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Conference on AI


AI is more than just hype

Ann-Sophie Segaert
  • Ann-Sophie Segaert


On the 15th and 16th of June, we had the pleasure of visiting the TNW Conference in Zaandam. The conference brought together industry experts to explore the transformative potential of AI and tech in the digital marketing landscape.

Harnessing the Digital Era

This article explores the evolving landscape of marketing in the digital era, highlighting the role of technology in shaping strategies and driving success. The conference provided valuable insights on launching successful products, achieving operational excellence, addressing customer needs, guiding potential customers through the marketing funnel, creating hyper-personalized experiences, and effective brand communication in this digital age.

1. Unveiling the power of a well-executed Go-to-Market Strategy

During the conference, a strong emphasis was placed on the significance of a well-planned go-to-market strategy, which serves as a step-by-step blueprint for effectively launching a product in the market. It was highlighted that investing sufficient time in planning, with the involvement of a diverse team possessing a comprehensive skill set and perspective, is crucial for success. Drawing inspiration from the widely recognized double diamond model, the following key steps were defined:

  • Identify the market need

    It is essential to begin by selecting a specific market and gaining a deep understanding of the target audience. This involves recognizing the specific problem or needs that the product aims to address and tailoring all efforts accordingly.

  • Design your product

    Once the market need is clearly identified, meticulous design and development of the product come into play. This phase encompasses considerations such as optimizing user experience, ensuring functionality meets requirements, and paying attention to aesthetic appeal.

  • Produce the product

    The manufacturing or production phase focuses on transforming the product design into a tangible and market-ready offering. Prioritizing quality control and implementing efficient production processes are essential to deliver a reliable and desirable product.

  • Test and iterate

    To ensure continuous improvement and refinement, growth marketing techniques are employed to test the product in the market, gather valuable feedback from users, and iterate based on their responses. This iterative approach enables the product to evolve in alignment with customer needs and preferences.

Throughout this entire process, it is crucial to consider Return on Investment (ROI) at each stage. Consequently, data tracking should commence from day one, providing valuable insights to inform decision-making and optimize strategies for optimal outcomes.

2. The triad of great products: nurturing mind, body and spirit for lasting user impact

Great products have a profound impact on individuals addressing not only their functional needs but also their psychological and emotional desires. A great product encompasses three key elements:

  • Mind

    A great product goes beyond functionality and provides users with opportunities for learning and personal growth. Whether it’s educational software, informative podcasts, or thought-provoking articles, products that stimulate the mind and offer valuable knowledge have a lasting impact on users.

  • Body

    Visual aesthetics and design play a significant role in the appeal of a product. Great products exhibit a sense of order and beauty, creating a “wow factor” that captivates users. From sleek smartphones to elegantly designed furniture, the physical appearance and tactile experience of a product contribute to its overall appeal.

  • Spirit

    A truly remarkable product understands and caters to the individual’s identity, context, and emotional needs. By personalizing the user experience and tailoring the product to align with their values and aspirations, a deep connection is formed. This can be seen in customized clothing, personalized wellness apps, or smart home devices that adapt to the user’s preferences.

3. Key elements for operational excellence in the modern business landscape

Five major elements were highlighted as crucial for operational excellence.

  • People

    Empowering and understanding your team is essential. Employees should be aligned with your company values, possess a deep understanding of your customers, and leverage their unique strengths to represent your organization effectively.

  • Processes

    Establishing streamlined processes and routines within your organization fosters efficiency and consistency. This allows for smoother operations and enables teams to focus on delivering value.

  • Content

    Content plays a vital role in representing your organization. Owning, delivering, and regularly updating high-quality and relevant content is crucial for creating a strong brand presence and engaging your target audience.

  • Technology

    Incorporating AI into day-to-day operations can significantly enhance operational excellence. AI-powered tools can automate repetitive tasks, optimize workflows, and provide valuable insights for decision-making. For example, using AI chatbots can streamline customer support processes and provide round-the-clock assistance, improving overall customer experience.

  • Data

    Data is a valuable asset that, when leveraged effectively, can drive operational excellence. By collecting and analyzing data, organizations can gain insights into customer behavior, market trends, and internal processes. This data-driven approach enables informed decision-making and the ability to proactively address issues or capitalize on opportunities.

The conference highlighted several examples of operational excellence achieved through these elements. Companies such as Amazon, known for their customer-centric approach, utilize advanced algorithms and machine learning models to optimize their supply chain, enhance inventory management, and personalize the shopping experience. This commitment to operational excellence has contributed to their success as a leading e-commerce platform.

4. The power of awareness, trust, and nurturing in effective marketing

Great emphasis was placed on the significance of establishing lifetime value by effectively navigating the initial stages of the marketing funnel with the right digital content and tools, ultimately culminating in successful conversions.

  • Awareness

    During the awareness phase, it is crucial to employ the right tools to generate new demand and reach potential customers. Different platforms serve varying purposes, such as Meta (formerly Facebook) for driving new demand, Google for reaching existing demand, TikTok for its algorithm-based discovery, and YouTube where influencers play a significant role in advertising.

  • Trust

    Establishing trust is of utmost importance when customers encounter your brand and products. Customers seek validation before making purchase decisions. They often rely on third-party sources, despite recognizing their inherent biases. Reviews, testimonials, and recommendations play a crucial role in building trust and providing the necessary confidence to proceed with a purchase.

  • Nurturing

    The nurturing phase, which occurs between the awareness and conversion stages, requires maintaining a relationship with customers. This phase is very important knowing that it takes 6 weeks to even 6 months before customers jump from the awareness phase to effective conversion. More traditional tools such as email and messaging tools continue to have a significant impact. Nurturing relationships, providing valuable content, and personalized communication through these channels can greatly influence the path to conversion.

5. Hyper-personalization for enhanced customer experience

During the TNW conference, ABN Amro, a prominent Dutch bank, showcased the power of hyper-personalization in enhancing customer experiences and driving sales. Examples were shared, including Netflix saving 1 billion dollars annually through their highly personalized interface, and Amazon, where 35% of conversions are driven by personalized experiences.

ABN Amro emphasized the importance of collecting customer data, such as subscriptions, income, and loans, to build lasting relationships and provide tailored financial advice. By leveraging this data, the bank can predict customer needs, offer support, and optimize savings. However, customer trust is crucial in data collection, requiring transparency and honesty from the bank about their processes. Establishing trust enables customers to share data confidently, fostering personalized financial services.

6. Mastering content creation in the digital era: strategies for impactful engagement and retention

The conference emphasized several strategies for creating impactful content in the day and age of the ongoing digital revolution and the increasing shortening of consumers’ attention spans. Eight strategies were highlighted:

  • Leverage short-from content

    In today’s fast-paced world, in which everyone’s time is limited, delivering content that quickly captures interest has become crucial. Short-form content has emerged as the dominant format, allowing users to consume information rapidly. Platforms like TikTok have experienced explosive growth, revolutionizing content creation and consumption through bite-sized videos. Traditional social platforms are also adapting to this trend, with LinkedIn witnessing the rise of short-term videos as an alternative to lengthy articles. YouTube has responded by introducing ‘YouTube Shorts’ to cater to evolving user preferences.

  • Create interaction

    Interactive content keeps users engaged and offers a unique and immersive experience. Incorporating quizzes, polls, and interactive elements within articles or videos can enhance user participation and retention.

  • Enable user learning

    Users value content that provides them with valuable knowledge and insights. Whether through informative articles, educational videos, or engaging tutorials, content that facilitates learning resonates with audiences.

  • Repurpose existing content

    Repurposing content allows you to maximize its reach and impact. For example, transforming a video into an article, creating infographics from research data, or converting a blog post into a podcast episode helps cater to different audience preferences and platforms.

  • Authenticity through influencers

    Collaborating with influencers adds authenticity and credibility to your content. Partnering with people who align with your brand values and target audience can help forge a genuine connection and expand your reach.

  • Create communities

    Building communities around your content fosters engagement, loyalty, and a sense of belonging among your audience. Encouraging discussions, hosting live Q&A sessions, or organizing virtual events cultivates a vibrant community ecosystem.

  • Craft positive messages

    In a world saturated with negativity, delivering positive messages can make your content stand out and resonate with users. Uplifting stories, motivational content, and messages that inspire and empower users can leave a lasting impact and create a positive brand image.

  • Be quick

    In the fast-paced digital landscape, timeliness is crucial. Posting content immediately after events or industry developments allows you to ride the wave of interest and engage with your audience while the topic is still fresh. Keeping a finger on the pulse of current trends and swiftly sharing relevant content positions you as a reliable source of information.

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