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Marketers praise AI efficiencies at Australian ANA event

Three people with connected TV heads wearing business attire sit in meditation pose.

Illustration by Dave Cole / Getty / The Current

Automation has rapidly integrated into everyday life — evolving and influencing the way people engage and buy with brands — so it comes as no surprise that much of the recent conversation within the marketing industry of late revolves around how industry players can embrace these new technologies.

At the Australian Association of National Advertisers (AANA) Reset event, representatives from major brands gathered in Sydney to hear eager speakers discuss how marketers should be leaning into AI — to save time for strategy, critical thinking and creative ideas.

With the rapid acceleration of technology, marketers need to be more strategic in how they allocate their time and where they’re putting their ad dollars to reach audiences in today’s fragmented market. Marketers’ responsibilities now go beyond brand management and encompass various elements such as sustainability, climate change, security, DEI, among others. Given the multitude of concerns to address, marketers could leverage emerging technologies to their advantage.

“The more we leverage automated technology to work on things like reach and frequency, the more space and capacity we have to be creative,” said Ukonwa Ojo, founder and CEO of venture capital firm Zaia Ventures, and previously Chief Marketing Officer at Amazon Prime Video and MAC Cosmetics.

“For a world that is rapidly fragmenting — rapidly splintering — we have to get really good at adopting and learning new technologies so we can scale faster and more efficiently,” Ojo explained during a session titled “only the brave. Only the humble.”

Leveraging AI could be advantageous for marketers

Enabling marketers to scale faster and more efficiently is especially relevant in today’s economic uncertainty and the desire for marketers to do more with less. As AI is advancing to automate a wider range of tasks, including generating content, operating chatbots for customer segmentation, ad targeting, and detecting patterns in consumer behavior — the introduction to this technology appears to be an opportunity for marketers.

“We need to embrace and use AI to our advantage to free up time for us to do the higher thinking – original and creative thought,” Josh Faulks, AANA’s CEO explained. “The power of creativity and the need to create an emotional connection with consumers is something all marketers need to have top of mind.”

AI and human creativity could win the digital minds and analogue hearts of consumers

In today's tech-driven era, content creation is like chemistry wrapped in narrative.

Marketers now have an opportunity and responsibility to influence the emotional and cognitive responses of their audiences through the brand stories they create. With customers' minds primarily focused on digital information, it's important to recognize that their hearts still crave emotional and authentic connections. This is where “Dialogue storytelling comes in, using emerging technologies to win both hearts and minds.

Anders Sorman-Nilsson, futurist and founder of the think tank Thinque questioned just this: How can technology win over tomorrow’s conscious consumers?

“Because of technology — we are now able to take the robot out of the human — so that we do less of the menial and the mundane, and can start doing more of the meaningful and the humane,” he said.

Marketing leaders need to make certain that their brands deliver informative content to their customers' digital and logical thinking, while at the same time creating an experiential bond with their analogue and emotional sentiments.

“Nobody really remembers their first digital MP3 download, but analogue vinyl is forever,” Sorman-Nilsson said. “We remember the tangible, the physical, the experiential.”