Last night I went to speak to the people and partners of Soul, one of the companies that licenses the Applied Futurist’s Toolkit, about the future of marketing. I called the talk ‘AI and AIDA’ because I think the impact of new technologies will fall at every point on the customer journey, from awareness, to action.


These are some of the conclusions I reached.

1. The canvas is growing

Following from the five vectors of change that I often discuss with clients, it’s clear that the breadth of channels through which brands can address customers and prospects is growing. This is perhaps most clear in the possibility (or probability) of always-on augmented reality.

In this scenario, every atom of the physical world, and all the spaces in between, become pixels on a four dimensional canvas through which brands can communicate with us.

2. Machines own the medium

Combine this huge diversity of channels with the infinite possibilities for data-driven personalisation, and it makes sense that most of the brokering of the medium over which we are reached is handled by machines. People simply can’t process the data and deliver the creative at sufficient speed.

The machines will be working inside parameters defined by people, but the increasingly programmatic world of media we see today is really just the beginning.

3. AI on both sides of the battle

It won’t only be brands and agencies applying new technologies to this age-old problem. Facing a cacophony of digital noise, consumers will need to develop better filters, and these will probably come in the form of a digital assistant. One who knows us incredibly well and filters messages on our behalf, batting back the vast majority of bids for our mindspace.

Of course, this only works if we own the assistants, not the brands or media owners. This may be a privilege that not everyone can afford.


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This article is by Tom Cheesewright. This post forms part of the Future of Business series. For more posts on this subject, visit the Future of Business page.

Tom Cheesewright

Futurist speaker Tom Cheesewright is one of the UK's leading commentators on technology and tomorrow. Tom has worked with a huge range of organisations across a variety of markets, to help them to see a clear vision of tomorrow, share that vision and respond with agility. Tom draws on his experience to create original, compelling talks that are keyed to the experience of the audience but which surprise and shock with unexpected facts and examples.

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