I work for an agency that is very, very excited about the way that data science, machine learning and artificial intelligence are going to significantly change marketing, not least because all of the above will free us to spend less time knee deep in spreadsheets and Google Analytics and more time thinking (and in the case of Planning, getting out there and talking to our real, live target audiences).
I’m really not that knowledgeable about this stuff yet, but I’m incredibly grateful that I slogged my way through the ‘Quantitative Business Methods’ module at Uni and that I have access to lots of free training and Data Scientists to harass at work.
If you’re not as lucky as me, I strongly suggest that you start swotting up. Seriously, not only is a lot of mundane stuff going to be automated, but the amount of insight available to Planners will also increase massively. Knowing very roughly why/how stuff works and what kinds of questions to ask is going to be a key part of the Planner’s toolkit moving forward. Here’s a few places to start:
A couple of Googlers explain Machine Learning and Neural Networks
Handy AI FAQ and download from Martin Benson of Jaywing (my agency’s parent company)
Questions marketers need to ask their AI providers from The Drum
15 examples of artificial intelligence in marketing by eConsultancy
Thanks to this New World, Planners will be able to use our skills to impact on more stages of the customer journey – but without great creative ideas the whole thing falls down. Creatives will still need great briefs, so the original core skills of Planning will become, if anything, even more important.