DI or AI — what type of marketer would you like to be!

Pray and Spray Era:

Eons ago, our demi-gods were known to possess superhuman powers. Greek mythology or the Hindu pantheon; the stories are resplendent with powerful weapons gifted to them by the Gods. Gods would shower these blessings to only a handful of chosen ones. These chosen warriors would need to chant a few scared hymns and unleash their weapons, and Good would prevail over evil, which would preserve the order of the universe.

Let’s call this form of warfare — “pray and spray,” powered by DI — Divine intervention.

Fast forward to the 20th century — the era of “spray and pray.”

As consumerism grew in the 19th and 20th centuries and brands jostled for the share of mind, plate, and wallets, marketers, the new age front line warriors, were tasked with building brand and cornering demand. Alongside, there was a proliferation of media and mediums to reach the end consumer. Digital and social media added more excitement to the mix, as for the first time, marketers were able to target better and measure outcomes in real or near real-time, for what it was worth.

While this wasn’t a good versus evil battle, quite often, our heroes still relied on “spray and pray”.

John Wanamaker, the father of modern marketing, struck a chord through his adage — “Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is I don’t know which half.”

Some marketers, the Mad-men, were more successful than the others and earned the monikers of marketing genius or gurus. They probably possessed a super high marketing IQ!

Present Day: Can AI be your new DI?

What would happen if, say, Iron man with his Jarvis suit and all the AI-powered futuristic weaponry at his disposal was to spar with one of our mythological warriors? Unless our favorite mythical warrior has Devine Intervention, I will put my money on Iron man!

In a marketing context, my point is marketing tools have evolved significantly in the last couple of years, and the pace will only further accelerate in the next few years. There are many reasons for this tipping point of sorts, but the most crucial being that marketing automation tools have come of age. I do not disregard the first principles of marketing and being customer-first. Today, a marketer has many mechanisms that provide fairly accurate buyer intent, customer insights, building content, visualization, and hyper-targeting. All of this is tightly integrated through CRMs. Yes, I am oversimplifying it a bit, guilty as charged. I am not undermining the importance of marketers, but at the same time, tech is a great equalizer. You no longer need Mad-men of Madison Avenue with high marketing IQ by your side to create magic, what you need is a high TQ — Technology Quotient.

The power of data is now weapons-grade with these new tools and readily available to every company, big, well-established ones, or start-ups aiming to disrupt the Goliaths.

Tech-powered Sales, a book by Justin Michael and Tony Hughes, lays out this phenomenon brilliantly and gives super valuable tips on using technology to power your sales. This book is the most influential book I have read this year. While the book is primarily focused on sales and inside sales, it is also essentially about helping you build your mindset — what type of marketer do you wish to be, DI powered or AI-powered!

Amit Shah, CMO, Zycus





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