AI combined with machine learning can help understand consumer behaviour: Tamara McCleary

Thulium CEO on leveraging AI for marketing, and digital media trends that will drive the industry in future

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As an international branding expert, social media marketing and digital strategy consultant, Tamara McCleary, CEO, Thulium, is known for creating powerful digital brand recognitions. She is an expert on new technologies and how brands can leverage them.

McCleary speaks to exchange4media about the use of Artificial Intelligence in marketing, helping brands create a sustainable marketing strategy, and more.

“AI is making marketing so much personalized. Today, the way every consumer consumes information is different and so different are the platforms in use. Thus, AI combined with machine learning can only help understand consumer behaviour,” she says.

McCleary adds that the lines have blurred even in the technology segment, as AI is no longer a silo in itself. “AI is intricately involved with IOT (internet of things), because its where we get the data from, so how we are pulling the data out of AR, VR experiences, audio interfaces, vocal digital assistance, it’s all jumbled together,” she says.

About key aspects of AI in overcoming the challenges that humans face, McCleary, says, "The biggest challenge we face is to remember information, while the beauty of AI is that once it has learned something, it never forgets and the rest of the task is done. For example, cars like Tesla are absolutely AI automated, once it gets a new download from Tesla, so it incorporates all the information of the road maps, one has never even travelled. Thus, once one system learns to operate them all the AI connected systems do, that’s the power of AI.”

On converting solopreneurs to entrepreneurs and stabilizing businesses, McCleary is very clear. “I always talk to solo entrepreneurs about how they want to scale themselves because their biggest problem is the scale.  So if in any situation, where they are unable to take care of the business, since everything depends on one person, how can they still have an income and make it sustainable. Thus, I help them structure their business model, in such a way, that gives them more stability,” she says.

The key market segment McCleary deals with as a digital Influencer is B2B enterprises. “I have taken the B2B enterprise space and try to teach B2B brands how to be like B2C brands because at the end we are selling everything to the people, which only depends on influencing human beings on making their buying decisions,” she says.  “I analyse on who are the key 5 decision makers and what are their pin-point issues, so that the marketing discussions, campaigns all revolve around them. We don’t kind of make a regular pitch of pumping out information, but we try to find out what are the most helpful things for the 5 decision makers to know and trust a brand, to make that buying decision. I think the lines have blurred between B2B and B2C.”

On helping brands by creating a marketing strategy, McCleary cites a case study. "Mercer is one of the brands that we work with, which is in the HR and retention space and also with the financial areas related to health and wealth. It’s a great case study which we did at the World Economic Forum 2018. We devised the strategy to position the brand as a thought leader in its space of the future of work, while we engaged other thought leaders and influencers, industry experts and micro influencers, who were really concerned about it on every level, be it future of work of economy, engagement, talent, job loss, rescaling and up-scaling of the current workforce, dealing with aging workforce, machines and automation and health care bringing all together under future of work umbrella,” she says.

“What we found was, that a lot of brands fail to be on their focus as to how great their products, services or solutions are. We focussed on the problems that the world is struggling with and brought together global thought leaders digitally. We branded the entire exercise as ‘3-hour long tweet mega chat’ wherein people stayed on the conversations as we trended on Twitter.”

“So the idea was to position the brand as interested to have a conversation about these social issues which attracted a massive audience. The exercise created trust amongst the people for the brand, it created a thought leadership for the brand. While in our very first campaign we reached 150 million audiences and the initiative was so successful that World Economic Forum recognised Mercer. Post which we kept having tweet chats throughout the year so that in 2019 we gave an even bigger message to a bigger audience and now 500 million audiences were reached, who knew the brand Mercer.”

About key trends in digital media, which will drive the industry in the next couple of years, McCleary says, “Looking at marketing trends, we cannot just keep marketing from humans to humans, but we need to market to machines as well in the near future. For example, if you send Amazon a query, it accesses all its partner media brands or enabled sports broadcasting or music streaming services and if it still doesn’t find the answer, it does the web search. Thus, as marketers, we need to know who we are influencing with these companies, without which how will your product or service be offered to somebody, thereby using the digital assistance, and to me, that’s a huge trend.”

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