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Fireside Chat: Dharmesh Shah and Paul Roetzer on Marketing Technology and Artificial Intelligence

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Marketing Artificial Intelligence Institute founder Paul Roetzer and HubSpot co-founder and CTO Dharmesh Shah shared the stage at 2018 IMPACT Live to answer audience questions about marketing technology in general, and artificial intelligence in particular. You can watch the complete fireside chat here, and read some of the highlights below.

How Can I Get Started with Artificial Intelligence?

One of the most common questions marketers have about AI is how to get started. What’s important to remember is it doesn’t matter if you’re a realtor, web designer, marketer, etc., what matters is you have business objectives.

“Don’t start with AI,” cautions Shah. “Start with the business problems that you have.”

One approach is to start by creating a list of the activities you or your company perform. Consider the frequency of which you do these tasks, the value your company would see in automating these tasks and the cost associated with each of these tasks. Then, you can easily identify your starting line.


In its current stage, AI is designed for narrow tasks. There is no one size fits all algorithm that will solve all your business problems. Identify what tasks are taking time and resources away from your team and start finding AI-powered solutions that can free your team up for more valuable, human tasks.


>>> Roetzer designed a tool called AI Score for Marketers which surfaces personalized results for AI-powered tools based on how high respondents rank the value of use cases.

Will AI Take My Job?

Jobs have both been replaced and created by machines. In theory, the majority of what we do as marketers can be intelligently automated to some degree in the near future. But this is not a death sentence for your career, it’s actually an opportunity.

“AI should make your life better. We should enjoy our careers more,” said Roetzer.

Companies are strapped. By automating some of the repetitive, data-driven tasks that machines are naturally better at than humans, employees are freed to take on the more strategic and creative tasks where machines struggle.


Shah gives the example of bank tellers to show how even when some human tasks are replaced by machines, we net positive. When ATM machines first came out many years ago, people expected the machines would obliterate the entire industry. In reality, the number of local branches and bank teller jobs in the following seven years went up.

What are the Implications of AI on Brands and Businesses?

AI will give marketers some superpowers, including the ability to understand and predict consumer behavior (sometimes better than consumers can), at scale. This will raise difficult questions about the technology could—and should—be used by brands. Brands will be responsible for the effects of their AI on consumers, markets and professionals. AI tools may soon decide how you get marketed to, what brands know about you, and whether or not you get hired, fired, or promoted.


That means honest conversations need to start now. These conversations must include marketing leaders, engineering, executives, and professionals within the industry at large. And they must result in concrete plans and policies that arm a brand’s marketers and employees with the tools they need to make ethical decisions.


>>> What You Need to Know Today: AI + Ethics


Both Roetzer and Shah explore the power of artificial intelligence and machine learning daily and recognize the impact the advancement of this technology will inevitably have on the marketing industry. Getting started with AI now positions marketers to create a competitive advantage for their career and company.


Want more insights from the experts? Watch the complete 2018 IMPACT Live fireside chat.


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