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IBM predicts AI will create a new breed of marketers

By Andrew Blustein | Reporter

January 2, 2019 | 4 min read

As the calendar flips, marketers will look to find new ways to gain an edge. As IBM predicts, a new breed of marketers is emerging with the help of artificial intelligence.

Artificial intelligence may change the industry

Artificial intelligence may change the industry

IBM Watson Marketing released its 2019 Marketing Trends Report, highlighting trends in the industry. The team predicted that in the emotion economy, consumers will likely engage more with brands that are authentic and deliver on their convictions.

That may not be a new development on its own, but IBM believes AI and machine learning will make hyper-personalization a reality as the proliferation of data and the streamlining of marketing stacks will allow marketers to deliver personalized content at a massive scale.

Michael Trapani, marketing program director for IBM Watson Marketing, said emotion and personal connection doesn't have to be in conflict with the seemingly cold and calculating world of AI.

"Making a connection with a brand will always be a very human, emotion-driven process for consumers. Where AI and machine learning come in is the ability to better inform marketers based on uncovering insights about your customers that a human might not see or find. Those insights then enable human marketers to develop better and more relevant creative and then deliver it at scale across channels to individual consumers," said Trapani.

According to the report, the predicted influx of AI will lead to emergence of 'consulgencies,' as the need to build out expertise in customer experience analytics and mobile apps will see the capabilities of consultancies and agencies converge.

"Most of the agency partners that work with IBM have added or expanded their technical and data integration and consulting capabilities. Many are also moving to more of consultative arrangement, focused more on hours and outcomes than on media buys. As for AI, all agencies regardless of size are exploring uses of AI to solve their client's marketing and customer challenges, whether it is building chatbots or interactive experiences," Trapani said.

"Agencies are also increasingly using off-the-shelf AI-based marketing solutions that can predict optimal customer journeys, identify customers most likely to churn, and identify and predict where customers are struggling to complete goals in an online journey."

Among the predictions include the growth of the director of marketing data role and the emergence of the 'martecheter,' a more tech-savvy marketer. The report also says that, historically, the greatest advantages to a marketers have been budget, tools, and talent, but that order will flip as the industry moves away from hiring single-skilled marketers given the emphasis on customer experience and marketing technologies.

The inner workings of the entire C-suite could see a change, too. According to the report, the focus on customer centricity will create more opportunities for commerce and digital teams to aggregate and experiment with customer data.

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