Top Five Marketer Personas in an AI-First World

By Insights for Curious Marketers Archives
Cover image for  article: Top Five Marketer Personas in an AI-First World

In the ever-evolving landscape of marketing, where artificial intelligence (AI) is rapidly becoming the backbone of strategy and execution, marketers are adapting and evolving into distinct personas – not just one persona, but five that are inextricably linked and connected. And as always, with transformational change, the super glue that connects the winners from the laggards across these five dimensions is the essential human trait - creativity. Here's a glimpse into the top five marketer personas that stand out in an AI-first world, incorporating lessons from the keynotes at the ANA AI Conference this week.

1. The Data Virtuoso: Marketers need to continually perfect their data and analytical skills by navigating through vast oceans of data, extracting meaningful patterns, and harnessing the power of machine learning to predict market trends and customer behavior. Kellanova’s session featuring Lu Cotterill on identifying high-potential marketing AI applications exemplify the kind of environment where Data Virtuoso marketers thrive, leveraging frameworks to automate and innovate marketing processes using diagnostic, predictive and prescriptive modeling. Data has always been the 'oil' in launching valuable new products and Jill Cress at H&R Block showed us how this critical 'oil' (from 70 years of tax expertise) gets activated through new personalized products, like AI Tax Assist.

2. The Change Architect: AI's role in the marketing domain has necessitated an unprecedented level of agility and adaptation. The Change Architect is someone who embraces this new era, expertly guiding their organization through the transition from traditional strategies to AI-infused methodologies and ensuring effective talent engagement and alignment. Marketers with the Change Architect persona draw inspiration from Shelly Palmer’s predictive discussion on AI maturity, which helps demystify AI and provides actionable frameworks for prioritization. Michelle Froah from ETS shared how the 75-year old brand used its 20-year head start on AI, to rebrand as an elevated and forward-thinking global educational solution, triggering lifelong learning and always driving human progress.

3. The Relationship Catalyst: Even in an automated world, human connection remains at the heart of marketing. The Relationship Catalyst leverages AI to deepen customer relationships and personalize experiences at scale. Tripadvisor’s Christine Maguire highlighted how personalizing the booking experience, resulted in a 5x increase in revenue per user. The Relationship Catalyst must be seen leading the charge in personalization, as highlighted by sessions featuring insights from Jon Francis from General Motors and Mark Abraham from Boston Consulting Group, discussing how innovative companies are setting new standards for customer engagement that taps into emotional triggers.

4. The Technology Alchemist: The marketer who also adopts the Technology Alchemist role is an innovator who transforms basic digital interactions into a connected and seamless AI-driven consumer experience, understanding the different technology requirements and how they intersect. They don’t have to be technologists, but they need to know how to communicate with technologists and be fluent in the language of high level AI strategy and execution. They are on the front lines of using generative AI, learning from platforms like Amazon Ads, which was featured at the ANA conference, by Amazon’s Guy Friedel, to develop high-quality, brand-safe creatives that captivate audiences. Technology creates a flywheel for agile content and creative processes, and Chris Duffey showcased how Adobe is using GenAI to spark imagination and increase the velocity and vivaciousness of highly personalized and sticky experiences.

5. The Governance Guru: Importantly, the marketer who adopts the Governance Guru persona, navigates the treacherous waters of ethics, safety, privacy, and legality in the digital realm. This expertise is crucial in ensuring that AI-driven marketing initiatives are not only effective but also responsible and compliant with evolving regulations. Valuable guidance that delves into the ethical, safety and legal considerations of AI are vital for leading marketers as they show proficiency in understanding and acting on the realities of risky AI ecosystem. For Meta’s Sy Choudhary an open system and access to tools like Llama 2, provides an opportunity to provide not just access but also to democratize the governance and safety must-haves, given the benefits of addressing factual and safety errors across an interdependent ecosystem, focused on data privacy. In the fintech sector, these security and privacy measures are mission-critical and we heard from Kevin Howard, who unvieled how, a proprietary cloud-based platform delivered on the supersonic speed of AI and LLM functionality, while being laser focused on the data security protections and personalized human touch that consumers expect.

Are you an AI Marketing Expert?

The table below highlights the key questions that need to be asked by marketers for each of the five personas – those that are early in their AI learning (basic questions) and then those that are operating at an advanced level (expert questions).

Basic and Key Questions: Top 5 AI Marketing Personas. Copyright, Equity Project For All, 2024

At a minimum, marketers should be able to articulate at the basic question level.

Next, they need to evaluate their level of proficiency at the expert question level for each persona by asking themselves:

1. Questioning: Would you be able to formulate similar questions?

2. Responding: Would you be able to provide cogent and effective answers?

The next step is for marketers to grade themselves on Questioning and Responding from 1- 5, with 5 being very confident and 1 being not confident. Add up the scores and divide by five. Based on your score, marketers can assess where they sit in the AI marketing proficiency index:

  • Emerging (Rating 1-2): As an emerging leader, you are just beginning to grasp the possibilities of AI in their field.
  • Proficient (Rating 3-4): These marketing leaders can leverage AI in practical ways but may not be innovating at the highest level to unlock new growth.
  • Master (Rating 5): These are the leaders in their field, pushing the boundaries of what AI can achieve in marketing. They can articulate and act on sophisticated strategies that leverage AI at the highest level of complexity and business impact.

As AI reshapes the marketing world, these five marketer personas each play a pivotal role in leveraging AI to its full potential while ensuring that the essence of marketing—creativity, connection, and strategy—remains strong. As a marketer, it is critical to embrace all five of these personas --- no easy feat. It takes a commitment to learning, to applying, to experimenting and to continually questioning. Diving into the ANA's AI best practices compendium, picking up Shiv Singh's latest primer on AI and listening to Paul Roetzer's AI podcast would be valuable first steps.

The intersection of talent, experience and early wins sets the stage for a future where AI elevates human marketers and their capabilities to exciting new heights, driving profitable growth and a new frontier in delightfully memorable consumer experiences.

Photo Credit: Modern AI Marketer by DALL-E, 2024

Posted at MediaVillage through the Thought Leadership self-publishing platform.

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