Earlier this month, I co-moderated a roundtable with about a dozen prominent marketers and influencers from the Bay Area to discuss how AI is fitting into their plans. While AI is still in the early stages of deployment for most of these marketers, it is high on their agendas, and they are actively figuring out their next steps.
For the latest/greatest marketing technology -- and, more to the point, still-emerging machine-learning capabilities -- to really create awesome value, marketers must connect it to brands' emotional roots. Only by combining technology with core insights about the emotions motivating human behavior can we genuinely touch hearts and minds -- and thereby influence behavior.
Of course, better brands already think carefully about their raison d'etre, their Purpose (with a capital P) and related core values, and they act mindfully to imbue that Purpose and those values into all aspects of their operations - with marketing, advertising and customer interaction rising to the top of the list, not necessarily in that order. But the supersonic train freighting artificial intelligence and machine learning down the line suggests the rest of us are going to have to move a lot faster, and more authentically.
While I came across only six artificial intelligence/machine learning acquisitions last month, at least half of them should be of keen interest to marketers and media moguls. And if you're still on the fence about how big a deal artificial intelligence is, check out this list of February buyers (in alpha order): Apple, Baidu, Conde Nast, Ford, Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) and Meltwater Group, the media analytics firm.
Narrative.io is a tiny, not-exactly-stealth start-up that could play a possibly large role in the future of AI by arranging access to the data that is all-important to making AI effective.