AI Revolutionizes Marketing – Experts Explain How to Respond to Change

As technologies develop, customer centricity becomes increasingly important. Humans will be needed for tasks that require empathy and intuition also in the future.

Anu Haapala, 23.02.2022

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What is the foothold of artificial intelligence in marketing at the moment? What direction is the scientific research taking in this area? How are Finnish companies utilizing artificial intelligence in their marketing right now?

Among other things, these topics were discussed in Aalto EE's recent webinar, the recording of which is now available for viewing in Finnish.

Aalto University's Postdoctoral Researcher Juho-Petteri Huhtala discussed the role of data and artificial intelligence in marketing together with Customer Experience Manager Jaakko Lempinen from Finnish broadcasting company Yle and Head of Customer Experience Pekka Rantamoijanen from dairy and food company Valio.

Intuition and empathy will be crucial in the future

According to Huhtala, who gave the introductory speech at the event, the marketing industry is still largely in the early days of artificial intelligence utilization. "By 2030, we will be at the same stage with artificial intelligence as we are now with cloud services."

For example, today artificial intelligence, or AI, is used for customer service analytics and customer grouping.

By 2030, we will be at the same stage with AI as we are now with cloud services."

The impact of AI on the growth of companies is still moderate, but it is already cutting costs significantly, freeing up marketing resources for other uses.

Huhtala reminded us that although technology is evolving, people will continue to work in those aspects of marketing that require intuition and empathy. It is worthwhile for a marketing professional to develop skills related to these qualities.

AI helps you understand your customers better

In the spring of 2021, the dairy and food company Valio launched an artificial intelligence project for marketing, the Muru chatbot. The company wanted to have more dialogue with consumers and engage them better.

Pekka Rantamoijanen emphasized that setting clear goals and sharing roles and responsibilities in the implementation of the new channel is important not only in the pilot phase, but also thereafter:

"Continuous optimization and monitoring is very important in deployment. What kind of conversations have taken place with the chatbot? How should it be trained on this basis?"

It's important to think how AI will add value for the customer.

AI becomes smarter the more it is trained, which in turn always requires more data. The chatbot and the huge amount of data it brings provide a new channel for creating customer insight. Therefore, it is also important to think about how it will add value for the customer.

In January 2022, the hit accuracy of Valio's chatbot was 96%, according to Rantamoijanen. The bot is already able to answer consumers' questions and needs as well as solve their problems quite effectively.

From technological development to genuine customer understanding

Jaakko Lempinen, who works as a Customer Experience Manager at Yle and, among other things, in the development of the Areena service, considered meeting customers' expectations important, even if these expectations change with the turmoil in the world and media consumption.

The big change in the media industry, for example, has been that with the role of social media, the role of consumers has changed from passive to active. That is why personal user interfaces are important, explains Lempinen: “Things were easier before when people couldn’t really influence how much media content they consumed.”

How to market the same content to different people?

In the past, artificial intelligence has been developed from a very technical point of view, but there is a growing shift towards a service design perspective and a genuine understanding of what new understanding can be achieved through artificial intelligence and what benefit it can give to the customer.

Lempinen pointed out that marketing affects perceptions: How to market the same content to different people is something that must be thought about. On the other hand, different people need to be offered different things. For example, Yle Areena's selection currently contains about 150,000 different media contents.

Lempinen's tips for listeners were consumer and customer-oriented. Lempinen's tips for listeners were consumer and customer oriented. In marketing, it is necessary to consider how customer expectations can be positively impacted. It is also important that goals are set for the work and that they are followed up on.

The webinar panelists think it is essential to remember that as artificial intelligence and data analytics evolve, marketing teams need to reform their mindset about what conversational content marketing requires. In the webinar, the experts also discussed the themes of competence development required for change, as well as the most important points to consider when introducing artificial intelligence.

Watch the webinar recording (in Finnish) here.

How are you planning to develop your or your organizations competencies this year? Aalto EE helps its customers develop and renew, as well as strengthen their competencies and growth. We have gathered our programs on marketing, sales, and commercial excellence below. You can read more about them via this link. We also design and implement customized solutions for our customers.

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