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Why marketers should consider adopting and aligning AI with their business strategy

The Drum 13 Jun 2019 09:15
By Paul Vallois-13 June 2019 10:15am

The marketing sector can be a complicated place as new marketing tools and techniques are launched, almost on a weekly basis. Powered by The Drum Network, this regular column invites The Drum Network's members to demystify the marketing trade and offer expert insight and opinion on what is happening in the marketing industry today that can help your business tomorrow.

Nimbletank on why organisations should invest in artificial intelligence tools and how they could increase economic value.

Only 7% of businesses have an AI strategy. Are you one of them? Probably not, if this recent stat from Adobe is anything to go by.

But are you exploring AI, running pilots or even scaling AI solutions? Quite possibly, as the stats show that the year on year growth and adoption of AI is exponential.

And if you don’t have a strategy, there’s a fair chance that you haven’t considered any number of the following; your customers’ actual needs, your employees and culture, work systems, product/service impact, data capabilities or ethics.

Responsible AI adoption

We’ve worked with clients right across the spectrum of adoption however the commonality is that AI is often being developed in silos, whether it be the data science, tech, marketing, innovation or individual product teams. As such, critical factors for the project success are often overlooked.

The customer is still king

Working with psychologists, we’ve discovery sometimes, experiences can be too seamless, and AI has been deployed in the wrong place within a product.

It’s fair to say that AI could greatly enhance most financial products but it’s important to understand from customers where it will add most value for them. An approach that should have been adopted by an investment company that developed it’s robo-advice product in isolation and recently announced its closure, losing millions in investment and numerous jobs.

News headlines about robots and dystopic futures, where jobs are fully automated are creating distrust amongst employees, despite the fact that their homes and phones are increasingly using micro AI to improve their lives.

“Nearly 20% identified ‘resistance from employees due to concerns about job security’ as a challenge to their AI efforts”.

This means, developing the right culture within a business to embrace AI is critical. AI needs to be defined, socialised and celebrated throughout the business. When framed correctly and positioned in a way so people understand that the boring and repetitive tasks within their role can be taken on by AI, empowering them to focus more time on value creation, there are fewer barriers to adoption.

Bias in, bias out

This is despite the plethora of headlines over the past few years calling businesses out for ‘racist robots’, perpetuating inequality and the recent decision by San Francisco to ban facial recognition use by local agencies due to concerns over both bias and privacy.

That said, businesses ignore ethics at their peril.

The benefits of this approach are two-fold, as we have also found that, when employees recognise that there is a policy in place and red lines that won’t be crossed, there is again less resistance to adopting these new technologies.

So, whether you’re at ground zero when it comes to AI adoption or you are already scaling successfully piloted solutions, a broad and integrated framework is essential for success.

Get this right and very soon you’ll be one of the few with a robust and long-term AI strategy.

Paul Vallois is the managing director at Nimbletank.

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AIAIPaul ValloisAdobeMcKinsey
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