Our Favorite Artificial Intelligence Articles of Q1 2018

8 of our favorite articles on AI + marketing

Could I have some artificial intelligence, please?

Wouldn’t it be great if you could go to your IT people and say “Could I please get 2TB of artificial intelligence for my office”? That’s not going to happen. Because AI isn’t a thing. It isn’t software or SaaS. It’s a practice. An emerging scientific discipline with tremendous power and possibilities.

A New Way To Look

There is a lot of breakthrough technology involved with AI and we’ll go over a few highlights here. But the most important thing to remember is that for business, AI is the keystone to an entirely new way for the enterprise to understand and relate to customers. To help you stay current with this constantly evolving subject,  we’re providing a carefully curated collection of recent publications full of the latest and greatest information.

A New Way To See

So what can this magnificent new tool do for you? Under the banner of online consumer insights, you can get a vastly more in-depth understanding of your consumers and the world they live in. Here’s a tiny list of the questions that AI can answer.
What are the favorable or unfavorable emotions attached to your product?

  • How and when are your products being used?
  • What are your users’ favorite activities when they’re not using your product?
  • Why did they choose a competitor’s product?
  • What do people think, or do they even care, about your new packaging?

Two things to remember about the insights AI can produce.  First, the amount of data being queried is almost unfathomable. We’re talking about millions of online forums, user groups and trillions of posts to Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and more. Remarkable. Has there ever been a larger body of source material?

The second unique characteristic of all of these conversations is that this is unedited, unsolicited material. The opinions posted here represent people talking.
There’s no moderator or research person involved. It is the natural language that people have volunteered to share. There is a lot of credibility associated with that.

Some Recent Articles to Get You Up to Speed On AI

AI is a hot topic and every kind of journal, blog or magazine has something to say. Unless you want to take it all with you and ruin your vacation, you couldn’t possibly read it all. We’ve made a diligent attempt to boil it down for you. Here are links to 8 solid articles that will help you stay up to speed. This material covers everything from ‘how-to’ to some deep thinking about where AI is headed.
1) “An Executive’s Guide to AI”
Source: McKinsey and Company, https://www.mckinsey.com/business-functions/mckinsey-analytics/our-insights/an-executives-guide-to-ai
Description: If you were to read just one of the articles listed here this would be the one. It’s a very well-organized presentation of what AI is about and how it came to be. Included are very readable and straightforward examples of how machine learning works. It also describes a type of AI called deep learning which is a multi-layered approach to solving the most complex problems. Links to specific use cases are also provided.
2) “Artificial Intelligence for the Real World”
Source: Harvard Business Review, https://hbr.org/2018/01/artificial-intelligence-for-the-real-world
Description: This is a very smart approach to using AI in business. It defines three different types of AI: cognitive automation, cognitive insight, and cognitive engagement. Understanding each of these will help guide you in planning your AI approach. There is also a step-by-step guide to launching and managing an AI project. From setting goals, testing and scaling up, this is your playbook.
HBR chart on the daily benefits of AI to the workplace:

3) “The State of AI Marketing In 5 Charts”
Source: DIGIDAY, https://digiday.com/marketing/state-ai-marketing-5-charts/
Description: Media buying is the POV here. AI brings a new kind of information to media selection and spend. They note that 50% of a large sample of media professionals are already using AI. The five charts tell a very useful story:

  • What business functions will be most affected by AI in the next five years
  • The expectations and attitudes of media pros toward AI
  • The sales benefits of AI for your product mix
  • How lack of sufficient skills are hindering the growth of AI
  • Increase in AI technology spend

4) “Artificial Intelligence Technologies A Boon for Customer Insights”
Source: Tech Target, http://searchcrm.techtarget.com/feature/Artificial-intelligence-technologies-a-boon-for-customer-insights
Description: A short and very practical guide to AI with a special focus on consumer insights. For example, it talks about how AI can turn unstructured data into ‘next step’ marketing knowledge. Using real-world examples this piece boils AI down to 4 specific types. All of which you want to understand.


5) “AI Marketing. What does the future hold?”
Source: SAS, 

Description: Holding nothing back, Brian Solis of Altimeter states “AI is the next big thing.” He talks about the overall acceleration of consumer demands. Everything from instant online messaging to same-day delivery has cranked up consumer expectations to a very high degree. Everything is at light speed… except marketing. According to Solis, AI will bring the marketing department back up to speed.
6) “How Artificial Intelligence Realized Chipotles ‘Worse Queso Scenario’
Source: Forbes,

Description: Once again a Forbes writer gives us a brilliant headline!  The story here is that manufacturers and service providers aren’t the only ones using AI. Chipotle recently changed ingredients on a key menu item and the social-sphere went nuts. What’s interesting is that one of their banks, the Royal Bank of Canada was also using AI models in their research and “queso-gate” caused a major downward adjustment in the value of the company. AI isn’t just for marketers.
7) “28 Ways Artificial Intelligence Will Affect You”
Source: Chief Marketer, http://www.chiefmarketer.com/28-ways-artificial-intelligence-will-affect/
Description:  This is a great look at what’s happening right now with AI. It includes 28 statistics about AI that indicate current and future trends. These numbers are all fully attributed and cover the gamut of AI topics. General Example: 79% of all US adults say they have experienced AI in some form in the last 12 months. Specific Example: The Cosmopolitan Hotel in Las Vegas adopted an artificial intelligence concierge called “Rose” to assist guests. Since Rose’s introduction, the hotel has seen a 39% increase in on-site spending and 90% of guests who interacted with Rose reported that they would recommend her.
8) “Common Misconceptions Executives Have About AI”
Source: ThinkGrowth.org via Medium, https://thinkgrowth.org/common-misconceptions-executives-have-about-ai-a4bee8f0de87
Description: This article is a very sober look at the myths and grand expectations some people have about artificial intelligence, a concept that  has earned buzz status recently and for good reason. But here’s a sample of the misconceptions we all need to be aware of. 1) AI is not a panacea. It has great value, but only in the hands of experienced management. 2) It doesn’t have to be expensive. Machine learning projects can be turned around quickly saving company resources. This article keeps your feet on the ground.

An Experienced Partner Is the Intelligent Choice.

Artificial intelligence and the resulting online consumer insights are in a stage of rapid growth and constant innovation. Clients are constantly finding new ways to put this technology to work and staying informed is important. When considering a partner firm for an AI project look for transparency in the relationship. Watch out for smoke and mirrors. There is no room for that. You should be made aware of every detail in the execution of your project. Clarity in objectives and results is a requirement.
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