Van Diamandakis Chief Marketing Officer , Persado

In 2019, extended human-machine collaboration will offer brands the opportunity to fine tune their creative strategy. Van Diamandakis, CMO at Persado explains, with technological adoption comes a few key trends to watch this year, including building trust + increasing transparency, developing robust analytics, and improving the overall customer experience.

The future of digital marketing has arrived, and companies have more technology available to them than ever before. As brands continue to increase their investment in automated solutions, human-machine collaboration will extend across every business unit—especially creative fields like marketing. In fact, marketing technology is now the single largest area of investment for CMOs, accounting for 29 percent of the total marketing expense budget.

AI and machine learning have the ability to generate new ideas backed by mathematical certainty, and this year, we’ll see more brands leveraging these technologies to drive results. In anticipation of this continued shift, below are a few key trends to watch when it comes to extended human-machine collaboration.

Building Trust + Transparency

While customers know and understand that brands use their data, there’s a rising expectation that brands take the appropriate measures to safeguard that information, and use it to benefit the customer, not just the company.

In light of recent privacy breaches, consumers will continue to demand more clarity and communication from brands regarding what data is being collected, who it’s shared with, and how it’s being used—particularly when AI is involved. In fact, a recent study shows that over 80 percent of Americans say companies are obligated to disclose their use of AI and how the technology is being applied.

This year, companies should focus on communicating their technology and data practices to consumers in a digestible, transparent manner. Additionally, updates to technologies like chatbots and voice assistants should strengthen consumers’ level of comfort with AI and machine learning, while ensuring that their information is used to enhance the user experience in a meaningful way.

Developing Robust Testing + Analytics

With AI, testing parameters are no longer restricted to A vs. B. Marketers can dynamically test how thousands of variables compare against each other, opening the door to new insights and analysis. This year, brands must push for adoption of AI solutions that enable clean, multi-variant testing at scale, as well as broaden the inputs that they provide to AI technology. Ultimately, this will enable stronger results and train the AI to leverage multiple sources of data to make decisions.

For marketers, analysis and insights must be comprehensible in order to understand the impact of each element in relation to relevant campaign context. Clear summaries of the decisions and optimizations made by AI will be critically important, as that will deepen marketers’ understanding and inform decision-making for future campaigns.

Improving Customer Experience

According to Frost & Sullivan, customer experience is projected to overtake both product and price as the key brand differentiator by 2020. But what does that mean for brands? Customer data is no longer simply a means for targeting and advertising. It’s an opportunity to tailor customer journeys to fit the unique needs and preferences of each individual in order to drive brand affinity. Consider Spotify’s Year Wrapped playlists — a seemingly simple, yet incredibly impactful feature that harnesses each subscriber’s unique listening data to personalize their experience. It’s not a core aspect of their product, or a feature that they are required to offer, but it makes their platform unique, drives brand loyalty, and sets them apart from competitors.

In the months ahead, marketers must focus on effectively integrating technology to drive better results and optimize their creative processes. Looking beyond 2019, the successful adoption and usage of new technologies within creative fields will determine which brands are able to stand out from the noise. Those that embrace the opportunities created by AI and machine learning – and strategically couple them with human insight – will have the competitive advantage necessary to succeed.