Automation will transform marketing but brands need to allay ‘consumer fears’

In a wide ranging interview Daniel Horton was adamant AI and automation will transform operations across a range of businesses.

Other than ‘natural’ advancements in technology, he believed that the financial crash in 2008 led to the a dramatic uptake in AI and automation technologies, in order to cost save.

Companies were doing it out of necessity.

>See also: Artificial intelligence is key to the customer journey

“It seems as well that now with Brexit and everything that’s happening in the UK, similar directions are being taken. So, there’s more areas to squeeze, so automation from that angle can be more of an area for companies to place into their strategies from a digital perspective.”

Now, as Horton suggested, the technologies are vital for businesses wanting to stay ahead of the pack of competitors. Done in the right way, AI can revolutionise industries.

“Some of the developments that are available now, with services from AI, is helping to increase the accuracy of that automation process and therefore, making it a more powerful and robust solution.”

Automation marketing

Specifically for marketing, Horton went into great detail and highlighted that “a benefit [of AI and automation technologies] really is new ways of spotting marketing trends using the power of what is available in the cloud, combined with AI and also linked up with automation”.

>See also: AI and automation will be far more significant than Brexit

“There’s a lot that can be done from a forecasting perspective. A marketing team, for example, could provide data populous or data on sectors and be able to plan for strategic marketing.”

“Based on the accuracy of that you could see what a trend would look like if you were to slightly adapt: what form of direction or touch upon people in a different way. I think that’s really vital to plan for in the future.”

However, Horton did identity a problem with AI and automation, specifically the way brands market them.

He used the example, among others, of smart TV’s being advertised as having the capability to constantly monitor the space it occupies. It is unsettling for the majority of people and companies, Horton suggested, need to rebrand the perceived image of AI and automation.

Consumers need to trust the technology, but it has to be earned, or rather marketed.

He suggested, however, that as people become more familiar with this type of technology, a natural affinity, or even a reliance might develop.

“The more that we see things, such as Google Assistant and Siri from Apple…the more people will adapt to using those type of technologies and actually become reliant on them.”

>See also: AI-driven unemployment is ‘unavoidable’ and financial institutions are scared

Horton concluded that it is the responsibility of the brands who are pushing this technology to emphasise its convenience to the user.

The more they does this, the “more accepting and the more they’ll buy into the aspects of what you’re attempting to push as a business”.

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Nick Ismail

Nick Ismail is a former editor for Information Age (from 2018 to 2022) before moving on to become Global Head of Brand Journalism at HCLTech. He has a particular interest in smart technologies, AI and...