The aim of this Point of View is to cut through the hype and see how marketers and AI can work hand-in-hand. In part 1, we listed a few areas of marketing where AI is already applied today . In this second part, we’ll give you some tips on how to get your company ready for AI.
Tips on how to get started with Artificial Intelligence
That’s all very exciting, but before you decide to outsource your business to AI, here are some easy and actionable tips to get you and your company ready:
- Familiarise yourself with the technology and identify the problems AI can help you solve
You don’t need an AI plan right away. Start with staying up to date with AI, looking at how AI is being implemented in your industry and identifying potential user cases. Once you’re up to speed, think about how AI capabilities can be added to your existing products or processes.
- join the Belgian Tech Community on Facebook to stay up to date with general tech trends in Belgium,
- listen to Talking Machine’s podcasts,
- subscribe to AI-related articles on VentureBeat or The Next Web.
And, if you want to dig into AI right away, this Wait But Why lengthy but nonetheless very interesting article about AI will simply make your day.
- Discover the power of AI by automating simple tasks in your personal life
Start using the multitude of tools using AI to solve problems or automate repetitive tasks. Why don’t you…
- Join the 6.9 million daily active users who are using Grammarly to check your grammar and spelling?
- Ask iReachm (a Belgian start-up!), your AI-based personal assistant to manage your calls?
- Let Tetra take notes during your phone calls and help you recall who said what during the conversation?
- Run with Mara? She will suggest the best route according to your mood and can even warn you if it’s about to rain.
- Let MonkeyLearn process text data in your Google Sheets, CSV and Excel files?
Thousands of solutions are waiting out there to automate tasks for you. Once you get used to the idea that many tasks can be delegated to machines, you’ll see better what could also be automated within your own company as well.
- Explore AI within existing enterprise tools
Your company might already be using tools that have AI embedded in it. SalesForce allows you to integrate AI functionalities into its CRM applications thanks to Einstein AI. For example, Einstein AI can adjust marketing and lead-generation activities according to consumer sentiments analysed in phone conversations, social media posts and customer reviews.
- Foster a culture of innovation
Depending on the size of your company and the industry you’re in, there might already be an innovation team within your company. Go and talk to them and find out what they are working on, what challenges they are facing – and then bring in your very own expertise. At The House of Marketing, we have our very own innovation lab: it started out very small, out of the heads of two passionate consultants, but we are now proud to have a fully-fledged BotBakery where we build chatbots for several clients. Another initiative will see the light of day in 2018. We can’t wait to tell you more about it!
- Think data, data, data…
The common factor of all AI technologies is massive amounts of data. Companies are collecting data at a very rapid pace and in amounts that are growing exponentially. However, very often, the quality of data does not meet the needs of most AI technologies. Next to lacking a clear data-collection strategy, many companies face challenges regarding the accuracy, consistency, reliability and accessibility of their dataset.
But how do companies such as Facebook and Instagram help their AI get smarter over time? As the Belgian AI guru, Filip Maertens, simply puts it: “What do you think you are doing when you are tagging people and using hashtags? You’re just labelling data!”
And on the eve of GDPR, most companies are familiar with the struggle. And, by the way, how can GDPR and AI work together? Read what Elke Horrix, our Head of Data & GDPR, has to say about GDPR and automated decision-making in marketing.
“Without change, there is no innovation, creativity, or incentive for improvement.”
We hope that with these use cases and tips about how to start with AI, you won’t see AI as a robot trying to steal your job any more, but rather as a technology that will make your job easier – just like computers have done over the last century. In fact, most of the examples we have presented in this article involve AI and human beings working together to achieve goals faster and more efficiently.
Let’s be honest, though: AI is a big change and change is scary. However, as William Pollard rightly said, “Without change, there is no innovation, creativity, or incentive for improvement.”
Ready or not?
 Bas de Baat, Get your company ready for artificial intelligence