Saturday, March 17, 2018

SXSW: How AI is Impacting Creative Strategies

At the latest South by Southwest conference in Austin, discussions surrounding the impact of AI were front and center. One panel looked to the future of AI and marketing, and representatives from Home Depot and L’Oreal explained how AI has played an ever-increasing role in tailoring relevant content for visual searches on platforms like Pinterest. The panel also explored how AI has given messenger bots the capability to handle way more than just transactional conversations — now they can give product recommendations, subscribe customers for loyalty programs, and perform other aspects of customer care.

"For us, we really see [bots] as a future channel of shopping and commerce," said Rachel Weiss, VP of innovation and entrepreneurship at L'Oreal. "We make it so that it's a one-stop shop [and] the most effective and fast way that you can't do on any other channel, that you can't do on social and you can't do in a store."

The panelists articulated how these advancements in AI will impact marketers. “As with any industry disruption, these developments have unsettled brands' businesses as much as they've presented new opportunities for innovation and reaching shoppers,” says Peter Adams of Marketing Dive. The panelist from L’Oreal added that AI requires different backend systems, can come with considerable expenses, and requires different talent. Furthermore, AI is shifting KPIs for brands and requiring new ways to measure success around customer retention and satisfaction. While these difficulties and others make the implementation of AI challenging, the benefits (and soon-to-be necessity) of incorporating it into a company’s approach are becoming undeniable.

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