“Eighty percent of what we do every day will be intelligently automated to some degree in the next three to five years.” -Paul Roetzer, Founder and CEO of Marketing Artificial Intelligence Institute and PR 20/20.
Did that send chills down your spine?I know it did for me when I attended the first-ever MAICON conference held at the Huntington Convention Center in Cleveland in July 2019. And if you think about it, AI impacts our daily lives already.
What is AI?
It’s completing your sentences when you type out an email on Gmail. It’s your Netflix account recommending movies you are more than likely to watch or your Spotify account creating playlists just for you based on your listening habits.
Over 300 marketing professionals traveled to Cleveland to learn more about this fast-growing technology and how we can utilize it to better market to our buyers.
Should I Be Scared of AI?
What is the first thing you think of when you hear the words “artificial intelligence?” Do you think of robots taking over the world or something straight out of a sci-fi movie?
Rest assured, AI is not here to harm us, but more to help us streamline our lives including our marketing capabilities. Demis Hassabis, Co-Founder & CEO of DeepMind, simply defines AI as “the science of making machines smart.”
How Does AI Work?
AI functions with a set of algorithms that tells the machine what to do or what to learn. With the new knowledge, AI can start creating its own algorithms, which can unlock unlimited learning potential.
These algorithms can help marketing and sales professionals by reducing time on repetitive yet important tasks such as analyzing data, monitoring social posts, locating opportunities in content and lots more.
Read on to get my top 5 takeaways from MAICON 2019.
Top 5 Takeaways from MAICON ‘19
1) AI for More Effective Content
AI is transforming the marketing field. It allows us to complete repetitive tasks faster and gives us more opportunities for content personalization, real-time data monitoring and analysis and effective optimization. AI can take a known pain point, known as a use case, and turn it into a more efficient task so more time is spent on items that need our human concentration.
Examples of use cases include:
- Locating gaps and opportunities in content.
- Consistently keeping buyer personas up-to-date.
- Web content optimization for SEO.
- Monitoring insights on top-performing campaigns.
- And one-on-one buyer personalization.
After recognizing potential use cases, next utilize the 5 Ps for AI and Email Marketing: Planning, Production, Personalization, Promotion, Performance. Each P helps determine how AI could assist in repetitive tasks that use data and can make a prediction about behavior. Going through these steps can help determine how to pilot AI and what tools or software you may need to start utilizing this new technology.
2) Don’t Be Afraid
“As with any new tech, AI can be scary because it’s unknown. That’s okay, just don’t hide from it. Start learning today.” - Kanishka Bhattacharya, Senior Director of Data Science and Analytics at Publicis Sapient
For MAICON’s first conference, there were over 300 people in attendance. Some of us have already been utilizing AI, while others have not.
“Where do I even begin?” was a common question between sessions and when talking to exhibitors at the show.
Being open to AI and willing to learn more are great first steps. Bhattacharya went on to say in his session, “The only way to take advantage of tech and AI is through education.”
3) Managing Privacy Should Always Be Top of Mind
Another big concern within the audience was managing privacy and keeping with GDPR compliance. When discussing ethics and privacy, I think the best advice came from RJ Tayler, CEO and Founder of Pattern 89.
“Grab a pen and paper and write down what you stand for. Reference your core values and stick to it.”
You gain a lot of knowledge about your buyer through the workings of AI. Keeping your company’s core values in mind while utilizing artificial intelligence can be a guide in making sure you are not breaking your buyer’s trust.
As far as official rules and guidelines, GDPR was just the start. As this new technology evolves, more regulations likely will follow to maintain a user’s privacy.
4) The Growth of AI is Accelerating
How fast is AI growing?
Mike Kaput, Director of Marketing Artificial Intelligence Institute said, “We don’t individually have all the answers on how fast AI will progress. We have suspicions and predictions … that’s the whole reason we’re hosting MAICON, so we can figure this out together.”
This technology has been growing for years, and search engines such as Google have been collecting data since the late 1990s. But now, in the last couple of years with the increase in smart devices such as smartphones and smart speakers, the growth has only accelerated.
Even with its fast-paced grown, AI is still very new and in its early stages of growth. That’s why it is essential to start pinpointing use cases and researching how AI is best suited for your company. Paul Roetzer reminded attendees during his session, “You don’t just flip a switch and everything becomes automated.”
5) Marketing Still Needs Humans
By far, my favorite quote from MAICON came from Douglas Rushkoff, author and host of Team Human.
“What are the things in the Internet of Things? We are the things. The data becomes the message and the humans become the medium.”
His message to attendees was to start viewing the future differently by viewing technology as a way for humans to grow closer together. Instead of viewing AI as something that could replace our jobs, it’s actually something we can grow with and that can enhance our marketing careers. The best thing to do is to embrace artificial intelligence by not running from it, but learning from it.