Blueshift CEO : Marketer’s Jobs More Complex

Blueshift CEO: Every Marketer’s Job Has Become Complex

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What do major brands like StitchFix, CarParts, and Discovery+ know about digital marketing and AI that the little guys don’t? That’s a question best asked to the person responsible for developing cross-channel campaigns and customer engagement programs for some of the top brands in the country, Vijay Chittoor. As co-founder and CEO of Blueshift, a customer engagement platform, Chittoor has worked to reshape the digital marketing ecosystem. He also has a front row seat to the AI arms race taking place among retail marketers right now. 

Street Fight recently caught up with Chittoor to chat about what the biggest brands expect from their marketing partners, how the digital marketing ecosystem has changed since his company’s inception nearly a decade ago, and the role he sees AI playing in agency marketing going forward. 

Q. You’ve been in the industry long enough to have some real perspective on the changes taking place right now. How would you describe the evolution of the digital ecosystem over the last decade? 

A. The last decade has made it clear that we are living in an “always on” world, where we as consumers are constantly connected through digital and mobile devices. This has resulted in massive changes to the digital landscape that every enterprise today needs to navigate. Today’s enterprises have to deal with an explosion in the volume, velocity, and variety of customer data. One contributor to this is the rise in “digitally originated” data that reflects customer interactions on websites and mobile apps. Additionally, offline data is getting digitized faster than ever before. Advances in technology, for instance the ability to convert voice into digital text easily, have contributed to this growth. 

Along with the rise in the volume of data, enterprises have also had to contend with an ever increasing number of new channels and interfaces to connect with customers, including messaging applications, social media, and mobile devices.

Q. What role has AI had in that evolution? 

A. Previously, enterprises used to manage their customer engagement with manual decisioning, through a set of “if-this-then-that” rules. However, the explosion in data and channels has made this unviable. That’s where AI has come to the rescue. With an AI based decisioning paradigm, brands are not only achieving efficiencies through intelligent automation, they are also finally able to deliver on the promise of personalization.

Q. It feels like there’s a race to integrate AI into every aspect of martech right now. How would you describe what’s going on, and who do you see coming out on top in this battle for dominance when it comes to AI?

A. There are two factors that explain why AI is so important for marketers right now. First, with the rise in connected data, customers reasonably expect brands to fully understand their intents and interests at each moment, and on every touchpoint. AI makes this possible by fusing analytical models with automated actions, all in real-time. Secondly, with the ever increasing complexity of customer journeys, every marketer’s job has become complex. 

Enterprises are suffering from a “capacity gap” in being able to engage their customers on every channel. AI solves this problem by enabling small teams of marketers to deliver sophisticated engagement, and removing the capacity bottleneck. It’s no wonder there’s a battle to AI-enable every aspect of martech. It’s an exciting time to be a marketer, leveraging the advancements in technology.

Q. What are your predictions, as far as which companies will come out on top in this AI arms race? 

A. In the world of marketing and CX, the companies that will succeed in the AI age will be the ones that recognize the interplay between the creative aspects of storytelling, and the data-driven aspects of personalizing the story to each individual customer. Companies that enable this partnership between AI and the human marketer will unleash a wave of “data artists” – brand storytellers who use data and AI to weave a personalized story for each customer.

Q. How do you see AI impacting Blueshift and the products you have coming down the pipeline?

A. At Blueshift, we are very excited about combining “customer AI” with “content AI,” or Generative AI, to enable the future of personalization. With so much AI-enabled content now available, the biggest challenge for marketers is to match the right content in the right style to each individual customer. This involves creating a “content interaction graph” for each customer, and utilizing that to tailor the right message to the right customer in each moment and on every channel.

Stephanie Miles is a journalist who covers personal finance, technology, and real estate. As Street Fight’s senior editor, she is particularly interested in how local merchants and national brands are utilizing hyperlocal technology to reach consumers. She has written for FHM, the Daily News, Working World, Gawker, Cityfile, and Recessionwire.