Helping the C-Suite See How Artificial Intelligence Impacts Their Business

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Chris MonbergIn this special guest feature, Chris Monberg, President and CTO of Boomtrain, discusses some ways to demystify AI to the C-suite in order to get over the feeling that AI is overwhelming and inaccessible and see how it can actually be quite valuable when used in the right context. In his current role as President and CTO, Chris is hyper-focused on building the team that is building the most advanced predictive personalization technology in the market. Previously, Chris was the VP of Interactive at Hornall Anderson, a global design firm. In addition to leading a team of designers, engineers, and strategists, Chris launched a R&D lab focused on redefining the relationships between brands, consumers, and technology.

As artificial intelligence (AI) gains popularity, many C-suite executives have looked to make it a priority to integrate the technology to help their business. However, with vendors popping up left and right, hawking their products and touting their solutions, it’s become quite difficult for these executives to know how AI can help achieve their goals. Many members of the C-suite see AI as overwhelming and inaccessible, but with a bit of demystifying, it can actually be quite valuable when used in the right context.

What can AI accomplish for your business?

AI is adept at just about any problem that benefits from pattern matching, predictions and/or optimization. As an executive embarking on any project including data science, it’s critical to have clear objectives in mind. Do you want to increase click-through ratios (CTR)? Click-to-Open ratios (CTOR)? Life-time-value (LTV)? Or are you unsure and need to first deploy an AI strategy to balance your objectives? Different approaches can be taken for each scenario.

Choosing the right objectives to optimize for (or clickbait vs relevancy)

We often hear middle level marketing managers asking for us to deploy a solution that optimizes for click-through-rates. There are several different approaches to this, but we need to be mindful of creating clickbait – content that is so provocative or sexy that it’s just meant to get one click. As an executive, you’re keenly aware of your user’s LTV and will know if you need to build your brand or just capture as many clicks as possible. We recommend that you deploy AI in a way that surfaces relevant content that builds brand loyalty and LTV. By deploying a model where multiple algorithms are balanced simultaneously, you can achieve the right balance of clickbait and relevancy. We think of it as ‘multi-objective optimization’.

Ensure you’re feeding AI the right data

After defining objectives, the next major step is determining which data will be inputted into the system to allow it to optimize. At the end of the day, an AI solution is only as good as the data that you put into it. There is a misconception that you need to embark on a data hygiene project before you can get started with AI, but that’s actually not the case. Sticking with the marketing example, a company’s CRM or customer purchase data can be ingested by the system, allowing the AI solution to cluster groups of customers, identifying which ones bring the most revenue to your business and identifying the best ways to engage with them. Combining this historical data with the real-time inputs described above can make for an incredibly powerful solution.

Because your data and objectives are specific to your business and industry, it is crucial to implement a solution that is flexible enough to adapt to your needs. There is no such thing as a one-size-fits all approach. Therefore, when looking for technology vendors to partner with, it is always important to ask how their solutions fit your objectives and the data that you have to work with.

At the end of the day, AI isn’t actually that complicated. It’s an evolved approach to statistics – not all that different than the class you took in high school. You get out of it what you put into it. If you have robust datasets and clearly defined objectives, you will find an AI solution that fits your goals and your business. Don’t get caught up in the buzzwords. Just know your business, know your data and know what you want to accomplish.


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