It’s 2027: How has AI changed the way I work?

Our brain trust of six top marketing professionals looks ahead to the year 2027, and ponders just how much artificial intelligence will shape the profession.

This article originally appeared in The Intelligence Issue, our April/May issue of Marketing magazine.

Mailee Creacy, country manager, Rocket Fuel

Mailee Creacy headshotThe use of artificial intelligence (AI) has revolutionised our everyday lives and this impact is just as apparent in the world of marketing.

In the next 10 years we can expect this progression to be even more prominent. By 2027 AI will have changed everything about the way marketers work.

The sheer volume of data available and the capabilities of AI technologies allow for such an in-depth knowledge of a potential customers’ behaviour that marketers will have the power to predict consumers’ needs and desires, and deliver a brand message that is personalised for each individual.

MK0417 coverIt’s not just the technology that will drive change: consumers are starting to demand more from the brands with which they interact. Digital experiences have evolved to such a sophisticated state that consumers expect more than automation – they expect brands to anticipate their needs.

Expectations are high, but with AI marketers will be able to live up to them. In 2027 AI will help marketers deliver predictive campaigns that anticipate consumers’ needs, as well as provide an enjoyable and persuasive experience.

 

David Hickey, area director – Australia and New Zealand, Meltwater

david hickey headshotMachine learning and predictive analytics have completely changed the face of the media intelligence industry. The advent of AI has allowed media intelligence to broaden beyond a focus on just news and social media toward a more holistic understanding of all online and offline data available about a brand.

AI has helped Meltwater bring the concept of outside insight to the mainstream. Ten years ago I had no idea we would be one of the first movers in the media intelligence space to incorporate AI into what we do, but I am glad we did because it has enabled us to offer even more to our customers.

The shift from a dependence on descriptive analytics toward predictive and prescriptive analytics has dominated marketing strategy in recent years. However, it only served to bring marketing and communications even more front-and-centre as we become intimately aware of the impact of external data on consumer perception and buying behaviour. Marketing has become a data-driven conversation largely between a machine and a human buyer.

 

Matthew Nolan, director of product marketing, Pegasystems

matthew nolan headshotIn marketing, the value of AI comes from ‘knowing’ customers. You gain a deeper understanding of a person’s wants, needs, preferences – and the context of their situation. AI empowers you to interact with those individuals more intelligently, everywhere they are – whether that’s on a paid, owned, or earned channel.

By 2027, marketing will be similar to today – but more informed and natural. We will become much better at guiding customers, rather than interrupting them. Organisations will build experiences that add tangible value, keeping themselves top of mind.

As a marketer, it will become much simpler to apply intelligence as we interact with customers. Specific marketing channels will become far less important – instead, we’ll focus on generating the ideas and content that best represent us – and the AI will help us determine when, why, and how to apply them.

As customers and markets change, the software will sense that, and help us adapt quickly.

From the customer’s perspective, marketing will become much less invasive.

 

Dharmesh Shah, chief technology officer, HubSpot

Dhamesh Shah headshotThe AI revolution is here. No, it’s not the epic battle between humans and machines that blockbuster movies promised us. Ironically, it’s just the opposite. AI exponentially expands our human capabilities in and out of the workplace. In reality, AI is helping us all be more human.

Today, consumers spend most of their time communicating through messaging apps and mobile devices. And it’s time for sales and marketing to do the same. Luckily, AI makes it easier than ever to connect customers with businesses.

The amount of information the internet holds would take mere mortals like us a lifetime or more
to process. Machines? They make short work of that task without ever breaking a sweat. AI allows us to engage with customers in a highly-personalised, highly-relevant way. Everything from predictive learning to email optimisation to content recommendations all get much easier through the use of chatbots.

Those who use chatbots as superhuman digital assistants and spend their precious time connecting with others will find the most success. If you ask me, that’s a better future than any film has promised.

 

Derek Laney, head of product marketing, Asia Pacific, Salesforce

Gone are the days when only 1% of business data was being analysed and it required skilled data scientists to develop apps and extract insights. Marketers are no longer struggling with disconnected data sources and wrangling with other departments to get a complete picture of the customer.

The modern marketer is more empowered than ever. Personal diary and email inbox admin is gone. AI is able to organise the milestones of the marketer’s day and screen and prioritise communications.  The big changes and real benefits of AI will be realised in the way campaigns are conceived, activated and reported on.

Marketers will be able to spin up a campaign in a matter of seconds and engage with customers wherever they are. In real time, AI will capture, unify and activate data so marketers can predict the best time and place for content delivery across multiple channels.

AI will enable marketers to truly have control over CX, working across business functions to ensure customers receive a seamless, cohesive experience across every touchpoint with the brand.

 

Paul Cross, group vice president, customer success, Oracle Marketing Cloud JAPAC

In 2027, marketers will have accumulated, sorted, and identified 20 years of the world’s behaviour, preferences, purchases, locations, and beyond. Every person will be individually addressable – through their screens, wearables and more.

The promise of this combination of data and precise reach will be reached through the use of AI to manage most of the manual tasks in marketing today.

Today’s marketing cloud solutions are forming the foundations of these systems. They have automated the workflow of modern one-to-one marketing, and they will automate the collection and management of data.

Then the next step is simple: adding AI for planning, decisions, and analysis.

Invention will remain at the heart of marketing. The winning teams will still need to invent the best branding communications for the bot to place, and most profitable revenue driving programs for them to execute.

So expect more screens, more dashboards, more programs, but also just as much (if not more) pressure to stand out.

What I’m not so sure about is what happens when the bots start marketing to the bots?

 

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