9 AI Experts Reveal How Marketers Can Start Using Artificial Intelligence Today
We interviewed nine experts at top marketing artificial intelligence companies to get their best advice for marketers getting started with AI. Here’s what they shared.
Start with the problem you’re trying to solve.
“Don’t be intimidated by the term and make sure you take enough time to understand if the technologies you are evaluating are well-suited to solve your problem. There is so much buzz around AI, it can seem more complicated than it is.
I suggest starting with the problem first and then narrowing down the possible solutions for you to evaluate. Figure out what processes in your organization are candidates for automation. Understand the business questions you want answered that require massive amounts of data to answer them. Identify potential opportunities to monetize or squeeze more value out of your data.” — Katy De Leon (@KatyDeLeon), VP of Marketing, Narrative Science
Look for a user-friendly AI system.
“My advice is to start with an AI tool that is designed to be user-friendly. You want to find a technology that can start with data in a format you already have, like spreadsheets. And you want a friendly user interface that doesn’t require you to have programming skills to use.” — Adam Long (@Adam_B_Long), VP of Product Management, Automated Insights
Don’t be fooled by big, expensive deployments.
“The biggest thought I'd share is a word of warning. Don't buy into huge deployments and expensive AI and machine learning projects. The correct use of these technologies should feel like a self-driving car—sign up, set goals, sit back and start benefiting from a better strategy and better results.
Make sure you have clean data.
"It’s not just about the algorithms, it’s about the availability and cleanliness of your data as well. Ten years ago when I worked at Google, Google Translate had the best accuracy for both Chinese and Arabic. The underlying reason was not that the algorithms were better tuned for these languages, but that thanks to the U.S. Department of Defense, researchers had the most translated text available for these two languages.” — Pawan Deshpande (@TweetsFromPawan), CEO, Curata
"Data quality is a key foundation for any predictive marketing technology to work. Take time and invest in data hygiene solutions (enrichment, deduping, lead to account matching etc).” — Raviv Turner (@ravivturner), CEO, CaliberMind
"I think marketers need to think about where AI fits into their existing strategies and how it can help them save time and money from a personnel, program and technology investment standpoint.
There is significant potential for saving money with AI, while delivering greater results than what can be achieved with current systems and processes.
For larger organizations that want to explore a holistic solution that solves bigger problems, rather than bolting on yet another point solution to their already complex tech stack, they can start and test small—maybe one campaign, in one region, on one channel. And then, over time, they can expand to all regions, all channels and all campaigns.
Integrating AI into existing strategies and processes is a bit easier for smaller, more nimble organizations. They’re less likely to have the silos and approval processes characteristic of larger organizations and can move quicker as a result. It’s a big competitive advantage and since the technology is so transformational, it could really propel a company into leader status fast.” — Or Shani, CEO, Adgorithms
Set a clear goal and iterate fast.
“It's a super exciting field and a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Set aside a small part of your budget and go have some fun: keep it simple, set a clear goal and iterate fast.
Try different technologies and providers, and figure out how to get ROI for specific use cases. AI doesn't have to be expensive or scary. IBM Watson gives free access, within limits, to all of its APIs and integration is fast and easy. There are many specialized AI vendors for sentiment analysis, NLP, image recognition, etc. that make their technology available as an affordable SaaS product. And Opentopic has a SMB offering that anyone can afford.
It's 2017 and you don't want to miss the AI train, get aboard!” — Andre Konig (@AndreMKonig), Cofounder, Opentopic
Focus on business value.
“My advice would be to understand what type of experience you are trying to create and the value you are providing to the consumer. Also, you need to make sure that you have access to the data and content to build a truly predictive, responsive system.
Understand that AI is your new workplace partner.
“Use of AI in marketing is still relatively new. We are always looking for different and more efficient ways to do things. AI will not only change our workflows and how we produce and manage content, but also our relationship to communications. AI will surface highly targeted and meaningful insights allowing marketers to focus and become skilled in adjusting and editing content. They’ll work in parallel with a machine.” — Kerri Henneberry, Marketing Director, Atomic Reach
About Paul Roetzer
Paul Roetzer (@paulroetzer) is founder and CEO of PR 20/20, author of The Marketing Performance Blueprint and The Marketing Agency Blueprint, and creator of The Marketing Artificial Intelligence Institute and Marketing Score. Full bio.