the holiday season, a crucial window for retail marketers to drive foot traffic and online sales using tailored promotions, which they're more frequently doing through mobile channels. The post details a fictional company Mountain Manhattan that wants to sort its "distracters" from supporters and key influencers that are more fitting of a "white-glove treatment."
By measuring how many followers a Twitter user has, Mountain Manhattan can use AWS to define that user's level of influence and figure out the right time to send mobile push notifications inviting them to join a loyalty program, for example, or to offer support during technical downtimes. The post also emphasizes the AWS suite's ability to automate these functions, taking the manual legwork out of, say, sorting through thousands of tweets per day.
AWS touting its social listening and analysis capabilities comes as parent company Amazon has recently ramped up its advertising business in a bid to compete more closely with rivals Google and Facebook. AWS has been a quiet linchpin for Amazon — all of the Seattle-based company's operating income last year stemmed from the service — as cloud computing has become highly desirable in the enterprise sector.
To date, AWS hasn't been a huge point of conversation in the consumer-facing marketing world, which could change as advertising becomes a larger driver of Amazon's growth. Amazon in July reported Q2 revenue of $2.2 billion in its "other category," which consists primarily of advertising. Advertising sales grew 129% year-over-year, making it the fastest growing category for the e-commerce giant.
Combining that momentum with more robust AWS-based marketing tools could make an appealing lure for marketers that are increasingly interested in marketing automation and value Amazon's ability to closely tie advertising services to its popular e-commerce platform.
Worldwide revenues from public cloud services reached $260 billion in 2017, according to Gartner forecasts reported in The Motley Fool, and are expected to pass $411 billion by 2020.