AI & Marketing

My response to a recent request for thoughts about AI & Marketing...

What impact do you think AI will have on marketing strategy in

2018 kayak & lifejacket sales will skyrocket as marketing departments paddle through  floods of hype about AI in marketing.

A few large companies with coherent data strategies will have a few ah-hah moments of AI-guided success; the smart ones won't say a word about it.

The real AI-in-marketing action in 2018 will be lab work; wise CMOs will watch, listen, research and learn, but hold off on large investments.

What impact do you think AI will have on marketing in the longer term (5-10 years)?

Dominant players will become still more dominant; absent civil or legislative backlash,  data-begets-data and AI cost/scale advantages will transform marketing (back) into a service companies buy, rather than a function they perform - from Mad Max back to Mad Men.

OC (Outside China) Facebook, Google and Amazon will split most consumers;  Microsoft will mount a serious challenge to Amazon in B2B marketing as LinkedIn blue fades into Azure.  

If adolescence doesn't blossom Siri to She, Apple will niche out; persona will become the new design. Attention and permission will become dual-mediated; my (personal AI) assistant will talk with your (marketing AI) assistant. 

What kinds of skills and insight/intelligence will marketing professionals need in the future to work with AI?

Marketing pros and orgs will require a dual-minded balance of IQ and EQ.  AI will ratchet up the pace of the pace of change again; it will feel like the singularity.  But people - not algorithms - will still be the key decision point, and "feel" will still drive their decision; design, media and messaging out of sync with the consumer's point of view will fail.

Effective marketing organizations will figure out the balance of process and culture to pair soft and hard skills. Above all, the ability to learn, and to integrate new knowledge and existing skills, will be vital both personally and professionally.