At a recent event hosted by Marketing and Rocket Fuel, a panel of senior marketers discussed AI, Millennial staff and the new era of collaboration with clients.
‘The Age of Predictive Marketing’ event was hosted by Marketing and Rocket Fuel and included a panel of industry leaders. The panel included Michael Buckley, managing director at Accenture Interactive Australia and New Zealand, Guy McGechan, performance director at Havas Media Australia, Tara Hennessy, senior marketing manager – consumer segments at Bank of Melbourne and Rocket Fuel’s own director of innovation Nikos Acuna.
AI gives marketers and brands the ability to – in the words of Nikos Acuna – “pitch the right person at the right context, place and time with the right message.”
“It’s setting the foundations for predictive marketing,” he said.
Taking data from exchanges and engagements gives the ability to evaluate best opportunities and serve somebody back. The convergence of “all these different forces,” he says – AI, decisioning technology, datas science and machine learning – “is setting the stage for this next generation.”
At the highest level AI is a broad term for being able to insert a number of inserts into a model, then get a very defined set of outputs. “If you think about that, it can apply to absolutely everything,” said another panellist.
The challenge is, of course, knowing how to make sense of the immense amount of data marketers have a their fingertips now.
“We’ve got all of these devices in our pockets,” he said. “A lot more people are taking pictures, a lot more people are creating data. It’s all being updated in to the cloud, through which big platform companies like Google, Amazon and Facebook are taking in that information, creating new experiences out of them and creating structure to make customer experiences (CX) more meaningful.”
Another challenge is changing customer expectations – “liquid expectations,” as one panellist calls them. “If you don’t have great CX, you’re dead.
“You can go and do all the programmatic marketing and predictive marketing you like, but if you forget CX, the conversion rate is not going to be there.”
Tara Hennessy of Bank of Melbourne said AI gives the ability to maximise CX and improve engagements with clients and customers. “Instead of having one stock standard blanket campaign – like five years ago – we now talk to a whole base of different customers in different ways.
“Customers that are not all the same, and we’re targeting them with different products, approaches and testing things,” she said.
It’s also helping expedite reporting, making it easier to buy the right media. “The best of AI at the moment is more in reporting,” said one panellist. “You collect sales data, task data, all sorts of data.
AI is helping us create the algorithm to actually say ‘hey, media agency, go buy more TV, for example.”
Careers and Millennial staff
AI is helping Michael Buckley and the Millennial entrants at his company in their career development. “We hire an incredible amount of grads,” he says.
In the past, the role of newly hired graduates was to work on mundane tasks such as data entry and reporting, sometimes for years. “This is where you do your time, and you do two years and you learn this and this,” he said.
AI is letting them automate reporting. “I’m hiring grads that are so good, and we can actually get them to do the tasks that they’ve gone to university to do.”
As far as Millennials and their career ambitions, he’s learning that they “don’t necessarily care about heirarchy, they just care about investing their time, energy and knowledge in the stuff they’ve gone to university for.
“AI is hopefully taking away that layer of mundane tasks that we don’t have to do any more,” he said.
The speed of communication has revolutionised the way his organisation works with clients for Buckley. It’s no longer “let’s go and get their brief, come back to the studio and go back to the client two weeks later saying ‘here’s our bunch of ideas’,” he said.
“It’s very much now co-design, co-create. Clients understand that they need to be with us along the whole experience now and actually live with us.
He expects this to develop further, too, where “we’ll actually become part of the client – they might outsource it to us, but we’ll live and breathe that brand.”
This article first appeared in www.marketingmag.com.au
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