It's coming. The "futurists" are saying that the hype about artificial intelligence is real. The reason, according to Andrew Ng, chief scientist at Baidu, is that AI is no long a "magical thing" but is now creating real value for companies, like Google and Baidu. Companies are now finding "pockets of opportunity" to invest in AI. But there's also something else at play that is making the timing right for AI: Americans are now living in a highly polarized political environment.
I participated in a roundtable conversation on AI last week, which helped me broaden my view into how the technology can be used in a marketing environment. I realized there are two primary ways the marketing enterprise can leverage AI: back-end and front-end-oriented.
Marketing is becoming more powerful, but the markets themselves are becoming more unpredictable. And marketers are squarely caught on the horns of that dilemma. We sign on to deliver results -- and when those results are no longer predictable, we feel our job security rapidly slipping away.
We are rapidly approaching the nonsense -- er, the annual ritual, that is the upfronts and NewFronts. And because it is always about the money, let's look at some of the money-grabbing headlines of the last week.
"It's all very nice, but how can I make money from it?" We've been asking the wrong question for a very long time. We should be asking: "What does the world need from me?"
The only constant in general is change, while the only constant in the world of technology is consolidation. At least that's the case when you've reached a level of customer maturity, and in ad- and martech I think we've reached that stage faster than originally thought.
The world is becoming a pretty technical place. The Internet of Things is surrounding us. Which sounds exciting -- until the Internet of Things doesn't work. Then what?
How often do you see marketers calling for a pitch simply because there is (a) a new head of marketing, or (b) for whatever reason, the current agency has been determined to "suck"? While (a) and/or (b) might be valid reasons to go and hunt for a new agency solution, I would argue that there are a number of other things that need to happen first or at least at the same time before issuing RFPs to (potential) agencies.
The American romance with the automobile is the stuff of legend. Seldom has a product of mechanical engineering been as obsessed over by pop culture as the car. Just peek inside that 100-year almanac of American desires, hopes and fears known as The Movies and you'll see the wide range of protagonists it plays: friend ("The Love Bug,") enemy ("Christine"), accomplice ("Bonnie and Clyde," "Drive)", freedom fighter ("Mad Max"), outlaw, ("Smokey and the Bandit"), sarcophagus ("The Godfather), time machine ("Back to The Future") and sexual aid (every James Bond film).
MediaPost reported yesterday on the 2017 edition of the American Marketing Association's Marketers Confidence Index. Apparently, marketers today are losing confidence in their ability to meet key goals, like reaching the right customers with their marketing efforts, or being able to understand or evaluate the ROI of their marketing plans. That's in spite of the fact that they feel more confident overall.