Will AI and Machine Learning really make the difference in marketing?

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You can’t discuss marketing today without the conversation turning to artificial intelligence (AI) or machine learning (ML). Once touted as the silver bullet for data collection, analysis and customer service, smart marketers are already using the underlying technique to enhance human intelligence. Artificial intelligence (AI) continues to tempt marketing professionals. As marketers, we are driven to use data in a meaningful way and to make real-time decision making possible based on this data. A recent IBM report identified nine marketing trends; we also see a new type of marketer emerging. This report provides practical insights to help you stay ahead in our profession.

From AI to agile – digital transformations redefine what it means to be a modern marketer.

It’s not often that an entire profession undergoes such a sea change. All facets of marketing will be profoundly impacted. This transformation, fueled by AI, provides a rare opportunity to rearchitect the whole ‘marketing house’. Based on a blueprint of what the profession will look like in 2019 and beyond, the report findings provide deep insights in how CMOs can reimagine the marketing function.

Up to now, the biggest advantages for marketers have been budget, tools and talent. That model has now been turned on its head, driven by the rapid growth of new skills and customer expectations. Today’s marketer must continue to develop as quickly as the discipline so as not to fall behind the current technology. The proliferation of data and compartmentalized marketing stacks has squarely put AI and Machine Learning-based marketing tools at the center of deep personalization. With AI and ML it is possible to analyze data and customer behavior, make recommendations and predictions and to be smarter. This will change the way that marketers make decisions. Utilizing AI analyses and personalized content, campaigns will produce greater results. In short, AI and ML make hyper-personalization a reality.

Differentiated customer experiences

Marketing transformations will increasingly focus on creating differentiated customer experiences. This will be supported by more experimentation using contextualized understanding of aggregated customer data across other areas of the organization such as commerce and digital teams. However, if the technology alone is leading, without a cultural shift, the customer experience will never be a differentiator. The organizations which are driven by cultural change and their agile mindset will widen their lead in the market.



It is important that organizations that do not want to lose out to successful data-driven organizations introduce a different mindset and culture. When it comes to creating a data- driven culture, marketing is the department that should provide the leadership. From the marketing department, insight into the benefits and importance of data-driven work can be disseminated throughout the entire organization, with the objective of bringing together data and business and thus identifying and applying the opportunities offered by AI at an early stage. This way, the growth of data-driven roles will spread more broadly throughout the organization, because they drive and strengthen the human and technological connections. This creates value for our customers, so that they create value for us. This creates strategic added value for the entire company.

As marketers, we know that it is crucial to dissect the market dynamics and to continually reshaping our profession. The 2019 IBM Marketing Trend Report offers you insights; from team structure to the advent of AI-driven marketing, to heightened expectations for the marketing profession. This report identifies nine of the most fascinating trends, which have an impact on how we work and how we can enrich each customer experience.

Read more about these nine trends here.

N.B.: this blog first appeared on the Dutch NIMA Marketing blog

Marketing Portfolio Leader Watson Internet of Things IBM Benelux at IBM

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