DMEXCO Learnings and the Future of AI in Marketing

selligentAs one of the biggest and high-value digital marketing conferences out there, DMEXCO this year did not disappoint. It delivered thoughtful, in-depth looks at how new technologies such as Artificial Intelligence (AI) and new guiding policies around data are affecting the way brands communicate and understand their customers. This year marked Selligent Marketing Cloud’s 8th year attending the show and, in case you missed it, here are a few of the major trends and takeaways that may be helpful to your brand.

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Artificial Intelligence Becomes A Reality for Marketers

The clear winner among this year’s conference was AI, with quite a bit of time spent exploring real-world applications of AI marketing today. Throughout the conference, technology providers focused on how AI is making its impact on digital marketing and what areas it can be leveraged so marketers can focus on value.

There was a big discussion focused on how automation, Machine Learning (ML) and AI are often confused. Many speakers spent time discussing how they relate and complement each other. For instance, automated tasks can provide a consistent measure of customer engagement, which then informs ML technology so that marketing systems can use AI to analyze and suggest improved processes for better-predicted outcomes. Compare that to the current common misunderstanding that simple automation solutions are often referred to as AI, when they, in fact, are not. Marketing AI is not merely about the speedy handling of data, it goes much deeper. Marketing technology companies that tout true AI capabilities is a much, much smaller set of organizations that the industry is led to believe.

DMEXCO displayed AI’s connection with marketing automation in areas such as dynamic delivery of creative and programmatic advertising, by fundamentally changing the way brands execute and analyze their marketing strategies. As with all newly-adopted technology, marketers and CIOs are working in tandem to ensure marketing AI solutions deliver strong ROI and improved customer experiences.

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What Data Privacy Regulations Have Taught Us

It has been nearly four months since the GDPR regulation took effect and the industry has taken the time to reflect on how it has impacted the day-to-day lives of digital marketers.  While many agree that the months leading up to the May 25, 2018, deadline were filled with uncertainty, and sometimes reluctance to be compliant, it was clear at DMEXCO that GDPR was a good thing.

The consequences of the EU data protection regulations, as well as the digitalization of retail, also play an important role in the topic of AI, because data and above all the intelligent analysis of large amounts of data are becoming more and more important and can also be better implemented by means of appropriate systems and processes. We’re seeing many brands use tightened data practices to their advantage, benefiting from clearer data strategies and data-driven goal-setting.

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New Frontiers of Marketing

Other important DMEXCO trends included video as a strong storytelling format as well as the newly-formed roles of voice and chatbots in customer engagement. Virtual reality and augmented reality are burgeoning areas of opportunity for brands and conversations around how they relate to AI and customer experiences were important trends to note. The format with native placement offers more attention and interaction for the brand and more authentic customer experiences. Surprisingly, much of these trends were discussed within the context of their effect on B2B marketing — not just B2C marketing. With voice and chatbots, the unlimited possibilities like voice-powered search, engagement and brand building were emphasized, especially in the areas of customer service and customer lifecycle management. It’s clear that the next few years will signal an inclusion of voice technology into the marketing mix. This notion is supported by the growing emphasis of voice-enabled assistants such as Siri, Alexa, and its infiltration into homes.

It’s clear that the last several years spent on developing marketing AI technologies is now beginning to make its impact, and the next handful of years will redefine marketing as we know it. DMEXCO continues to be one of the most valuable marketing technology conferences Selligent participates in every year, and I’m beyond excited to see how the next year shows AI really taking off within digital marketing.

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