The eMetrics Summit was held last week in New York and offered an incredible opportunity for marketing analytics professionals to get up to date with latest industry developments and look ahead to potential future applications of technology and expertise.
While the Artificial Intelligence and Analytics tracks enabled us to learn about practical implementations, the overriding theme of the conference was how to ensure you’re optimizing the value of your human attributes alongside technology. Jim Sterne and Adam Greco shared some practical tips in their keynotes that we’ve summarized below.
“Computers are incredibly fast, accurate and stupid. Human beings are incredibly slow, inaccurate and brilliant. Together they are powerful beyond imagination” – Albert Einstein
Jim Sterne, eMetrics Summit Founder and industry leader, reminded us not to fear Artificial Intelligence (AI) but to work to optimize its application in marketing. After sharing a history of the 50 year path to present-day AI, he discussed its 5 principal applications and shared some examples of implementations. But more valuable than his breakdown of Natural Language Processing, Computer Vision, Conversation Bots and Machine Learning, was his outline of how to successfully onboard AI in organizations. He shared the following recommendations:
Adam Greco, Senior Partner at Analytics Demystified and commonly known for his extensive Adobe Analytics expertise, ran us through his top lessons learned across a decade of #measure.
Interestingly, Adam’s recommendations centered around a few common themes:
Taking it back to basics, Adam said that to increase the impact your work can have on the business, you actually need to get up and talk to your business-minded colleagues. He shared a couple of ideas to really ensure that your message resonates with them.
For example, always framing your findings in financial terms will have a great impact on these business-minded individuals, and additionally the use of visuals can be instrumental in enabling your (less number-driven) audience to retain your message. In addition, he recommended presenting conclusions from a consumer standpoint, rather than that of the analytics team. By sharing insights from “our customers” rather than starting with “we think…”, you’ll really be able to capture the attention of your user experience-driven counterparts.
He also recommended, however, ensuring that your business stakeholders don’t hijack your time for ineffectual analysis. For example, he explained that it’s essential to work with your colleagues to build analytics into processes at the beginning for optimal results. One (unfortunately all too common) example he shared is when tagging projects are requested after a new website implementation. Stand strong, he suggested – this is the only way to ensure these stakeholders consider analytics at the beginning of the process next time.
Furthermore, business requirements should help provide a framework for analytics success as they are often aligned with larger objectives and designed to help meet them. Be critical though, says Adam, ensure that the stakeholder is clear on what they will do with the data and how it will help ensure the meeting of goals, before you begin implementing.
Aside from those tips shared above on working effectively with business stakeholders, Adam shared some additional recommendations for building a strong analytics team and protecting their efficiency and effectiveness. He noted how important it is to ‘guard your team’s internal reputation’ by touting the quality of their work, but also that the most effective team members are those who feel valued. Listening to your colleagues and ensuring that the impact of their ideas is visible, is critical for helping you to retain a motivated and talented team.
To do so, Adam believes you should:
a) Be creative. Sometimes this is just as valuable as being smart.
Adam reminded us that what we choose to analyze is critical to our success, and that only where we change the future can we claim to be successful. Afterall, analytics teams and tools can only provide ROI where their analysis leads to a data-based change and results in a positive impact.
Finding KPIs in which a significant rise or fall will result in someone being promoted or fired can guide us in how we invest our time and prioritize tasks, but most importantly, continuing to adapt implementations to new business requirements is critical for ongoing success.
If you attended eMetrics, we’d love to hear about the most valuable lessons you learnt from the incredible panel of speakers and knowledgeable attendees. Otherwise, what tips can you share for successfully implementing analytics and/or AI?
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