Q&A: How Will AI Help Marketers Tap Their Data Wells?

There’s a lot of loose talk around the potential for AI to change the nature of the marketing game, but beyond the buzz it can be hard to tell exactly how marketers will be using it to improve their businesses. In a series of video Q&A’s, marketing AI practitioner and BrainTrust Insights co-founder Christopher Penn will explain how marketers can actually use AI.

Penn will be leading the keynote session at the FUSE Digital Marketing Summit this November.

Q: Early on, what data-related problems will AI solve for marketers?

A: Christopher Penn thinks one of the biggest advances that AI promises when it comes to marketing data is to capitalize on the mountain of data that is going unutilized by many organizations. Penn cites a recent statistic from IBM that up to 90% of data within a corporation goes unused.

Of course, many marketers collect a lot of data, but how many are taking full advantage of the data collected by a tool like Google Analytics? Not many, says Penn, and the overwhelming amount of data means that marketers are not able to effectively use it to drive decisions, change behavior, and ultimately improve marketing.

This is where AI comes. Penn points to the “Data Science Lifecycle” (define, ingest, analyze, repair, clean, prepare, augment, explore, compare, predict, prescribe, model, validate, refine, deploy, observe) and says that a significant portion of the tasks in data lifecycle are repetitive work. “Anytime you’ve got repetitive work, you’ve got a candidate for robotic process automation, or machine learning, or potentially deep learning, depending on how complex the problem is and the technologies that are available to you. The early wins for marketers are going to be in that first third of the lifecycle, when you’re looking at ingesting data from multiple sources.”  See an illustration of the Data Science Lifecycle below.

Tools exist that “will essentially do digital sniffing around and pull helping you pull data out of heterogeneous, incompatible systems and get it at least in one place. The same is true for analysis, repair, and cleaning of data.”

Once the data is collected and prepared, marketers are in a position to start building solutions with that data or applying third-party tools that can take advantage of many organizations’ mountains of data.

“If we’ve got the data and we’re not using it, we’re missing a massive opportunity. It would be like owning an oil field and never drilling a well, or if you drilled one well with a spoon and you have a drinking straw. It’s not going to go very well.”

Hear Penn’s full answer to the question of how AI will enhance marketers’ use of data in the video above.

See Christopher Penn present the keynote session Using AI & Deep Learning to Generate Marketing Results at the FUSE Digital marketing Summit.

The BrainTrust Insights Data Science Lifecycle | Credit: BrainTrustInsights.com by Christopher Penn


Author: Denis Wilson

Denis Wilson was previously content director for Target Marketing, Publishing Executive, and Book Business, as well as the FUSE Media and BRAND United summits. In this role, he analyzed and reported on the fundamental changes affecting the media and marketing industries and aimed to serve content-driven businesses with practical and strategic insight. As a writer, Denis’ work has been published by Fast Company, Rolling Stone, Fortune, and The New York Times.

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