Are People, Processes and Technologies the New Smart Stack for Business?
Today’s consumerism across industries -- influenced by a combination of digital transformation, entitlement, and the pursuit of real-time personalization by a growing number of businesses -- is driving an idea called ‘people-based marketing’ that was explored in Tahoe at MediaPost’s Brand Marketers Insider Summit. The emerging models of true one-to-one, real-time engagement with customers are challenging traditional audience segmentation, campaign-based advertising, technology and workforce strategies.
With what seems like continuous change in how people want to engage brands and the ways in which businesses are responding, there’s an endless flow of ‘To Do’ lists on how to address increasing pressures to perform. Businesses and their marketing teams should consider redesigning their approach to technology, data, content, and how best to enable their workforces to drive customer success and sustainable revenue growth.
"Business, customer and employee expectations now require that we’re continuously learning, managing change and growing in real-time across our digital businesses. Organizational agility with intelligence is the new superpower that leading brands will master." - Erick Mott
- Artificial Intelligence (AI): The theory and development of computer systems able to perform tasks that normally require human intelligence, such as visual perception, speech recognition, decision-making, and translation between languages. In simple terms, AI is automation to help free people's minds to invest in higher levels of thinking.
- Data Management Platform (DMP): Also called a unified data management platform (UDMP) is a centralized computing system for collecting, integrating and managing large sets of structured and unstructured data from disparate sources.
- Smart Stack: People, processes, and technologies working collectively in real-time to humanize data and scale experiences that are created to attract, serve, and retain customers with increasingly more control of their buying decisions.
Panel Topic: AI and The Next Generation of Smart Stacks
The most powerful uses of AI in marketing most likely will be invisible to consumers and even too many marketers. They will come in automated decisions about ad buys, adaptive responses to campaign performance across screens, and among departments and partners. Our panel discussed a number of ways in which AI techniques, machine learning and machine-to-machine interactions are changing marketing and media operations. I had the pleasure of moderating the August 2017 panel with four marketing leaders from Ciceron, Ebates, 3M and Macy’s:
- Andrew Eklund, Founder and CEO, Ciceron @aeklund
- Derek Kazee, Senior Director, Retention Marketing, Ebates @dkazee
- Jeff Stender, Global Digital Experience Lead, 3M @jwstender
- Karthik Viswanathan, Director, Marketing, Macy's @vishkarthik
Machine Learning Example from Derek Kazee of Ebates:
In preparation for our panel discussion, I spoke with Andrew, Derek, Jeff and Karthik to get a sense of what they think about this topic and how teams can adapt; some of their thoughts:
Andrew Eklund of Ciceron said, "I hate to be a total buzzkill, but I personally think the impact and power of AI is not going to be in the sexy throws of robot controlled, voice-activated, gesture activated or otherwise activated interactions. It's going to be in how AI technology harnesses the power of human intelligence to make everyone faster, collectively smarter, and better able to free people's minds to invest in higher levels of thinking. The amount of brain drain in organizations is staggering, and AI will help alleviate that from happening."
Derek Kazee of Ebates shared, “we’re laser focused on the member experience and we also deliver a lot of value to our merchant partners. I get up every day trying to figure out how to do that better – and one of the ways in which we do that is with machine learning. My advice to get started for brands is to work on the fundamental and foundational technology that underpins everything. Without that you can’t really do all the cool things you want. It took us years to get to the point with a BI team – people, processes and tools -- to be able to do some of the great things we’re doing.”
Jeff Stender of 3M said, “any new technology we employ at 3M needs to benefit our customers. That includes our MarTech stack in that data from it should provide value beyond marketing efficiency and extend across all aspects of our business. In the end, we need to help our customers deliver on their promises, and the more informed we can be about their unique challenges the better positioned we are to offer solutions.”
Karthik Vishwanathan of Macy's shared "regardless if you agree or don't agree with Elon Musk on his assessment of the risk of AI, you are probably missing the essence of the message."
MediaPost Brand Marketers Insider Summit 2017 Smart Stack Panel (38 minutes)
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About the co-creator
Erick Mott is head of communications at Reflektive, an innovative, real-time performance management company based in San Francisco focused on employee engagement, growth and success. Erick founded the Creatorbase community in 2010; he blogs and speaks about design thinking, customer experience, digital transformation, modern marketing, and workforce success ideas, insights and leaders.