Have you heard of Google Duplex yet? You know, the AI assistant that books appointments and makes reservations on your behalf? Just your next-door robot…

As you may already be aware, Google Duplex is a new technology launched by Google at Google I/O 2018, the company’s annual developer conference. Google Duplex is an AI system that is designed to accomplish real-world tasks over the phone, by mimicking human conversation. Google CEO Sundar Pichai personally demonstrated phones calls made by this digital voice assistant. The product was demoed by showing a phone call where the AI assistant makes an  appointment at the hairdresser’s, by calling them and having an actual conversation. Now chatbots and voice assistants have been around for a while now, so that probably doesn't sound all that intriguing to you. Although, what you may find really intriguing is that…

Why new artificial intelligence matters for business, from global trend to maximizing marketing and operations spend

AI has progressed quite away from its early beginnings, and its prevalence in modern business models has increased exponentially. Yet, despite this, our relationship with AI has been a tumultuous one, with ‘automation’ becoming something of a dirty word for traditional businesses. But AI is here to stay — and for good reason. This rise in popularity of utilizing AI in business models comes in part from the development of machine learning and natural language processing. It’s this technology that gives AI the power, when utilized effectively, to aid businesses in numerous practical ways. From increasing staff productivity to boosting customer satisfaction, AI has the promise to meet business objectives at a fraction of the time and cost as with traditional methods like phone and email. Here, we’ll go through some…

Chart of the Day: How perceptions of the applications of AI differ between agencies and brands

In our infographic reviewing the applications of AI in marketing, we explore 15 different applications of Artificial Intelligence (AI) across the customer lifecycle from media buying to marketing automation and chatbots. It's around a year now since we developed this infographic, so it's interesting to know how widely used AI is, both by businesses and their agencies. In today's Chart of the Day, I'm sharing some research which helps show how AI is being used for marketing. The sample is smaller than what I would usually look to share and it is skewed since it is a customer survey of Albert and AI tool for marketing, but with relatively few adopters of AI, this is inevitable and I thought the report below might be useful both for agencies and brands to learn about the 'Use Cases' of…

Chart of the day: On Wednesday and Thursday last week, myself and Dave Chaffey presented at B2B Marketing Expo, In ExCel, London about auditing your Martech stack - and now new research has found that most think their marketing technology strategy is successful

Most believe their strategy is successful based on how they achieve their priorities in using martech, but there are significant challenges with data and integration across different platforms, as well as issues with getting relevant and reliable data. This could be due to a number of reasons such as a complexity of data as well as lack of training, skills, resource or time to help with these challenges. Improving data quality is also an issue for marketers as they strive for better data and more accurate targeting. Over half are also working on…

3 key ways to streamline your martech stack and maximize the value of your marketing toolkit

Martech is about finding the right tools to help you reach specific outcomes. Paring down to only the necessary tools will help you control your budget, extract more value from each tool, and see what you've been missing. Streamlining your tech stack starts with three steps. It’s not always true that more options bring greater success. New advances in technology, data analytics, and marketing automation can often create the illusion that we need the latest and greatest tools and force marketers to believe they must keep adding tools to their repertoire to avoid falling behind the competition — or out of touch with customers. But more isn’t always better. Companies often don't fully understand the capabilities of their in-house information, ending up with either extraneous marketing software or not enough. Too many or too few tools can…

Chart of the Day: The popularity of different martech stack components

You will know that our options for using online services to manage marketing and get insight have increased dramatically over the past few years. Scott Brinker's martech landscape now covers over 5000 martech options. Our own Essential Digital marketing tools wheel covers what we see as 30 categories that are essential to a medium or large transactional e-commerce business that is serious about growth.  Smaller businesses with less budget and less need for information sharing can benefit from lower cost or even free tools, but are not likely to have as many tools, but can still benefit. Given this opportunity, it's become essential to audit your martech stack as part of digital strategy development. So when we completed our joint research about Managing Marketing with the Technology for Marketing event, we were interested to see the popularity of using…

Marketo forms a new alliance with Google Cloud

Marketo, a leading marketing automation provider, recently announced their new alliance with Google Cloud. Starting in 2018 both companies will join forces to migrate Marketo's platform from their own data centres to the Google Cloud Platform. The multi-year deal will enable Marketo to scale its infrastructure and create an integrated solution for marketers including what Google now call G Suite (Google Drive and Apps). Marketo is effectively simply a customer of Google, although some have suggested this could lead to acquisition. It's no secret that Marketo has experienced performance and technical issues as they have grown in size. It is a common problem for growing SaaS companies that try to host everything themselves. It's frustrating for their customers, but not unusual for the industry. It has been reported that running lists can take an unusually long time and users are having to 'game' the system to…

No one trusts online ads anymore. Will blockchain change all that?

As the digital advertising landscape grows increasingly complex and fragmented, publishers are facing rising economic pressures. Meanwhile, users are concerned about privacy, security and the overall online experience. They lack control over the tracking and collection of their data, and often find their online experience degraded. The problem is simple: consumers have grown weary of an ad environment that has gone too far, while publishers fight to remain economically viable.

At the heart of all these problems, the lack of trust is poisoning the entire advertising ecosystem. Every time there’s a misguiding click, a mis-selling offer, an intrusive pop-up or ‘sponsored articles’ that aren’t really articles… trust goes further south. Click by click, day by day. In addition, when taking into account advertiser problems such as fake ad impressions or fake social…

Chart of the Day: Mergers & Acquisition activity involving AI companies is increasing rapidly.

First people build things in their garages. Then the startup ecosystem develops. Then the tech gets noticed. Then the big players start realizing how disruptive it will be, and they start buying up the startups so they're the ones doing the disrupting, rather than being disrupted. It's a cycle as old as silicon valley (so not really that old in the scheme of things). We've seen businesses like Amazon, Google and Facebook go from dorm rooms to garages to becoming some of the most valuable companies in the entire world. Now it is artificial intelligence tech that is the exciting new technology with the power to transform how we live work and organize the world. The possibilities for marketers are enormous, so it is wise to keep an eye on how the tech is maturing. The chart below shows how many…

Are you embracing AI to improve your ad campaigns?

Throughout the last year, artificial intelligence (AI) and its multitude of uses for marketing have become more and more obvious.  While many brands were hesitant to explore the plethora of benefits it offers, 2017 is seeing brands dipping their toes into the AI waters, ready to embrace it as a beneficial component of their marketing strategies. Take a look at these 3 ways artificial intelligence will affect marketing even more in 2017.

Impactful Ads

The creation of better advertisements is one of the biggest ways artificial intelligence will impact marketing in 2017. The ability for brands to use AI to research and develop crucial marketing aspects, such as keyword searches, empowers marketers to build smarter, more effective ads that should lead to more conversions. For years, companies have focused on who to show ads to and when to show the ads.  AI allows marketers to, instead,…

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