Four use cases of image analysis in marketing

A strategy to analyze consumers and improve sales and performance


In marketing, we analyze consumers to improve sales and performance, connect customers with brands and reduce costs. Let’s see how a visual analysis of people can help marketing.

Making marketing more personal

It may be some time before computer vision and image analysis technologies can mimic human levels of visual perception, but it is already possible in certain scenarios such as visual analysis of genders and age groups.

McDonald's plans to open self-service kiosks equipped with cameras and image analysis software. They will use computer vision to identify customers’ gender and age and then recommend items based on this visual data.

Personalized window-shopping

Other retail companies are working with computer vision consultants and developers to increase personalization through image analysis. Camera-equipped screens in storefronts will be capturing and analyzing data about passers-by or window-shoppers.

The window-shopper will see products picked by the software as relevant based on the analyzed visual data, which is to

Products recommended to window-shoppers by the software will be relevant as it will be garnered from analyzed visual data which, in turn, will encourage impulsive purchases.

Understanding consumer attention and sentiment

Brand owners will soon be able to use image analysis to see how advertising is perceived by viewers.

Traditionally, this is done via surveys in which viewers express their sentiments about the content they see. It could be faulty however because humans are known for being inarticulate about their impressions, so a certain degree of misrepresentation is always here.

Smiles don’t lie

One advertisement showed how imperfect surveys can be, as analyzed by Omnicom Media Group in 2016. Initially, the ad was ranked 55th out of 63 ads on the 2016 USA Today Ad Meter List. However, when shown to the viewers whose emotional responses were measured using facial image analysis, the ad raised more smiles than any other ads ranked higher on that Ad Meter list.

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Accurate analysis of outdoor advertising

Outdoor ads represent the only format still enjoying growth in terms of spending. In 2017, out-of-home advertising sales rose by 2.7%, according to the Outdoor Advertising Association of America.

All-seeing signage

Small, inexpensive cameras mounted on or close to an outdoor signage, integrated with image analysis applications, could measure such metrics as:

How many people walked past the ad signage

How many people stopped to look at it

How long people looked at the advertisement

The demographics of those who stopped to look at it

According to a Marketing Land article, this outdoor equivalent of tracking click-through rates has already been deployed in tests by creative agencies such as M&C Saatchi.

No time-consuming tagging

Image analysis may help marketers reduce their workload by displaying products on e-commerce websites.

By enabling visual search tools, digital marketers will no longer need manual tagging for product images, and consumers will be able to find what they need faster.

Seeing beyond semantics

With the help of image analysis programs that scan images and identify the context, online shoppers will be able to search for products by selecting or uploading images similar to what they are looking for.

Image analysis: A new dimension in data-driven marketing

Time will tell if its influence will be that revolutionary, but image analysis will reshape the way brands strengthen their identities, heighten consumer awareness, and attract new followers—all while measuring performance more accurately and being less pricey than conventional methods.

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