Interview with Lindsay Farley, CEO StrategyNest
Read the first part of this interview “Benefits of Using Artificial Intelligence in Marketing”
Resistance to Artificial Intelligence
“When we first started promoting the use of AI as part of social media marketing, I was often asked if I ‘had a robot’ in my closet”, stated Farley. This question pointed out some of the preconceived notions about AI that StrategyNest often encounters. “There’s not a lot of AI being done within the marketing industry”, continues Farley. “Social media managers are fearful of job loss. Traditionalist marketers often resist the innovation enabled by AI. They think that the introduction of AI within their social media marketing means that all of the work will be done by drones. They are fearful because they do not understand how to leverage AI. They think that the use of AI in marketing means that people will no longer be needed. I like to say that it takes both Bruce Wayne and the Batsuit to make Batman the super hero – it’s the person and the technology together that make the magic.”
Farley frequently encounters the notion that AI is technically too difficult or complex to be used. Compounding the situation is that marketing managers feel that they don’t have the time to learn and implement AI. “Marketing using AI is not about having to learn and maintain the algorithms that make up the AI engine”, said Farley. “It’s more about defining the marketing goals, and providing those goals as input to the AI engine.”
Future of marketing and AI
Farley feels that AI may be a bit too early for the marketing industry, but she did predict that the use of AI will drive the chief marketing officer and other marketing managers to ask better questions. “Marketing touches or impacts all other parts of a business, and content has a great influence not only on customers, but on other groups as well,” said Farley. “Marketing managers must ask themselves ‘can we do this better?’, ‘will our marketing message resonate with our target audience?’ and ‘are we on the social platforms as our target audience?’ “.
Farley has observed that today, CIOs and CMOs are often “at odds” with the use of technology. CIOs are focused on maintaining systems that run the business, while the CMO is wanting to explore the use of emerging technologies, such as AI, to benefit marketing. AI is forcing the CIO and the CMO to talk about how to leverage and support these emerging technologies.
Farley is convinced that the use of AI with marketing will grow. “AI enables companies to ‘push the envelope’, “stated Farley. “Using AI enables companies to create and achieve goals that could never be realized in a conventional marketing approach. The ability to achieve these goals changes the mindset of a company about what is possible, which changes business processes, which ultimately changes the way that companies do marketing.”
Some Things About Marketing Will Not Change
One of the things that Farley wants to make clear is that people will not be replaced by AI. However, AI will give people back the time to do the creative work and the strategy work that may not getting done today.
“People must still develop the voice, brand, and message of their marketing programs,” explained Farley. “AI does the operational and analytical work so that people can work smarter and focus on the creative and strategic aspects of marketing.”
The ‘care-and-feeding’ of marketing plans will also remain in the world of AI – but AI will provide the empirical data for measuring the impact of social media marketing. This means that companies must develop processes for regularly reviewing and acting on that data. “AI provides all of this empirical data and measures about marketing that companies currently have little insight to, “stated Farley. “Companies must develop processes to regularly review and act upon that data, and determine how to further exploit the capabilities of AI and social media marketing.”
Getting Ready to Use Artificial Intelligence
How should companies get ready to use AI in their social media marketing? Farley believes that it first starts with having a well thought, overarching and documented business strategy. Once a business strategy is in place, then a company can break out the strategies for marketing and other areas of the business. Companies also need to develop a content strategy and define their goals for social media.
Companies must have a strong sense of and belief in their brand. “Your brand is whatever your customers think it is, “said Farley. “Understanding how customers feel about your brand strongly influences what content should be published. Having compelling content, aligned with your brand, is critical to attract the audience you want.”
Companies must believe that social media is a key vehicle for the realization of their marketing strategy, and be willing to invest monies into the use of social media. Just like with any strategy, goals for the use of social media must be clearly defined, captured, reported, and regularly reviewed.
Companies should already have a presence on social media. This ensures an awareness of the pain points and challenges with the use of social media for marketing, and will be helpful when defining the goals for social media use.
The Time is Now
Farley firmly believes that AI is a differentiator in social media marketing. The use of AI in social media marketing will serve early adopter businesses well. AI helps level the playing field between smaller companies and larger organizations. Early adopters can take advantage of early technology gains and the pioneering efforts in the use of AI. Bigger companies will only get better at using and exploiting AI with their social media marketing as times goes on. “The time to act is now!”, states Farley.
StrategyNest was hatched from the idea that good partnerships build good businesses. Developing growth, fostering client relationships, and pioneering brand identities to maximize your potential is what we do in the Nest. StrategyNest takes a different approach to marketing and branding by not only learning about their client’s business but also your company culture and incorporating that feel into our design. Cultivating our fledgling relationship, we give your company the tools and know-how you need to spread your wings and expand your possibilities. Our team has designed, developed, and marketed projects across a range of industries and platforms. We work directly with you to ensure project cohesion from vision to actualization. We believe that you’ll only get your best if we know the best about your business. People, strategy, execution… our story is as simple as that.
|About Lindsay Farley
Lindsay Farley is the owner and CEO of StrategyNest, a marketing technology company that she founded in 2014 in Zionsville, Indiana. StrategyNest focuses primarily on marketing strategy, digital design, branding and the use of artificial intelligence for social media. Under her leadership the company has grown rapidly and is being recognized by many partner organizations as a leader in the use of technology to monetize social media. Lindsay’s mission is to help organizations optimize their marketing and social media investments.
Lindsay spent more than 12 years working for The Dow Chemical Company in a variety of roles. She has extensive experience in global marketing and branding. Lindsay has also won a multitude of awards including The Sharkie Award for Product Marketing Design, and her marketing designs have been displayed on Times Square in New York and on the Las Vegas strip.
About the Author:
Institute Fellow Alumni
Doug Tedder is the principal of Tedder Consulting LLC. Doug is an accomplished and recognized leader who is equally adept in interactions from senior leadership to day-to-day practitioners. His attention to detail, industry knowledge, emotional intelligence, and the ability to “see the big picture” and make it actionable has resulted in a track record of success in helping IT organizations transform into business partners in value delivery.
Doug holds numerous industry certifications in disciplines ranging from ITIL, COBIT, Lean IT, and Organizational Change Management. An active volunteer within the IT Service Management community, Doug is a frequent speaker and contributor at local industry user group meetings, webinars, and national conventions. Doug is a member, former president, and current board member for itSMF USA as well a member of HDI.