Why your business should embrace AI in 2020

OPENING REMARKS. Cobena President and CEO Francis del Val opens the event. All photos by Jay Ganzon/Rappler

OPENING REMARKS. Cobena President and CEO Francis del Val opens the event.

All photos by Jay Ganzon/Rappler

MANILA, Philippines – “We are shifting rapidly. We are moving away from a product-led economy to an experience-led economy.” Jeremy Smart, Channel Leader for Asia Pacific & Japan of Acoustic, emphasized this landscape shift as he described how important artificial intelligence (AI) will be for advertisers and marketers in the coming years.

“You are not just missing an opportunity,” Smart addressed those who are reluctant in the crowd. “You are just managing your inevitable extinction.”

JEREMY SMART. Acousticu2019s Channel Leader for Asia Pacific u0026 Japan.

JEREMY SMART. Acousticu2019s Channel Leader for Asia Pacific u0026 Japan.

On September 12, various industry leaders –  from media and advertising to pharmaceuticals, finance, and FMCG – gathered at the Makati Diamond Residences for a conference entitled “AI for ROI: Driving Double-Digit ROI with AI-driven Marketing Technologies.

Organized by Cobena Business Analytics and Strategy Inc, a Philippine data science consulting firm, the event hosted talks with speakers from Cobena’s business partner, Acoustic. These talks centered on the AI landscape in the Asia Pacific region, the readiness of business for AI, and some success stories using AI marketing technology (MarTech).

Acoustic was formerly known as IBM’s Watson Marketing before it was rebranded as a standalone company in July 2019.

Myths on AI

According to Jeremy Smart, a lot of apprehensions in using AI for business stem from myths and antiquated ideas about artificial intelligence.

One pervasive misconception, he says, is that AI is too expensive. On the contrary, businesses would rather spend large amounts on marketing that casts a wide net over their audiences.

According to Smart, with the help of AI, companies can trim their marketing budget as AI can help pinpoint areas of focus. Not only can a company’s marketing be more efficient, but it can be significantly more effective with MarTech.

“AI is only as difficult as you chose to make it,” said Smart.

Another unfounded fear many companies have is that AI will make their services obsolete. They see AI as a competition not only in the industry-level but also on a personal. 

“AI is universally known as Artificial Intelligence. We prefer to refer to it as Augmented Intelligence. So it’s about changing your job – which it will – for the better.”

According to Smart, AI automates the little, mundane tasks that can detract your energy from more important work. This leaves you to focus on more strategic and creative ways to grow your business. 

Lastly, Smart warned businesses of the false notion that AI is not and will never apply to their industry. “It is relevant to you, it is relevant to all industries. Most experiences will be delivered by AI-led applications by the year 2025. That’s not too far away,” he said.

AI marketing today

In today’s market, AI is already widely used in personalizing marketing for consumers.

According to Alex Liu, Partner Ecosystem Leader for Asia & Japan of Acoustic, 61% of consumers are more inclined to purchase from companies that customize their content for consumers.

ALEX LIU. Acousticu2019s Partner Ecosystem Leader for Asia u0026 Japan of Acoustic.

ALEX LIU. Acousticu2019s Partner Ecosystem Leader for Asia u0026 Japan of Acoustic.

AUDIENCE QUERIES. Attendees raised to the speakers concerns, ranging from app integration to data privacy.

AUDIENCE QUERIES. Attendees raised to the speakers concerns, ranging from app integration to data privacy.

He said that the adaptivity AI provides is beneficial to companies in two ways. For one, it helps you know your audience better. Through AI-powered adaptive content, you get to gauge better what audience sentiments are towards your campaigns and marketing materials. 

Secondly, it also gives you a better grasp of your content. It helps you focus on what works and learn from what does not.

It’s context plus content, Liu described. With AI, Liu said, “think less about learning technology, and think more about technology learning about you.”

Concerns with data privacy

However, with all the controversies surrounding data privacy, the Acoustic team emphasizes that the industry is still learning a lot. Their company, for one, follows regulations when it comes to handling data.

“We don’t store or collect your data. It remains in your ownership. You own the data of your customers,” Jeremy Smart answered.

Furthermore, Start said, products, such as those of Acoustic, don’t even need to breach prohibited customer data just to provide smart solutions to companies. “We can do lots with an e-mail, with understanding someone’s gender, their age, residence, their purchase patterns. There’s already a lot you could, and you should learn from those bits of information.”

Acoustic in the Philippines

RITESH AMIN. Cobenau2019s Partner Success Manager for Asia Pacific and Japan.

RITESH AMIN. Cobenau2019s Partner Success Manager for Asia Pacific and Japan.

In the Philippines, Acoustic is already providing its services in Customer Experience Analytics and Marketing Campaign Automation.

Acoustic Customer Experience Analytics helps you understand your customers better by giving you useful information on who your customers are and what they want. Their AI-powered services help you learn more about customer journeys and provides insights that enhance engagement and conversion.

Acoustic Campaign Automation, on the other hand, can help companies design effective marketing campaigns by defragmenting their marketing efforts. AI helps deliver smarter, more targeted campaigns across channels using one platform.

Both these services can be availed through Acoustic’s business partner in the Philippines, Cobena. 

Cobena helps create an impact in the MarTech space as experts of tools such as Acoustic. They also provide support in the implementation and on-boarding of the tool if a company chooses to purchase it for themselves. – Rappler.com