From Marketing Tech Advisor: I am excited to share with you one of the first entries to The Stackies: Org Edition awards. Rishi Dave, the CMO of Dun & Bradstreet, and his team just shared with me their “org stack” graphic above (click for a larger version).
This is a terrific example of the kind of illustration that we’re hoping people will contribute to The Stackies. It reveals the five major functions of the marketing organization as seen from the CMO’s chair:
- Comms & PR
- Integrated Marketing
- Demand Gen & Operations
- Channel Marketing
- Insights & Analytics
They then provides a deeper look into the structure of that Demand Gen & Operations function, which is where the martech team operates. It’s great to see martech viewed as an enabler across the entire demand gen pipeline — and as a peer to capabilities such as content and analytics.
They zoom in one level deeper to also show how martech usually collaborates on tiger teams with people with other specialties across marketing to focus on particular customer types, addressing needs throughout the customer lifecycle for different segments and personas.
I love the Tiger Team approach!
I agree with the majority of this commentary except the first sentence of the
“In Conclusion” section, “AI is here to stay. In the next few years, use of visuals in digital marketing will no longer be as effective as it is today”.
The amount of information that is accessed, available and pushed to consumers creates a very noisy and complex environment in which to understand the messages. A picture (or visual) is definitely a worth a thousand words. Besides, AI software has already begun interpreting visuals.
COMMENTARY by Asim Mughal , Op-Ed Contributor, July 31, 2017
Artificial Intelligence (AI) is one of the technology advancements that businesses have to deal with when it comes to digital marketing. With AI, computers can perform various human activities like speech recognition, learning, reasoning, problem solving and planning, as well as moving objects. It is through AI that voice-based virtual assistants like Apple’s Siri, Microsoft’s Cortana, Google Assistant and Amazon’s Alexa exist. It is also through AI that we have text-based assistants like Facebook M.
AI wrapped up in smartphones makes it easy for people to search for information without the challenges of reading through reviews or scrolling through search engine results. You can ask the assistants about the day’s weather, where the best burger joint is near you, or whatever else you want. This is just the beginning.
Where Artificial Intelligence Meets Digital Marketing
In digital marketing, certain factors are vital for the delivery of results. For instance, marketers use search engine optimization (SEO), content marketing, social media marketing, email marketing, pay-per-click (PPC) and online PR in their digital marketing processes. AI helps make all these processes easier.
In a few years, marketers can expect AI to play a major role in every stage of their online marketing process. In fact, according to a study by Forrester Research, AI makes up one of the five emerging technologies that are expected to begin changing the world by 2022.
Leverage AI To Ramp Up Your Digital Marketing
1. Acquire and attract a more targeted audience
Artificial intelligence excels at studying and predicting human behavior. When a person goes online, there is usually a pattern of sites visited. Through these patterns and based on the data the individual provides, an AI-powered program is able to understand the demographics, online behavior and the preferences of a user — thus offering more personalized business insights for effective digital marketing processes.
AI helps to understand each target audience — a trait that is useful in the creation and development of targeted ads, content and personalized software aimed at improving customer experience and attracting new customers.
2. Effectively recommend products and services
Have you ever visited a site that recommends products you wouldn’t even consider using, let alone purchase? It can be frustrating and annoying.
Then comes Amazon, where products recommended match exactly what you are looking for. The ecommerce giant knows how to keep you on the site making purchases you never even planned for. And how do they achieve this? Through AI.
By using algorithms that understand user behavior in a more personalized form, businesses can offer more effective recommendations.
3. Incorporate chatbots in your digital marketing process
From fun-based messaging platforms like Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp and Telegram to more functional platforms, chatbots — computer programs that are powered by AI to interact with people through text messaging — are the present and the future.
With a chatbot, a user can query a business over their products or services to help make a purchase, and instantly get a response. In this way, chatbots help improve customer experience and attract a wide customer base.
By incorporating AI-powered chatbots in your digital marketing strategies, you can guarantee brand awareness and growth in users.
4. Automate the boring marketing tasks
Collecting and analyzing consumer data for the purpose of coming up with a strategy is a strenuous process. The continued rise of AI can help ease this process and reduce the time it takes a human to analyze data.
This can be achieved through gathering insights from analysis on ad performance, social media campaigns, email marketing, and user demographics to automate various marketing functions. By automating these processes, digital marketers can focus on the creativity and implementation stages, making it easy to achieve desired results.
5. Personalize your business website and apps
Customers appreciate when a business understands their personal needs, so a personalized recommendation for similar articles, products or services is important and helps convert customers easily. The same concept is applicable when it comes to general website and application uses.
For instance, when a new user visits your website, they will probably be interested in informational material. A sales page about a product they don’t even understand may not be very appealing and may force them to leave prematurely. On the other hand, a returning visitor will want to see what product or service is new or to read the latest post.
By leveraging AI, you can ensure that content on your website is personalized to every individual user.
AI is here to stay. In the next few years, use of visuals in digital marketing will no longer be as effective as it is today. We are not living in a machine-led world, and machines are not likely to take over the world in the near future.
But AI will gradually take greater control when it comes to functions such as personal assistants, learning and digital processes. So in order to remain relevant, a business must begin to incorporate AI as an extension to its digital marketing processes.
Linden Lab has opened the creator beta version of its Sansar social virtual reality platform to the public. It’s all part of a larger vision to bring us the Metaverse, the immersive virtual world that sci-fi fans have dreamed about for decades.
After four years of development, the San Francisco company that brought us the Second Life virtual world is now moving into VR with Sansar, which already has hundreds of user-generated VR experiences available in the Sansar marketplace.
Sansar empowers just about anyone — individuals, communities, schools, studios, corporations, brands, and others — to easily create, share, and ultimately sell immersive 3D social experiences for consumers to enjoy, said Bjorn Laurin, vice president of product for Sansar, in an interview with GamesBeat.
“It’s a very exciting day for us that represents four years of work,” he said.
Sansar’s open beta comes just days after another social VR platform, AltspaceVR, announced it was shutting down on August 3. That company had 35,000 users, but it ran out of money. Such is the nature of the VR market, which is taking off more slowly than people hoped. Sansar will still have plenty of rivals, such as Roblox, Facebook, and others.
Sansar is available on the HTC Vive VR headset, the Oculus Rift, and Windows PCs. While Second Life exists as a virtual world that you have to log into, Sansar is a collection of experiences. Creators can build an experience and share it as a link on social media, and people can go directly into it. That makes Sansar creations much more accessible to everybody, Laurin said.
“Sansar democratizes social VR,” said Ebbe Altberg, CEO of Linden Lab, in a statement. “Until now, complexity and cost [have] limited who could create and publish in this medium, and Sansar dramatically changes that. It’s been inspiring to see the thousands of virtual creations that have already published with Sansar during our limited preview, and I’m looking forward to the explosion of creativity we’ll see now that we’ve opened the doors in beta.”
At opening, Sansar’s Atlas directory already has hundreds of virtual experiences, including multiplayer games, recreations of historic sites and landmarks, art installations, movie theaters, museums, narrative experiences, jungle temples, 360-degree video domes, sci-fi themed hangouts, and more.
Creators invited to the platform during a limited-access preview have published thousands of amazing public and private experiences, and with the opening of beta today, the world is now invited to join them. More than 14,000 people applied, but Linden Lab limited the number to about 3,000.
Linden Lab developed tools that make creating things in Sansar more intuitive. It has drag-and-drop editing, making it easy to create a scene with assets imported from common 3D modeling tools or purchased from the Sansar Store.
With the push of a button, creations become hosted multi-person experiences that consumers using VR head-mounted displays (HMDs) — as well as desktop mode on PCs — can enjoy. Every Sansar experience has a unique link that people can share via Facebook, Twitter, email, and blogs.
Each instance of an experience is currently set to allow 35 concurrent avatars, and automated instancing will enable creators to reach unlimited audiences. Laurin said that will hit 100 avatars per instance by the end of the year.
Many thousands of creations are already in existence, but not everyone has made their experiences public, Laurin said.
Avatars, or your personalized characters, have a wide variety of customization options. Sansar also provides rich social interactions without requiring additional hardware like cameras and trackers. An integration with Speech Graphics’ technology provides accurate avatar lip-syncing and facial animations, driven in real time as users speak into the microphones on their HMDs or audio headsets. Through VR hand controllers, avatars can realistically mirror people’s hand and arm movements, thanks to an integration of IKinema’s RunTime middleware, the full-body inverse kinematics technology.
With Sansar, creators can earn money from their virtual creations by selling them in the Sansar Store. In the future, creators will also be able to rent or charge for access to their experiences. At the opening of beta, the Sansar Store features thousands of items for sale from creators around the world.
A relationship with TurboSquid provides creators with access to hundreds of additional high-quality 3D models in the Store today, with thousands more being added in the coming months. Planned integration with TurboSquid’s StemCell initiative will make it easy for TurboSquid’s community of 3D modelers to immediately upload and sell their creations in the Sansar Store, further augmenting the assets readily available to Sansar creators.
Sansar is free to use, with additional capacity and customer support available to creators through paid subscriptions, starting at $9.99 per month. Linden Lab started in 1999, and its Second Life platform became the largest-ever virtual world filled entirely with the creations of its users.
With Sansar, the company wanted to make the experience more accessible and reach broader audiences.
“For those who are familiar with 3D creation, it could take a day or two to make an experience,” Laurin said. “But everyone can do it. I was walking around in a VR redwood forest the other day, and we got lost in it. That’s how big the experiences can become. We will see exciting things in the weeks and months and years ahead.”
Thank you Dean Takahashi!