By Adam Fraser
An overarching thematic is the world of big data, something I have explored on my podcast a few times. Dive into the subject of big data and you quickly end up thinking about algorithms, artificial intelligence and machine learning.
These are not light topics; no 140 character tweet will give you any answers here. There are massive implications for marketers across the board — from ad effectiveness to programmatic, targeting to CRM, as well as the entire function of the analytics team.
We are in relatively early days in understanding this whole area — it is not even clear what the questions are which we should be asking, let alone comprehend the true implications of advancements in this space. Some difficult ethical issues exist – who are these people designing the algorithms that will impact society so broadly? Who has knowledge of the “12 secret herbs and spices”? When machines truly learn independently of humans, what does this mean for business and, more broadly, society?
No easy answers and so much to think about. Hence my recommendation of a podcast I listened to last weekend. Two of the smartest marketing analyst brains on the planet Mitch Joel (Mirrum Agency) and Avinash Kaushik (digital marketing evangelist, Google) discussing this topic for over an hour. When you truly start to get your head around machine learning (versus the efficient interrogation and analysis of “large databases”) it can be somewhat mind blowing. This is the essence of machine learning and true AI — it performs analysis of a depth, scale and complexity which humans cannot fathom let alone perform.
Mitch and Avinash don’t have all the answers; no-one does. But they help dissect the current state of play and where this may all be going.
Block off an hour to really think about this topic. Highly recommended listening.