8 ways by which AI will affect comprehension of data, analyze and utilize data as well as shaping the development of digital marketing tools

Earlier this year, Toyota’s usage of AI for its Rav4 Marketing Campaign got the jaws dropping and the eyes widening. IBM’s Watson had struck again – a Machine Learning (ML) program that used an algorithm to generate ad scripts! The campaign is an example of how Toyota agency-of-record Saatchi & Saatchi Los Angeles is using what it calls "creative programmatic." The agency wanted to connect the Toyota's Rav4 crossover to the favorite activities of individual consumers but in an unpredictable way. So, Saatchi fed Watson the world's top 1,000 activities - like biking, dancing, and cooking - and asked Watson to pair two activities that had low probabilities of being matched. The agency then used the pairings to create 300 unique videos, which targeted at users on Facebook and Instagram. This is…

What works best in Digital Marketing today?

In our latest infographic, we show the importance of digital marketing to businesses today and the digital marketing techniques that marketers find most effective. To create it, we blended the latest research from the best sources for digital marketing consumer adoption stats with the results from our latest Managing Digital Marketing 2017 report. It's structured in three parts:  The Global Picture of consumer use; a review of benchmarks across the RACE customer lifecycle followed by research on the most effective techniques for managing Digital Marketing. This research from Smart Insights in association with the TFM&A 2017 event explores approaches businesses use to plan and manage their investments in digital marketing. Findings and recommendations are grouped into 6 areas to improve the commercial contribution of their digital marketing. Given that we're…

Which tools and sites do you use to keep up with digital marketing?

The idea for our new guide for marketing agencies ‘keeping up with digital’ came from a conversation that the Smart Insights team and I had earlier this year - around how agencies often struggle to ‘encode’ a way of refreshing their digital knowledge within the business. Agencies that I speak to or work with will often say that they know that staying on top of all the opportunities that new or evolved digital technologies, platforms, media, techniques - and more - can help them and their clients. It’s a ’good thing’ to do. But they find it hard to put a structured approach to that together. Hence the guide. As we worked on the new resource we realised that many of the most useful digital marketing sites and tools that we recommend are also relevant for other types of marketing…

Chart of the Day: How does use of Artificial Intelligence vary in different sectors

As with any new disruptive technology that is moving it's way up the hype cycle, Artificial Intelligence won't be uniformly adopted. It will be a better fit in certain sectors and for businesses of a particular type. As futurist William Gibson put it: “The future has arrived — it’s just not evenly distributed yet.”  This new research from the McKinsey Global Institute is useful since it looks specifically about how AI and Machine Learning will generate value in the future. One finding, which mirrors our advice for marketers is that businesses should focus on using machine learning applications to support the marketing and sales process and acquire skills where needed in this area. One example of the value that machine learning can generate in the report is about how Netflix has used a machine learning algorithm to personalize recommendations to its 100 million…

Semantic Web, Knowledge Graphs, Social Media and Memes

As a PhD student, I’m keen to discover the latest academic research, which often happens at conferences. Although my main area of research is within marketing, my specialist area is social media. This year I stumbled over the ACM Conference on Hypertext and Social Media. In case, like me, you didn’t know, the ACM (Association of Computing Machinery) is a major international organisation focused on ‘Advancing Computing as a Science & Profession’. Their members include Vint Cerf, Sir Tim Berners-Lee and many of the computing great and good. They hold 170 conferences a year and have 37 Special Interest Groups, including Hypertext and Social Media.

Academic research source: ACM Digital Library

They also have a Digital Library that contains a wealth of significant academic articles about fake news, analysing Twitter data, bots and big data, privacy and artificial intelligence, as well as every aspect of applied…

Chart of the Day: McKinsey Analysis rates machine learning marketing applications highly

I thought this was an interesting chart and article from McKinsey on 'What’s now and next in analytics, AI, and automation'. McKinsey outline the range of opportunities for applying artificial intelligence in their article. They say: 'For companies, successful adoption of these evolving technologies will significantly enhance performance. Some of the gains will come from labor substitution, but automation also has the potential to enhance productivity, raise throughput, improve predictions, outcomes, accuracy, and optimization, as well expand the discovery of new solutions in massively complex areas such as synthetic biology and material science'. At Smart Insights, we've been looking beyond the hype to look at specific practical applications for applying AI in marketing. Our recommendation is that the best marketing applications are in machine learning where predictive analytics is applied to learn from historic data to deliver more relevant personalization, both on site, using email…

6 implications for selecting and managing today's and tomorrow's marketing technology

We've been sharing the latest Marketing Technology Landscape map by Scott Brinker, @chiefmartec for several years now. You've almost certainly seen one of the earlier iterations since it has been widely shared. I love it because it's a USEFUL infographic - it prompts marketers to review their current Marketing Technology and take action to improve their Marketing Technology Stack. When I discuss it with marketers when speaking or training, it certainly has a big impact, not always in a good way... It prompts that "OMG how do I cope?" fear amongst marketers and business owners due to its complexity. But, for me, it shows the opportunity of the many tools we have available to deliver more relevant, more personalised communications today. It's inspired the Smart Insights team to create our own Martech infographic which includes both insight and operational tools across our RACE planning framework.…

Mapping the most effective AI technologies for marketing across the customer lifecycle

AI technology is a hot topic in marketing at the moment, but AI is a broad term covering a wide range of different technologies. Artificial intelligence means any technology that seeks to mimic human intelligence, which covers a huge range of capabilities such as voice and image recognition, machine learning techniques and semantic search. Marketers like to wax lyrical about the latest exciting technologies and bang on about AI for image recognition, speech recognition, preventing data leaks, or even targeting drones at remote communities. All well and good. But how the bloody hell are marketers supposed to do anything with that information? It's just hype, you can't implement it. That's why we've identified fifteen artificial intelligence techniques that businesses of all sizes can implement, rather than techniques which only major tech giants can devote resources to. We've also…

The 14 top rated digital marketing techniques for 2017 according to Smart Insights readers

[Editor's note: Dave has now been updated for 2018: Read Digital Marketing Trends to act on in 2018.] In this article, I'll take an in-depth look at what I see as the most significant trends in digital marketing for the year ahead. But, it's not only my view, since I have 'crowdsourced' the importance of the different trends rated by the popularity of each trend. For all members of Smart Insights, we also have a more detailed free download of the marketing megatrends for 2017, which are 9 digital marketing and martech megatrends will help give you an edge in 2017. In the download we discuss machine learning and artificial intelligence, which for me is the biggest trend in marketing right now. Machine learning techniques apply across many of the techniques we discuss in this post including Big Data, Marketing Automation,…

Key lessons from the Strategy and Innovation World Forum

Robert Jones, our research analyst and I headed off to London last week to go to the Strategy and Innovation World Forum, set up by World Forum Disrupt.  The Innovation Directors were attending in force, and with talks from the global heads of innovation from Santander, BT, UNICEF, Vodaphone and other world leading businesses there were plenty of interesting lessons to be gleaned. With over 32 different speakers over the two days of the forum, it would be a bit of an information overload, if I tried to convey everything that was discussed at the event. But it did offer some great insights into the cutting edge of innovation strategy, so I've tried to distil the top 8 talks into just a few bite-sized takeaways that you can learn from and implement when developing your own innovation strategy.

Setting Strategies for uncertain times - …

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