Insights from Inbound: The Use of Marketing Intelligence Tools

The topics focused on and lessons learned at the various sessions put on at Inbound 2016 were truly inspiring and eye-opening. At a time when news headlines suggest that we are moving backwards on certain issues, Inbound reinforced the positive growth and future that technology can offer organizations, especially the marketing department.

Technology, specifically artificial intelligence (AI), was a strong focus in the “Origins of the Marketing Intelligence Engine” session led by Paul Roetzer, Founder & CEO of PR 20/20. Over 45 minutes, he discussed the benefits of AI in marketing as well as the steps marketers need to take to implement AI into their marketing strategy. Some initial AI benefits are that it has the ability to generate content, as well as develop audience predictions. This would mean more machine-backed processes and automated work flows. One’s first thought may be “how will this impact my job from day-to-day?” When you breakdown how much time your marketing team spends on social media updates, headlines, email workflows and managing ad campaigns, the time adds up. Paul explains that all of this can be done by a machine and then humans can finesse with the personal touch.

Although statistical equations are setup to speed up business processes, don’t be too fast to assume your marketing job will be replaced, instead new skillsets or positions may be created. Automation requires algorithms, and Paul ensured us that these are still created manually by humans. For example, natural language generation is used by the Associated Press to generate narratives and teaches machines how to write stories. However, the first set of standards must be created in order for the machine to have a sense of what to do. This includes a spreadsheet of general words, sentences, branches for words and synonyms that is put into the system. Another example that Paul shares is IBM’s Natural Language Processor which has been used for a variety of projects, including the creation of a scary movie trailer by using an algorithm to pull out the scariest moments of new movies – which then only needed a few hours of human editing. Ultimately, these tools will be the same to assist marketers in video, infographic, blog creation and more, while providing additional insight from data that the marketing team may have never thought of before.

As with all types of change, a full implementation of marketing intelligence tools is some time away, but the positive impact these tools can make on businesses is already being seen. As marketers continue to use their knowledge and skills to execute successful automation, AI will increasingly become a staple to marketing strategies so that human attention can be focused on the creative aspects. IBM Wastson CTO Rob High said, “Cognitive technology is there to extend and amplify human expertise, not replace it.”

Want some more AI real world examples? We found these interesting:

  1. UPS – An average driver delivers 125 – 175 packages per day. UPS created their ORION backgrounder algorithm to figure out the most efficient route and ensure the stops are met.
  2. Netflix – Uses algorithms to determine viewer behaviors and then uses this to provide viewer specific recommendations.
  3. Epagogix – Founded in 2003 and uses neutral networks and analytical software to predict which movies will provide the best possibility of ROI.



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