November 21, 2018

Artificial Intelligence – a dream come true for marketers?

Kia Haring

Head of Global Communications, Tieto

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is one of the most disruptive technologies we have at this moment. It will not only transform every industry, but it will also change the way we do our work every day. It will transform today’s jobs by taking care of the most routine and repetitive tasks faster and more efficiently, making room for work requiring human skills such as empathy and emotional intelligence.

When talking in 15th Strategic Marketing and Branding Forum in October – as a proud ambassador for sustainability and IT –  I presented my employer, Tieto, through a case with great societal potential. Tieto and the City of Espoo conducted an experiment with AI with the aim to reduce social exclusion of young people.

The experiment was about crunching the historical data collected from the citizens during about ten years’ time through various systems and registers ranging from citizen registers to healthcare and welfare systems, as well as primary education systems. With help of an AI, the data was crunched to find patterns based on relations and consequences.

In the field of marketing and communications, it is vital to understand your customers and users in order to innovate better services for their needs. You need to deeply understand the causalities of the past in to be able to predict the future. In this case - to be able to target the ones in need for help at the right moment, early on, for best possible help.

I strongly believe the new technologies will enable us tackle some of the biggest problems of our time. From a professional standpoint, I believe AI has clear use potential and ability to bring great benefits to us as marketers and communicators. What we need is the data about our audiences and their behaviors, we need to  analyze that data over the time to find patterns – to understand causalities – so that we gain deeper and thorough understanding the key audiences.  The way to win their hearts is about creating services or content they find useful – and to be able to offer that to them in a personalized way, whenever and wherever they need it regardless of time, location or channel.

AI is being used already today in Marketing and Communications to benefit from the user data for more efficient process and improved outcomes. It is driving for increased marketing ROI and increased sales through better targeting and optimization of actions and campaigns, but it also provides a fact based launching pad for the creativity needed in our profession. To summarize, the benefits of AI in marketing and communications includes the perspectives below, without forgetting the speed and accuracy of handling the data;

  • analyzing the data from the past and “predict” the future in terms of user behavior and preferences
  • identify new potential audiences eg. “look-a-like” segments, with high likelihood for similar preferences and purchasing habits
  • better targeting and overall optimization of campaigns for greater impact and efficiency
  • to enable creation of unique experiences tailored to the segment of one

We have only started to tap the potential it has in creating truly personalized experiences - Spotify’s “Discover Weekly” being a good example of that. Artificial Intelligence is popping up everywhere and changing how customers interact with brands.  According to Forbes, by 2025, an estimated 95% of customer interactions will be supported by AI technology.

Marketing is everything that makes sales easier – are the words of my former boss about 20 years ago, and I still think it sounds good! AI provides us marketers and communicators a more solid and much broader foundation than we could have ever dreamed of. One could truly claim that AI for marketing and communications is making our dream come true by making the sales easier and enabling highly personalized experience for us as citizens, consumers – and as individuals.

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Read more about the case with City of Espoo here!

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