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IDM Learning Blog: 7 Reasons Marketers Should Learn AI


In the last two decades, the marketing industry has steadily learned how to unlock the value of data, improving customer experiences as well as understanding, attracting, and retaining consumers. In the next two decades, artificial intelligence (AI) presents an opportunity to accelerate and enhance the ways organisations harness data, spot trends more effectively, and shift towards predictive rather than historical data analysis.

AI will enable machines to automate processes, so people are able to work on higher value activities. Getting this right – ensuring machines work responsibly with us – is everyone’s responsibility. Just as industrialisation transformed blue-collar industries, AI will change the world of work for white-collar professions.

However, IDM research shows that the personnel and skills may not be in place to achieve this. Our Business Skills Census 2019 asked marketers to identify the skills and challenges facing their organisations and their importance in the future. Participants revealed that AI and machine learning are the most important areas of expertise organisations must develop.

When asked about their abilities and the areas they need to develop as part of the Professional Skills Census 2018, marketers again highlighted AI & machine learning as key. This burgeoning set of skills had the biggest gap of all 33 skills analysed, with a 25% difference between perceived importance among marketers’ current roles and their future career progression.

7 reasons why marketers should learn AI in today’s world:

  1. AI and machine learning can identify changing patterns in customer behaviours and trends more effectively and quickly than traditional methods. Imagine analysis of social media conversations on a global basis and being able to detect the beginnings of small clusters of conversations - way before they turn into tidal waves in the mainstream.

  2. Instead of relying on historical data for campaigns strategy and planning, AI can enable predictive modelling to increase success and adapt to changing behaviours and thoughts.

  3. AI algorithms can identify new audiences or subsets of existing audiences that are responding in a particular manner to a communication and recommend appropriate communication. Models enable better customer segmentation.

  4. AI will enable machines to optimise and automate processes, so marketers can focus on higher value activities, such as using their creativity.

  5. Natural language processing increases access to more data sources by processing wider amounts of typically unstructured data. It also helps understanding customer sentiment and can make recommendations. It can provide faster analysis and an ability to harness models based on increased numbers of data sources.

  6. AI can enable dynamic changes to websites and messaging, taking input from algorithms and behaviour in real-time. Machine learning refines insight and automation increases efficiency.

  7. Scale and speed enable better personalisation.

To help prepare and take advantage of the opportunities ahead, the IDM has partnered with the Southampton Data Science Academy (SDSA) to offer a new online course: AI and Machine Learning for Marketers. The SDSA is a spin out from the Web Science Institute at the University of Southampton (global top 1%) and is led by Professor Dame Wendy Hall, DBE, FRS, FREng, the UK’s AI Skills Champion and Government Advisor.

What will you learn:

Participants will learn the fundamentals of AI, how it can enhance their roles, bring business benefits, and the capabilities and limitations of technologies and tools. In the same way that organisations have developed data strategies, many are now realising the need to have an AI strategy to ensure competitive advantage. Through course assignments, participants will identify practical strategies that could be implemented and boost their value to employers.

Get ready for a deep, rich learning experience:

While online courses are proving popular, the IDM chose SDSA due to the deep and rich learning experience provided by world class 1:1 and group tutoring. Participants will refine their ideas together with data science experts. They will also network with industry peers via group sessions and a discussion forum. This format is particularly powerful for remote workers, who will get the benefit of self-paced content while interacting in a supportive and nourishing cohort.

As well as enabling an audit of the business benefits of AI, the course teaches how to ensure the responsible and ethical use of AI to build trust and successful strategies. In addition to the SDSA flagship course, AI for Business, participants will also have access to two free modules on machine learning for marketers. For this exclusive first cohort, a member of the SDSA with decades of experience in commercial applications of data and AI will also participate throughout to support and gather feedback from attendees.

Participants will receive a full SDSA/IDM co-branded certificate. The course is designed to be self-paced alongside a normal working week (approximately eight hours per week across six weeks) at times that suit participants’ schedules.

The start date is 26 April, and there are a limited number of 25 places.

Find out more and register, here.

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