Content marketing continues to have a very impactful influence on the decision to purchase a company’s product or services. Marketers are increasingly using content marketing tactics, along with technology, to better engage with their buyers to educate, update, and guide them. To understand the buzz around the growing popularity of Content Marketing we at Research NXT will be conducting in-depth market research to compile key data points to learn the current state of Content marketing in India. Also, the study will focus on understanding the top content marketing tools in the market and where are the marketers investing for the desired revenue growth.
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David Raab, the founder of the Customer Data Platform Institute, who is also a marketing technology expert, an independent consultant and author of many articles on marketing tech and analytics talks about how AI and CDP together can unlock the infinite possibilities for Marketers in the present era....
In this Research NXT Interview, David Raab, the founder of the Customer Data Platform Institute, who is also a marketing technology expert, an independent consultant and author of many articles on marketing tech and analytics talks about how AI and CDP together can unlock the infinite possibilities for Marketers in the present era. He emphasizes how AI can empower marketers by aligning tech, data, and creativity to deliver personalized customer experience at scale. Additionally, at the end of our discussion, David shares his willingness to know how much AI marketers think they are using versus what they are using.
Key takeaways from this Research NXT interview:
Here are some extracts from the insightful conversation we had with David Raab
Research NXT: How have things transformed in the Martech space so far, and how is AI taking over now? And what kind of changes can we expect soon?
David: AI has undoubtedly had a significant impact on marketing and technology; however, I don’t think it has taken over. We see an evolution in AI from performing narrow tasks like predictive modelling to taking up more specialized applications that to need string together multiple tasks and take over more of a coordination and management role. AI in today’s context has evolved towards managing the entire customer journey and not just one instance at a time. AI-enabled marketing systems will eventually decide and orchestrate the whole customer communications process independently and in an optimized manner at scale. So we are seeing AI creep up the ladder of complexity and take over more complicated and coordinated tasks, much like human counterparts.
Research NXT: What is a real CDP and how does it complement an AI-enabled environment?
David: The point of the RealCDP program is to establish a universal standard for all systems that call themselves CDPs so that customers across the globe could have a defined set of expectations from them. Everyone has an intuitive understanding of what a CDP is; however, it’s not well articulated clearly, so all systems who call themselves CDP do not meet those expectations. The fundamental purpose of the Real CDP program is to help people make the CDP buying decision more confidently.
The actual requirement of a true CDP is that it should be able to intake data from all sources, store that data indefinitely, present the data in unified customer profiles, and it should also be able to share the data with all the systems. This is a basic set of requirements for CDP, which systems like a DMP or CRM don’t provide in one way or the other. A true CDP should have all these capabilities, even if it’s through an API or if it requires manual entry by the vendor or the user to expose the data to other systems. The reason these requirements should be in place is that people should get the CDP to do what they implemented the CDP to do.
Research NXT: What are the top AI in marketing use cases wherein CDP would contribute?
David: The most important thing with AI is the data it is trained on, and the core role of a CDP is to assemble all that data and make it available in a format that it is suitable for the application so that AI can work on it. Hence, any AI in marketing use cases would benefit from a CDP. In terms of specific use cases, we have seen predictive modelling and campaign designing most commonly . In terms of Chatbots, CDP is useful where customer data is used to benefit the call centre. Agents take the next best option recommendations powered by AI.
Research NXT: What should be the trigger for an organization starting to consider a CDP for themselves and how should they go about while evaluating a CDP?
David: CDP is ideally for an organization of considerable size. They are usually for mid-tier or enterprise companies where there is enough data and complexity and enough resources to take advantage of the CDP. In terms of industries, initially, it was primarily in retail and in online media where you have a lot of frequent small transactions per customer, where there are many recommendations to be made. In scenarios like this, it is easy to measure the value added by a CDP. More recently, we are seeing CDPs being used pretty much everywhere, like services, transportation, hospitality, and beginning to see it in education and telecom too. Another benefit of CDP, apart from the financial benefit, is enhanced CX through personalization at scale. And since every customer today has high expectations, CDP is useful across industries, across company size, and business models.
Research NXT: At what phase of an organization should they be starting to implement AI for marketing?
David: In my opinion, AI is productized, and simplified AI is already in use across organizations. I don’t think AI to be implemented needs an organization to reach a particular stage of maturity level. It doesn’t mean organizations need to create AI from scratch, as more of the strategic systems like CRM and Marketing Automation already have some AI embedded in them. I think everybody has access to AI, and they can take advantage of it without being very technically adept.
It doesn’t mean that marketers should blindly trust AI. They should check out what the AI is good at and how it should be applied appropriately so that the data they need is there, and could be reasonably used.
Research NXT: How was your recent experience in India while you collaborated with Netcore to host the CDP Workshop? What did you sense about the current progress of MarTech in India while you interacted with marketing leaders here?
David: I like India. India is a complicated space with a lot of smart and educated people. The challenge of doing business in India is very different from other places. A vast section of consumers in India has access to mobile connectivity irrespective of their economic background, and it’s fascinating. We do see great technologies in India; we see companies having a lot of different use cases. For example, one use case was that of a bank that had a hard time figuring out the financial status of its customers as the data was not readily available, unlike in the USA, where it’s pretty easy to access. So before anything else, customer data needs to be in place for technology to act upon it.
Research NXT: As a Marketer, what should there be in a checklist while evaluating or upgrading the systems to a CDP?
David: I think marketers need to understand their situation and create their checklist based on what use cases they care about. They will also need to identify what specific requirements they have from a CDP. Is it just the customer data, or do they also wish the CDP to do the analytics and also run the marketing campaigns. Some CDPs do that and some don’t. They will also need to choose which channels for outbound should the CDP support if they want the CDP to deliver pretty much what Netcore does. The choice depends on a high level on what scope of CDP functions the buyer wants in their particular situation. Realtime recommendation function is another function should be considered. If it’s needed, buyers need to understand how the CDP makes these recommendations.
Research NXT: And finally, what is the one question that you would like to ask Marketers across the world about AI?
David: There are many but what comes to my mind currently is to know: How many of the marketing systems that they use has AI capability built-in? I am curious to see the answers, and it would be great to compare it to reality. It would be interesting to see how much AI marketers think they are using versus what they are using.
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We foresee AI to bring in a new era going ahead in 2020. The emergence of Smarter Tech is the visible next level where informed decision-making through empowered computer algorithms is becoming the critical business differentiator across industries. Gartner predicts that the business value created by AI will reach $3.9T in...
There is no doubt that Artificial Intelligence is the future of the world, and it will eventually seep into our lives in all sorts of ways. AI will drive the economy of tomorrow, and if properly harnessed, it can generate enormous prosperity for humanity and take us all to the next level. In short, AI is being used to create an upgraded world.
No wonder AI Skills are amongst the most in-demand, and “AI predictions for 2020″ is one of the most searched topics today. Hence, everyone wants to stay updated and connected with its innovations to have an edge in this fast-paced system. However, you have to know the past and understand the present to be prepared for the future. Hence, we will start with the “Evolution of Artificial Intelligence” before delving into why Ai is essential. Here is what we have:
It might have started as fragments of imagination long before; however, the Dartmouth Summer Research Project on Artificial Intelligence was a seminal event for artificial intelligence as a field. In 1956 Dartmouth College professor John McCarthy coined the term “artificial intelligence” and organized an intensive summer workshop bringing together leading experts in the area.
The next notable event on AI was when computers got their first voice. ELIZA, developed at MIT by Joseph Weizenbaum in 1966, was perhaps the world’s first chatbot. ELIZA couldn’t talk like Alexa but communicate through text.
It took time, and there were multiple experiments and successes in between. But the rise of useful AI happened in 1980 when Digital Equipment Corporation’s XCON expert learning system was deployed and by 1986 was credited with generating annual savings of $40 million. The rollout of smart machines into the business had begun, and by 1985 corporations were spending $1 billion per year on AI systems.
Fast track to 2012, the power of deep learning was unveiled when researchers at Stanford and Google explored unsupervised learning that accelerated the pace of AI development and opened a new world of possibilities when it came to building machines to do work, which until then could only be done by humans.
Soon after, in 2015, machines started identifying better than humans. Researchers declared that computers could identify objects in visual data more accurately than humans for the first time.
The next most significant leap in the history of AI in business was in 2018 when self-driving cars hit the roads for the first time after successful testing for quite some time. Launch of Google spin-off Waymo’s self-driving taxi service in Phoenix, Arizona, was the event.
Another quite notable surprise was from Google in 2018 when they unveiled Duplex. An addition to the Google Assistant, Duplex could make calls on behalf of a user and perform tasks such as booking restaurant tables and hair salon appointments.
The pace of AI evolution took the fast route in recent times, and numerable attempts are being currently made to get it mainstream, and quite successfully, it is happening for good. Here is a set of entities that have been making phenomenal progress in bringing AI to life. They were recently recognized in the 2019 AI Breakthrough Awards program. Some of the winners for Best AI-based Solution for the following categories were:
Having said all these, we foresee AI to bring in a new era going ahead in 2020. The emergence of Smarter Tech is the visible next level where informed decision-making through empowered computer algorithms is becoming the critical business differentiator across industries. Gartner predicts that the business value created by AI will reach $3.9T in 2022. As AI becomes more capable of analyzing and interpreting data faster, businesses will build better, more personalized, and profitable campaigns.
Beyond this point, AI will progress to levels of Assisted Intelligence to Augmented Intelligence and finally Autonomous Intelligence. The best we can do is adapt to it and embrace the possibilities.
The Various Progressive Levels of Artificial Intelligence:
It’s clear that we are sitting on the cusp of AI innovation, and for a more in-depth understanding, it is necessary to break it down further. For instance, let’s look at the three forms or levels of artificial intelligence that exist today:
When enterprises reach a stage where they have to consider introducing AI across various functionalities, the questions they’ll have to ask themselves would be allied with the level of AI they choose – whether they want to some assisted intelligence that automates monotonous work? Or whether they want humans & machines to work in collaboration making decisions with augmented intelligence? Or do they want to hand over all the decision making to machines that use autonomous intelligence?
Artificial Intelligence in Business Functions:
Though there is a growing buzz around artificial intelligence, business leaders are still not exactly sure where they could apply AI to benefit the functional units. This is not surprising as embedding AI across the business requires significant investment in talent, technology, and organizational transformation. While applications of AI covers the entire range of functional areas, specific use cases have let us identify the most significant impact it can have in the following instances:
It would be very wrong to stop just about here and say that these are only areas where AI can be embedded and harnessed. AI‘s impact and its penetration are becoming strong every moment, and there are and will be numerous use cases. However, for the sake of this particular discussion, and the first half of 2020, we will stick to the above areas only.
In line with this thought, we at Research NXT take pride in announcing our first ever researches on AI in this upcoming new year. Two areas that we will mainly focus on will be AI in Marketing and AI in Procurement. That means that will be much such exciting news, updates, and discussions around AI that we will be publishing in the coming weeks. We will also be interviewing the industry experts and get their best practices around AI enablement to derive better business results.
Here’s whats store for you in the respective reports:
AI in Marketing
Report Title: Strategy & Trends Report: AI in Marketing – 2020 | Global
Release Date: March 2020
AI in Procurement
Report Title: Best Practices & Trends Report: Autonomous Procurement– 2020 Global
Release Date: April 2020
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Allison, CMO at Piano, talks about content consumption trends in the B2B SaaS sector and how marketers should approach the strategy around it. She emphasizes the importance of aligning tech, data, and creativity to optimize customer experience.
In this Research NXT Interview, the CMO of Piano Software, Allison Munro, talks about content consumption trends in the B2B SaaS sector and how marketers should approach the strategy around it. She emphasizes the importance of aligning tech, data, and creativity to optimize customer experience. Additionally, from an investment perspective in technology initiatives, Allison believes in tracking and measuring the impact of the efforts as that allows marketers to do more of what works.
Key takeaways from this Research NXT interview:
Research NXT: What, according to you, are the most significant trends around content consumption in your industry?
Allison: In B2B SaaS, we’re still working to create the right content to drive the right action, while always doing more with less. And that’s no longer just at the discovery phase or top of the funnel. It also means creating content that engages all identified target audiences throughout the customer journey and increasingly across owned-and-operated channels. That begins by understanding exactly what your big idea means to different audiences and when the best time is to deliver it, then leveraging the right people, process, channels, and technology to drive an impactful strategy forward.
Research NXT: What are the new skills marketers in your industry will need to ace up going ahead into 2020?
Allison: In shifting to a customer-, audience- or user-first strategy, marketing needs to partner with sales, product, and customer success to better identify and understand their various audiences, anticipate their needs and understand how to connect in the right way, at the right time, in the right context and at scale.
Creating content experiences that convert requires a deep understanding of your audience, the customer journey, and the value exchange needed at every step. It also means planning for diversions in that journey. Whether that is as simple as creating unique continued experiences for your customers vs. your potential buyers, or building experiences for various personas or industries, knowing how to pair technology and data to drive a one-to-many content strategy will maximize engagement and results. In a digital world, creative, digital, operations, and revenue teams need to work together to optimize the customer experience at every touchpoint, with your audience and content at the core of engagement.
Research NXT: From a technology perspective, what are some of the top challenges that content marketers in your industry face these days?
Allison: To maximize resources and meet their revenue goals, content marketers need to understand the impact of what they’re producing, and develop the right content to achieve the best results. For that to happen, they need technology solutions that will not only offer them the insights they need to see what’s connecting and what’s not, but that will also let them test their messaging for different audiences and segments, and customize their approach.
But it’s equally important that technology not get in the way of meeting those objectives. More than anything, prospects, and customers want to feel like an actual human being is approaching them. Whether you’re sending an email or giving a demo or presentation, retaining that human element is more important than ever — both for the people you’re approaching and in terms of achieving your ultimate goals.
Research NXT: How, according to you, should a CMO approach investment in content marketing with so many options around?
Allison: I’m a true believer in measuring what matters — tracking direct impact such as conversion throughout the buyer’s journey and beyond. But that’s often easier said than done. To build on what they can measure, in order to do more of what works, CMOs need to make investments that focus on results.
It can’t be about volume or frequency or measuring the number of press releases, events, digital content assets, or direct mail campaigns. Understanding the needs of your audience and the impact of your efforts should be the guiding light to driving your investments and scaling what works.
Research NXT: Now that we’ve reached the point where content marketing stacks have become the norm, how do marketing teams manage so many tools seamlessly and concentrate on the actual creative work of content marketing?
Allison: In theory, automation and insights enable marketers to do just that, focusing on creativity as technology scales and automates impact. The reality requires a mature content and marketing engine built on people, process, and technology. Understanding the impact of content can ensure some resources support the development of creative assets and experiences, while close alignment to the demand and customer success teams provides the feedback loop and measurement to guide creativity against performance.
Research NXT: Do you truly believe and see value in research-based content marketing as a winning strategy?
Allison: Theory backed by data and consumer insights is certainly more valuable than non-data backed content if your goal is to inform your audience better and help them be smarter about what they do. It also enables a level of credibility that can very well be unique to your value proposition.
You hear the terms “data-driven” and “data-backed” often — those require strategies that are informed by research, both into the industry as well as into audience needs and behaviors. When you know what your audience’s needs are, you can develop content in all forms to educate, inspire, and inform.
Dedicated to creating measurable performance and optimizing the buyer’s journey, CMO Allison Munro leads global marketing at Piano. She began her career as an entrepreneur, going on to build her own experiential marketing agency, providing technology-based experience solutions for CPG and entertainment brands. She continued to apply her skills and experiences as she transitioned to work directly with tech providers, with companies that included Oracle, Eloqua, and NexJ Systems. Bringing over 15 years of leadership experience to her role at Piano, nine of them spent leading go-to-market teams for cloud-based technology and service providers, she is now expanding Piano’s marketing goals to support company efforts worldwide.
Piano is the digital content monetization and audience intelligence platform for the world’s largest and most sophisticated media companies. The company’s award-winning, high-performance enterprise platform includes a subscription commerce engine (Piano VX), a customer experience toolkit (Piano Composer), a user management system (Piano ID), and an intelligent email personalization and content recommendations tool (Piano ESP) that serve as a comprehensive product suite for media businesses across digital platforms.
Found this interview interesting? Please share your views and opinions on content-based marketing with us. We’re listening.
We are glad to be part of NASSCOM MarTECH Confluence 2019 as its Associate Partner and have Santosh Abraham, Research NXT’s CEO, as a speaker at the confluence. Santosh will be presenting our research and his views on the theme “Customer Engagement Technologies for the Next Decade.” So join us and have an awesome time....
NASSCOM MarTECH Confluence returns this November. It will help you navigate into the future to identify marketing technologies that will drive businesses over the next decade. This year’s theme is “Beyond 2020: Marketing in the Age of Data, Intelligence, and Experience”. The event brings together practitioners across diverse industries in the marketing value chain – brand agencies, digital agencies, new age technology companies, marketers, and platforms powering the next generation of MarTech.
Research NXT is excited to be part of NASSCOM Martech Confluence 2019 as its Associate Partner. The NASSCOM’s flagship one-day event is on 28th November 2019 at Courtyard by Marriot, Mumbai.
Check out the details below for what’s in store, who’s speaking and who should attend. Register before its too late and get an exclusive discount specially created for all Research NXT subscribers to the biggest MarTech event in India this year.
So what’s in store for you?
12 high impact sessions, networking, and immersive experience for delegates that combines Business + Technology + Leadership.
We are glad to be part of NASSCOM MarTECH Confluence 2019 as Associate Partner and have Santosh Abraham, Research NXT’s CEO, as a speaker at the confluence. Santosh will be presenting our research and his views on the theme “Customer Engagement Technologies for the Next Decade.”
Click here to register for NASSCOM MarTECH 2019 and use Discount Code: NMSRNXT102019 to get great discounts on your registration.
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