In the Forbes centennial magazine issue , the world’s 100 greatest living business minds shared their words of wisdom for the next 100 years. Ray Dalio, founder of investment firm Bridgewater Associates, weighed in on AI.

SwissCognitive“I think that the most important issue that will reshape our lives in the years ahead will be how man-made and artificial intelligence compete and work together.” How does this competition and cooperation unfold in the arena of marketing? Once we bridge the chasm between marketers who create and marketers who measure, exactly how is AI best managed and deployed?

The Best Birthplace For AI

For the organization just embarking on AI initiatives, there is a long list of potential starting points. But whether AI is harnessed for content creation, programmatic media buying, chatbots, or lead scoring, the marketer’s challenge is much the same. Access to decent data.Assuming the quality of data is up to par, what’s the best starting point? Jim Sterne, with Marketing Evolution Experience , says the needs of the organization should determine where marketers first dip their toe in the AI waters. “If the powers that be are focused on customer service improvements, spinning up a chatbot is the most practical. The budget will be approved and those who need to be involved will be motivated to help. If the sales department has the ear of the CEO and the CFO, lead scoring would be a better choice.”

Promises To Keep And Miles To Go

The allure of AI for marketers can be irresistible.

  • The ability to find patterns that may be difficult for the human mind to recognize.
  • The ability to prioritize and leverage non-intuitive connections, relationships, and attitudes.
  • The ability to more accurately gauge preferences and dispositions.

But at what point is the promise delivered, and what role should humans play in the process? Many marketing organizations are now wrestling with how best to define the rules of engagement. The CMO ultimately needs to make a call on whether human roles are leading or supportive… and whether human bias and emotional response are strengths, weaknesses, or insignificant. No matter how these strategic decisions are made, and no matter how AI is woven into a marketing plan, the march toward implementation is underway. […]