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The marketing industry has been bombarding itself for years with ways to “manage” or “harness” the “disruption” brought upon us by artificial intelligence, machine learning, and the like.
What do we mean by “disruption?”
We mean “OMG, scary, out-there science that’s escaped from the lab and now everyone has to wear VR goggles and get their galvanic skin responses and eyeballs tracked! WTF! How the hell do we do all that?”
Well, we’ve been pioneering and practicing disruption ⎯ proudly and with stellar successes ⎯ for years from the dawn of digital marketing to the emergence of advanced analytical techniques as a tool to drive strategy. And let’s let our past and our present serve as support our urgent all-points bulletin:
Disruption is dead, done, finished. Artificial Intelligence, machine learning, and applying data-driven techniques to solve marketing challenges are the new normal.
Do we hear sighs of relief? Or do we hear groans of imminent discomfort?
Bottom line: there’s no need to fear application of AI or other advanced research tools in marketing. They may not be your everyday tool but they are tried and true approaches to marketing problem solutioning.
What you should be afraid of … is not having them in your toolbelt.
Here’s the risk. With commoditization comes both comfort and concern.
OK, so it’s becoming normal to find AI and ML deployed on the front lines among leading marketers. That’s a reassurance factor.
But we all know what happens when normal is the norm.
Not much. At least not much that’s important. Commodities are me-too shelf-mates. Which means that the captain of the research ship needs to keep scanning the horizon for the next breakthroughs.
You get our drift ⎯ off the shelf can lure you off the road. At the same time using advanced techniques shouldn’t elicit fear or wonder. What organizations need is application of the right advanced modeling technique in the hands of a savvy and deft team.
So, Mr. and Ms. new-normal, smarter-than-thou CMO, what do you propose?
See if you can find the answer in this statement by one of our clients:
“We were introduced to models leveraging Artificial Intelligence, and this approach was new to our group. Nevertheless, the model’s insights held up in side-by-side validation against the norms provided. “
Yes! The answer is “ … Artificial Intelligence … was new to our group.”
Of course, “new” on its own doesn’t close a case. We’ve done our share of failed new-ness. And yes, it hurts but better us having already made those mistakes on our dime than inflicting well intended but misdirected efforts on clients. We’ve learned the hard lessons so you don’t have to.
The clincher here is “… the model’s predictions held up in side-by-side validation against the norms …”
Let’s try another.
“The models developed to apply AI to our industry functions well in the field … “
We can cite cases like these for days.
But you get where we’re going with this, no? Years ago, we led the way to disruption before disruption was cool. Today, we’re leading the way in an environment where “disruption” is the norm.
Who better to stay ahead of the norm than the ones who developed it in the first place? Now is the time to embrace AI/ML. Apply it to marketing challenges to deliver measurable ROI as well as grow the capabilities of your company as it strives to compete in a world where the slimmest of margins can mean success or failure.