The Go To Market Dojo was HOPPING as standing room crowd of about 60 NIs (Natural Intelligence-s) gathered over pizza, beer and networking to discuss the future if AI and Marketing Careers.  Panelists Atri Chatterjee , Mehul Shah and Frederic Mathieu brought three very different perspectives to the conversation.

Atri lamented that he’d be well retired before AI obsoleted marketers, while Frederic thought this is so far off that it’s not a worry.  Mehul added the framework, borrowed from Autonomous driving, of 4 levels of AI (five if you include none), from cruise control to fully autonomous driving, or in the marketing case, from analytical insight into your data to fully autonomous management and optimization of the entire customer journey.  Frederic viewed AI as the “helper” not the owner, able to solve for all the hard work and automate pain away!  All the panelist agree that we are a LONG way from level 4.  The audience, including me, felt a palpable sense of relief and job security :).

An interesting discussion started around how data was really the fuel of AI, and that the first task for marketers was to get their data understood, organized and managed.  Big topic onto itself and we barely scratched the surface.   But there was a broad consensus that marketers need to have high levels of Data Literacy to stay and remain relevant.  Learning the basics of AI and Data Literacy are a key knowledge foundation for marketers of the future.  The panelist encouraged us all to get smart on these topics and mentioned many online courses on Udemy, Coursera, the Intel AI Academy as sources for this content.

The second key skill identified by the panel was story-telling.  It’s one thing to see the data, it’s another to tell a compelling story with it.

Will marketer’s become obsolete?  No was the overall consensus.  Intuition, forming the right hypothesis and leveraging AI strategically are best done today, and for the foreseeable future by people and leaders, not AIs.  So, it also became clear that creativity is a third skill marketers need to build.

After some great Q and A, the panel wrapped with this question; What’s the #1 thing you’d recommend that marketers do to be ready and take advantage of AI.  With apologies to the panel, here’s my paraphrases answers –

– Mehul :  Understand and get control of your data

– Frederic: Remember WHY you are doing marketing, if it’s to delight customer’s your job will get better and more interesting but if it’s to do analysis and be a spreadsheet jockey, well might be time to rethink that

– Atri: Training, Training, Training.  Lead your team by giving them the opportunity to get and stay smart on Data, AI and other emerging tech and trends.

This just scratched the surface of our panel discussion, and we all left more informed, a bit relieved and ready to hop onto our Data Literacy online courses…which is where I’ll be heading next!  – Hope to see you all at our RSA Pre-Fresher in San Francisco – Ken

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