What Marketing Leaders, Influencers Think of AI

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On a snowy mid-February night in New York City, top marketing  execs from 17 leading business-to-consumer brands filled the five-story World of McIntosh Townhouse for an intimate dinner and thought-provoking conversation among their marketing peers and the Persado executive team to discuss the night’s topic “How AI is Ushering in a New Era of Creative Accountability.” It was a “closed-door” session in order to create a space for open and frank discussion, but we can share these top-level learnings.

The lively conversation was facilitated by Shiv Singh, former Global Head of Innovation at Visa and Author of recently published Savvy. Shiv kicked off the discussion with two provocative points:
1. We are not as far away as we thought from “general intelligence” where computers are better than humans at everything.
2. The human element is still a key ingredient to AI. 

“We are entering into the world of AI, and the brands who win will be the brands who execute on it and execute in a smart way that marry the computer power and AI insights with human emotion and decision-making,” Singh said. 

For the remainder of the evening, the marketing leaders shared key challenges that
their brands are facing with AI, as well as the opportunities the technology provides. These are some of the most quotable moments of the evening.

Related Content: How Marketers Can Regain Confidence in Creative 

 

“AI can help us go a level deeper to figure out what are those core human needs that need to be solved so that brands can better serve their customers. AI technology helps you group audiences based on shared issues and concerns.”
- Marketing Vice President, Top 5 Global Bank   

“For AI to work in your organization, you have to get to a place where everyone in the supply chain finds value in the type of transparency and that is hard to execute. You must also have clean and correct data taxonomy and nomenclature in place to process the amount of incoming data. It takes a lot of time in the weeds from senior people who do
not usually have that kind of extra time to build these structures.”
- VP, Global Media, Food and Beverage Conglomerate 

“AI works when it can tell me where in the process someone dropped or lost interest in my product. It will help me get the data I need to solve my problems. Was it the ad messaging that caused them to opt? Or did they get turned off by high prices? Or was the design poor, so they dropped off? Or did they add a product to the cart and then dropped?”
- VP Global Digital Marketing, Top 5 Global Bank 

“I enjoyed discussing what AI means for businesses, in the present and future. There’s lots for us all to think about - it certainly got me thinking about all of the possibilities for AI in the music industry, we as an industry need to catch up!”
- Director, Global Conglomerate  

“There is a growing Confidence Crisis in marketing creative. According to Nielsen’s 2018 CMO survey, 71% of CMO’s don't believe that their creative is driving business results. And creative is the only part of marketing that is not driven by data science and AI. Creative and production represent 20% of the CMO’s marketing budget and therefore requires a new approach to optimize brand engagement and revenue performance. I think Data Science and AI is the answer.”
- Chief Marketing Officer, Technology Brand


Bottom Line: The power of AI is only growing, and its advances are now making it a necessary piece of the digital creative marketing puzzle. Top CMOs and marketing leaders are constantly talking about AI, and those who remain on the frontlines of the movement will be the ones who take their brands to new levels of success. Those who do not will be left far behind their competition. 

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