Break Free B2B Marketing: Oliver Christie on Making Life Better With AI

Oliver Christie of PertexaHealthTech Image

Just what is a B2B influencer, and what do they actually look like?

In our third season of Break Free B2B Marketing video interviews we’re having in-depth conversations with an impressive array of top B2B influencers, exploring the important issues that each expert is influential about.

Successful B2B influencers have a rare mix of the 5 Ps — proficiency, personality, publishing, promotion, and popularity — as our CEO Lee Odden has carefully outlined in “5 Key Traits of the Best B2B Influencers.”

Offering up all of those boxes and more is Oliver Christie, chief artificial intelligence (AI) officer at PertexaHealthTech, who we’re delighted to be profiling today.

Nothing helps individuals and the businesses they work for break free from the norm quite like a tech disruption. The microprocessor. The internet. Mobile data. E-Commerce. When these technologies came onto the scene, everything changed… but what’s next?

According to Oliver Christie, it’s AI. In his own words: “Artificial Intelligence is the biggest technology disruption of our generation.” As far as he’s concerned, A.I. isn’t just the future, it’s the present. In today’s new episode of the Break Free B2B Marketing Interview series, Christie speaks about the role of artificial intelligence in our lives, including topics like A.I. and morality, bias in A.I., and the direction of A.I.’s future.

Artificial intelligence isn’t science fiction. It’s very much a science reality, and Oliver Christie is one of the leading experts talking and consulting on the topic. In today’s 31 minute interview with TopRank’s own Josh Nite, he’ll be passing some of that expertise along.

Break Free B2B Interview with Oliver Christie

If you’re interested in checking out a particular portion of the discussion, you can find a quick general outline below, as well as a few excerpts that stood out to us.

  • :55 – Introduction to Oliver Christie
  • 3:05 – Human-centric artificial intelligence
  • 4:14 – Personalization and how to avoid the “diabolical side”
  • 5:46 – The ways Oliver believes AI will impact the life of the everyday person in the next couple years
  • 7:10 – Personalization on Amazon
  • 11:13 – How AI will be reshaping business
  • 13:46 – What’s your new question?”
  • 16:50 – How the pandemic is changing the way technology is being developed
  • 19:10 – Bias in AI
  • 22:46 – How Oliver Christie found his niche as a thought leader
  • 27:58 – The importance of being yourself

Josh: I’m really interested in what we were talking about before we started. The idea of human-centric AI. AI can feel like this distant or cold thing or something that is, you know, it’s powering my Netflix algorithm. But I don’t know how it relates to my day to day. How is it a human-centric thing? We’re thinking about people and individuals.

Oliver: Something we’re moving more and more towards is thinking about people as individuals and what matters to us. How we talk. How do we act? What are our interests? You mentioned Netflix. The algorithm which says what you should watch next. If that’s successful, you watch more. If it has an understanding of what you might like, you can see more media if you get it. If it gets it wrong, if it doesn’t know who you are, it is a turnoff and you never see the difference between that and other media services. I think that the next big leap is going to be our products and services are going to be much more reactive to who we are. How will we live? And so on. But there are some big challenges. So it’s not a quick and easy thing to do. But I think the future is pretty exciting.

“I think that the next big leap is going to be our products and services are going to be much more reactive to who we are.” @OliverChristie #BreakFreeB2B #ArtificialIntelligence #AI Click To Tweet

Josh: Have you ever been on Amazon while not logged in? It’s such a striking thing to open an incognito window or something and you see how much personalization goes into that page and how just clueless it seems when it’s not on there.

Oliver: Amazon’s an interesting one. It’s algorithm is better than nothing. And it works to a degree. Some of the time, if you match a pattern — so the music you listen to, the books you buy — f someone is quite close to that, it works. As soon as you deviate, it pulls down or as soon as you’re looking for something original, it also doesn’t work. So I think Amazon is a good example of where we are at the moment, but not where we could be next. Amazon doesn’t once ask, what are you trying to achieve in your shopping? What are you trying to do next? And I think that’s going to be one of the big shifts that will happen.

Josh: What are we trying to achieve with that shopping, though? Besides, for me, it’s filling the void of not being able to go out to a concert and having a party, having something to look forward to with deliveries coming in. What kind of intent are you thinking about?

Oliver: Imagine you had the same shopping experience and let’s say it’s for books, videos, or courses. And the simple question can be, what would you like to achieve in your career in the next six months? Where would you like to be or what’s happening in your personal life? Want some advice and information which could be really useful? I think this sort of tailoring is where things are heading. So it’s still selling books and courses and videos and so on. But it’s understandably the intent behind content. What could this do to your career? What could this do for your family life, your love life, whatever it might be? Now, of course, we’re all locked down at the moment. So it’s a very different sort of situation. But I think some of the same things still apply. There’s going to be a back and forth. So how much do you want to give up about your personal life? Better recommendation. And I think it’s kind of early in some respects. But the data they passed shows, yes, if you get something positive out of it, you’ll have to give up some of that previously.

“Amazon is a good example of where we are at the moment, but not where we could be next. Amazon doesn’t once ask, what are you trying to achieve in your shopping? What are you trying to do next?.” @OliverChristie #BreakFreeB2B Click To Tweet

Keep your eye on the TopRank Marketing Blog and subscribe to our YouTube channel for more Break Free B2B interviews. Also check out episodes from season 1 and season 2.

Take your B2B marketing to new heights by checking out out previous season 3 episodes of Break Free B2B Marketing:

How to Optimize Customer Experience with AI – Top Tips from Microsoft’s Purna Virji

Microsoft's Purna Virji at Pubcon Las Vegas 2018 Photo by Lane R. Ellis

Purna Virji, senior manager of global engagement at Microsoft, has spoken at the Pubcon conference several times over the years, but the main stage presentation she gave yesterday in Las Vegas was her first time taking a deep look at the ever-evolving artificial intelligence landscape and how it can bolster customer experience.

“When it comes to optimizing the customer experience, design for conversation from the start. Remember, the most important thing for the user is convenience,” Purna recently told our CEO Lee Odden in his Pubcon preview highlighting nine top speakers at the event.

Is Voice Search Living Up To The Hype?

Purna began by asking the gathered audience whether they thought that voice search was generally overrated and not living up to all the hype it has increasingly attracted as more AI-assisted devices are in our homes, cars, offices, and lives in general.

She spoke about the importance of the first experience we have with a brand, as that first touch point begins a conversation that will ideally be a long and fruitful one for both parties.

Customer experience (CX) AI needs to get better, she said, and pointed to a handful of statistics to back up what many in the audience already seemed to know, including a figure showing that 70 percent of people haven’t yet used voice search to make a purchase.

With poor abandonment rates when interacting with chatbots, Purna equated this loss of the “one chance to make a first impression” as the “2018 version of butt-dialing,” driving potential customers away for good, however the situation is far from only being filled with doom and gloom, she continued.

Microsoft's Purna Virji at Pubcon Las Vegas 2018 Photo by Lane R. Ellis

A well-thought-out chatbot or voice assistant can be a true game-changer in the CX world, Purna enthusiastically explained, and said that the West still has a long way to go before it catches up with how this technology is being used in other parts of the world.

Using examples from several firms, she showed how having a good AI-driven customer experience can dramatically improve not just the bottom line, but as in the case of 1-800-Flowers, a big demographic change can also happen, as some 70 percent of orders they received via their chatbot were from a new and much younger group of purchasers.

Top AI Take-Aways Include Clarity & Character

A selection of some of the other fascinating AI insights Purna shared with Pubcon audiences are listed below.

  • How, as behavioral economics psychologist Daniel Kahneman says, we tend to choose the easiest choice, and why you should keep this in mind when designing AI-based CX systems
  • Brands that solve some of the problems that remain with this technology stand to profit immensely
  • The future will see a more natural, conversational shift, however this is different from dumbing things down
  • Within the jungle of today’s short attention spans, it’s more important than ever to keep conversation flowing quickly and efficiently

Purna also explored several of the areas she sees as being increasingly important as this technology develops and becomes commonplace.

Clarity

  • When providing choices, whether in the B2B or B2C worlds, all customers have options, and it’s vital to present clear choices and to ask concise questions
  • Ask a question at the end of a list of choices. Only in cases where there are far too many choices would it be appropriate to instead use an open prompt.
  • Write for the ear, not the eye, writing out sample dialogs and asking yourself if you would talk to someone this way

Character

  • Make bots that are engaging, and that converse as if they were a real person. Studies show we like these types of bots.
  • Be human-like, but don’t trick your visitors into thinking they’re chatting or talking to a human — instead, disclose it
  • Your bot should take on either a humorous, professional, or casual persona, and you should plan to phrase the same answers differently depending on your audience
  • In order to build loyalty, bots should have compassion, with a built-in understanding of our core needs and the human need for chit-chat, which is surprisingly difficult for today’s generation of bots

Purna suggests planning in advance to avoid bots that respond with the conversation-killing “sorry I don’t understand,” and taking the time to write suitable responses.

I’m Afraid I Can’t Do That, Hal — Offer Alternatives

Despite your best efforts, AI conversations are inevitably sometimes still error-prone, but you can minimize problems by having guidelines in place that offer alternatives and show the available possibilities, so that the conversation is never shut down.

She also said that the smartest bots will always acknowledge errors, and recommended vigorous conversation testing, even though it’s harder than in some other technologies, because there are nearly infinite test cases in voice  — with so many variations including the multiple ways we use to say the same thing.

Microsoft's Purna Virji at Pubcon Las Vegas 2018 Photo by Lane R. Ellis

Purna also recommended testing in four stages — coding, debugging, beta-testing, and even A/B testing, as well as testing your bot out in one of the bot emulators available.

She doesn’t recommend launching a new bot by making it live right away. Instead, first try to get people to break it, she suggested.

Summarizing her energetic and well-delivered presentation, Purna stressed the importance of creating a friction-less, easy, and convenience bot experience, and urged those new to the technology to not get overwhelmed, as it is still an emerging field.

For more tips from Pubcon Pro Las Vegas 2018 and the savvy digital marketers who speak and attend, follow the TopRank Marketing team on the ground: @TopRank, @LeeOdden, @Tiffani_Allen and @LaneREllis. And, stay tuned for more insights over the next week on the TopRank Marketing blog.

54 Artificial Intelligence Powered Marketing Tools

AI Powered Marketing Tools

The expression, “Marketers are data rich and insight poor” is more true today than ever.

Marketers all over the world are working to optimize marketing operations and effectiveness using their abundance of data. Many are turning to tools and platforms powered by artificial intelligence and machine learning. AI promises to make sense of all the dark data companies are sitting on as well as structured and unstructured data online to surface insights about customer behaviors, opportunistic content and emotional triggers to inspire conversions.

In an age of too many choices, increased competition for customer attention requires every advantage to optimize for reach, engagement and conversion. Marketers are using AI to automate and optimize their marketing because that’s what it will take to meet customer appetite for personalized experiences.

  • In a study by Smart Insights, AI and Machine Learning were rated the #3 marketing activity that will make the largest commercial impact on business in 2018.
  • Another study by Salesforce found that high-performing marketing teams are more than 2 times as likely to use AI in their campaigns than under-performers.

What are marketers doing with AI? Areas of focus include advertising automation and optimization, chat bots for service and assisting in sales, and content personalization to name a few.

Chat apps and bots are increasingly being used beyond light customer service to engage customers during the sales process. In fact, 1.82 billion people worldwide are projected to use a chat app in 2018 and by 2020, customers will manage 85% of their relationship with the enterprise without interacting with a human.

Make no mistake, the artificial intelligence platform market is growing fast: it’s estimated to be worth $9.88 billion by 2022.

As Josh Nite mentioned in his recent post, “This changes everything. AI is transforming digital marketing.” From A to Z and then some, here are 54 tools that leverage artificial intelligence and machine learning to make your marketing smarter, more efficient and effective.

Acquisio Turing – A set of 30 high frequency predictive algorithms working together to ingest search marketing campaign data across platforms. Data such as seasonality, times of day, times of week, location, positioning, ad platform, campaign and others enable the platform to self-learn and make smart bid and budget decisions in real-time. @acquisio

Acrolinx – Built on an advanced linguistic analytics engine, this software platform “reads” content and guides writers to make it better. @Acrolinx

Albert – An autonomous platform that uses AI: predictive analytics, machine learning, natural language processing and other proprietary algorithms to execute seamlessly across all channels, paid and non-paid, including email, mobile, social, search and display. @albertaimktg

Atomic Reach – Delivers a deep understanding of what makes your content perform and how to perfect it. @Atomic_Reach

Automat -AI and machine-learning technology that helps brands deliver messaging experiences that are tailor made for each individual consumer and dynamically optimizes conversion for the best results. @automat_inc

Bloomreach – An open and intelligent platform for businesses to build, extend, personalize, analyze, test and optimize their digital experiences across all channels. @bloomreachinc

Boost Linquistics – AI-powered platform for your team to drive revenue by personalizing search and browse experiences at scale and AI to improve site structure, content, and landing pages, maximizing SEO at scale and driving traffic. @boost_ling

CaliberMind – Connects, unlocks, and activates data to help high-growth B2B SaaS organizations to acquire new buyers, grow revenue, and improve the customer experience. @calibermind

CONCURED – Uses AI to analyze people’s behavior towards content at scale in order to prescribe what you should create next to maximize engagement and ROI. @concured

Conversica – AI Sales Assistant helps companies find and secure customers more quickly and efficiently by automatically contacting, engaging, qualifying and following up with leads via natural, multi-channel, two-way conversations. @myconversica

CORTEX – A social media content optimization platform for marketers and agencies to continuously improve post engagement. @meetcortex

Crayon – Market and competitive intelligence tools to track, analyze, and act on everything happening outside of the four walls of your business. @Crayon

Datorama – One Platform for all marketing data, investments, KPIs, and decisions to connect data, report across channels and campaigns, and surface the right insights instantly. @Datorama

Demandbase ABM – A comprehensive set of ABM solutions driven by artificial intelligence: platform, targeting, engagement, conversion. @Demandbase

Drift – A conversational marketing and sales platform (chatbot) that connects your business with the best leads in real-time. Like a virtual assistant for your website, Drift lets you turn any conversation into a conversion. @drift

Emarsys – Understand each contact as an individual customer and execute highly personalized campaigns at scale with AI solutions. @emarsys

FindTheRipple – The AI-driven platform supporting marketers in creating content with impact, finding untapped trends and resonating digital assets for target audiences. @findtheripple

Genie – AI-powered recommendation engine from Grey Jean Technologies that provides accurate predictions of consumer purchase behavior. @getgenie

Google Cloud AI – Build chat bots, do analysis of video, images and text. @gcpcloud

HubSpot – Content Strategy Tool helps marketers discover and validate new content ideas that perform well. @hubspot

IBM Watson – Cognitive marketing platform that provides journey pattern analysis, real-time personalization, marketing insights, weather effects and cognitive tagging. @IBMforMarketing

Idio – Demand Orchestration platform that learns from each interaction to improve engagement and accelerate demand at large B2B enterprises. Automates 1:1 engagement with target accounts, at scale & across all digital channels. @idioplatform

Intellyo – The Creator Engine leverages machine learning and data-driven analytics to automatically tell you which actions to take to build quality into your content. Features include topic research, workflow management, content quality analyzer and customizable service integrations. @intellyo

Invoca – Enables granular campaign attribution to understand why customers are calling, gain real-time intelligence about who’s calling and analyze what’s being said in conversations. @invoca

Jetlore – Artificial intelligence-powered “learning to rank” technology that helps retailers build stronger customer loyalty, higher conversions and increased revenues. @Jetlore

KYNDI – Explainable Artificial Intelligence platform for government, financial services, and healthcare with AI products that analyze massive amounts of data, making organizations and people 100X smarter, 100X faster. @kynditech

Lexalytics – Text Analytics & Survey Analysis with customizable Sentiment Analysis, Categorization & Named Entity Extraction. Platform leverages machine learning, artificial intelligence and natural language processing to allow enterprises to create custom analytics solutions to address their unique data problems. @lexalytics

LiftIgniter – Machine learning personalization recommendation and discovery engine enables every website and app to have a 1:1 “conversation” with users. @liftigniter

Lucy – Solution from Equals 3 powered by Watson. Lucy delivers insightful conclusions, refined segmentation analysis, killer marketing plans, and world-conquering media strategies. @equals3ai

Market Brew – Artificial Intelligence Platform for SEO Teams. @mktbrew

MarketMuse – AI-powered research assistant that accelerates content creation and optimization so you can win in organic search. @MarketMuseCo

Motiva AI – Learns to adapt your messaging to customers automatically and delivers better engagement, at any scale. @MotivaHQ

Nudge – Access new accounts, analyze deal risk, and measure account health – powered by relationship intelligence. @nudgeai

Onespot – Technology platform for personalizing content marketing across digital channels. @onespot

Oribi – Simplifies analytics to enable marketing and product teams to get valuable data without any help from developers. @getoribi

PaveAI – Turns Google Analytics data in actionable insights + reports with our data science AI algorithm. @paveai

Path – An intelligent messaging platform that helps businesses generate more leads, close sales faster, and improve client service. @chat_path

People.ai – Automatically capture all sales activity to drive intelligent sales management and marketing insights. @ppl_ai

Persado – AI generated language that resonates the most with any audience, segment or individual. @persado

Phrasee – Enterprise marketing solution that uses artificial intelligence to generate brand compliant marketing language on a client-to-client basis. @phrasee

Quill by Narrative Science – Powered by Advanced Natural Language Generation, Quill is an intent-driven system that automatically transforms data into Intelligent Narratives at scale, in conversational language anyone can understand. @narrativesci

Rocco – AI powered social media marketing agent that will suggest fresh content that your followers are likely to engage with. @Rocco_Ai

Salesforce Einstein – A layer of artificial intelligence that delivers predictions and recommendations based on your unique business processes and customer data. @salesforce

Sentient Ascend – A patented AI Conversion Optimization solution that mimics biological evolution, enabling it to quickly learn, adapt and react to determine the best performing design from the building blocks you provide. @sentientdai

Smartly – Facebook and Instagram advertising automation and optimization platform with machine learning. @smartlyio

SmartKai – AI-powered assistant that manages your social media marketing. @thesmartkai

Stackla – AI-powered enterprise platform to discover, manage and display the most engaging user generated visual content across all marketing touchpoints. @stackla

The Grid – Molly, a AI-powered web design platform uses machine learning combined with constraint-based design and flow-based programming to make form dynamically adapt to content. @thegrid

Unmetric – Xia provides AI powered social media marketing insights to create compelling content. @unmetric

Vestorly – Vestorly uses artificial intelligence to build personalized touch points with news, blogs, or your own content. @vestorly

Wordsmith – Solution from Automated Insights that uses natural language generation to convert data into content. @ainsights

X.ai – An artificial intelligence personal assistant who schedules meetings for users. @xdotai

Yseop – Artificial intelligence software writes and explains data in six languages using natural language generation. @YseopAI

ZetaHub – Marketing Automation powered by AI. @zetaglobal

There you have it. 50 plus tools that leverage artificial intelligence for marketing. For your convenience, I’ve made a list of all Twitter accounts on this AI Marketing Tools list here, in case you want to follow the category easily.

Whether you’re trying to get more out of existing marketing software like analytics or automate content generation or boost your ability to understand customer behavior for better personalization, there’s a tool or platform for you.

At the same time, very few of these AI powered marketing solutions are “set it and forget it”.  They still need humans for optimal performance. That’s why I like the expression “Augmented Intelligence” as a reflection of how people and technology can work together for more optimized marketing. And when it comes to marketing people, I don’t know any better than the team I get work with at TopRank Marketing.

What AI powered marketing tools did I miss? Which do you use? Please share in the comments.