Words Count: Brands Say COVID-19 Makes Language More Important

It’s one thing to reach out to customers with AI-based targeting, and another to achieve an emotional connection — especially in the era of COVID-19, judging by Leveraging the Power of Language, a study from Phrasee, conducted by Dynata.

Of the companies polled, 64% say language has never been more important than it is now. But it’s not clear that they are cultivating empathy and compassion.

For example, 32% feel the importance of language is the same as before COVID-19, and 4% say there is no impact. Why bother trying to change?

Yet 30% of the respondents say their CEO now pays more attention to the power of language. 

For beleaguered email copywriters, that could mean a barrage of 2 a.m. copy corrections. Or it could lead to additional deployment of technology, and loss of copywriting jobs.

As things stand now, 36% of brands have an insufficient number of staff writers. And 37% complain of a lack of funds invested in content creation. 



Moreover, 37% say too little time is spent on content. And 51% are unable to create “consistent messaging across all channels, at scale, and aligned to their brand,” the study says. 

The bottom line is that 82% are struggling to create high-quality content. 

But they are working on it. 

For starters, 71% expect to focus more on content and language when they create their next marketing plan, while 73% plan to invest in AI technology to support marketing initiatives within the next 18 months. 

In addition, 37% will invest in AI specifically to do copywriting. And 53% of the respondents in banking, finance and insurance will invest in AI that can generate copy aligned to their brand.

A solid majority — 60% — measure the impact of language. That means 40% aren’t doing so. 

Email marketers measure — and test — everything from the subject line to the body copy. 

In general, 47% expect technology to play a greater role, although they want to remain involved. Another 53% contend that marketing technology should have some form of human oversight. And 42% lack confidence that they have the right technology to “future-proof” their role. 

The takeaway? “The marketing megastars of the future will be defined by their ability to produce quality content at scale that amplifies brand values, builds long-term consumer trust, and reaches the intended audience,” states Parry Malm, CEO of Phrasee.

Dynata surveyed more than 300 senior marketers in North American organizations. They included businesses in the ecommerce/retail; travel/ hospitality; restaurants, communications, telecoms and utilities, and banking, finance, and insurance industries. 

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