A 10 step framework for AI success in marketing

20 May 2019
By: Katie King
Managing director and author

Katie King, author and CEO at AI in Marketing reveals 10 tips for marketers to keep in mind when aiming for success with artificial intelligence.

Ahead of my keynote presentation at Ignite, I’d like to share 10 invaluable insights and advice I gleaned while researching and writing my recent book on the impact of AI in marketing. Above all, prepare to open your mind to ideas which will stretch your thinking. You may also find yourself reassured that many traditional strategic approaches to management and marketing are still applicable in the new world of AI. Our world is being reshaped by AI, and now more than ever, human leadership is essential, in both marketing and wider disciplines.


  1. Understand the dynamics of AI in your sector, now and in the future

No problem or opportunity can be properly assessed in isolation.  You need to research the current and potential future impact of AI in your industry sector, paying close attention to established competitors and potential disruptors. Disruptors will be those who can fulfil an existing customer need, or create a new one, innovatively, more cheaply or simply in a fashion which captures the imagination. AI may well be the key to that, but so too could other tech innovations, or simply new approaches to pricing; think Primark.


  1. Devise your business strategy and then your marketing plan accordingly

Again, this will be dictated by your ambition and your longer-term goals for the business. What is certain, is that you need your marketing strategy to dovetail with your business plan. You need to consider how AI can support both.


  1. Start with small problems, focused on customer needs, and be prepared to fail

The start point for your AI marketing plan must be the needs of your customer or client. If you don’t obsess over them, your current – or future – competitors will.  Also, remember that, given its early stage of development, working with AI will be highly iterative, agile process and not a waterfall process.


  1. Define your strategy for AI in marketing and set key metrics and KPIs

You need to start by defining success and setting clear key performance indicators (KPIs).  This will support you at the outset, when making the business case for investing in AI marketing technology, but also when justifying the results or feedback mechanism for the next phase.


  1. Prioritise technical AI competence: train, hire, partner or invest in the right solutions for the task at hand

The best course of action will depend on the problem to be solved, but will typically be one of the following: train, hire, partner or invest in the right solutions and tools.


  1. Reinvigorate your culture to embrace innovation and agility

Build an agile operating model and a company culture which is focused on and adapts quickly to customer’s changing needs.


  1. Collaborate across departments and reorganise where necessary

AI adoption in marketing alone is not ideal. You need to form a cross-departmental strategy; one which optimises data and resources for best effect by always keeping the customer at the centre.


  1. Attract and retain the right staff and partners

Communications with all stakeholders is a central role for all marketers, which is more reason for marketing to collaborate with other teams such as HR to help attract and retain the right staff and partners.  Given the dominance of AI in today’s business headlines, business people will increasingly ask probing questions about their organisation’s readiness for this new world.


  1. Invest in a continuous lifelong learning journey

To thrive in an era of unpredictability, you need teams who appreciate the need to continuously push themselves out of their comfort zone.  However, changes in behaviour and culture can be hard to absorb, which is why the marketing team is so crucial in communicating the importance of this agility internally and to the wider supply chain and to future staff.


  1. Adhere to – and play a role in – defining the ethics of AI in your industry/country

Set out your own ethics and principles of fairness, as well as adhere to the policies in place within your own country and industry sector. Where they don’t exist, or are merely embryonic, don’t hesitate to play your role in helping to define them. Consider important issues of bias inconsequential services, and always keep top of mind the values and rights of the citizens of your country and of the world.


Don’t miss Katie at Ignite 2019 where she will be discussing how to harness AI to create business growth.