December 07, 2017

The Marketing Word of the Year, according to the ANA (Association of National Advertisers) has something a bit, well, artificial about it.

The ANA asked its members to choose a marketing word of the year from a list of finalists determined by ANA staff, and this year’s winner was “Artificial Intelligence (AI).” Voting was done online during the week of November 27, and 403 ANA members participated.

Representative verbatim comments from those who voted for Artificial Intelligence included:

  •     It’s not just the marketing word of the year. It’s the transformative phenomenon that’s going to reshape the world as we now know it.
  •     Automation, machine learning, cognitive... if we aren’t thinking about using it, employing it already, or at the very least talking about it, we’re missing out on some incredible “on the cusp” opportunities.
  •     2017 was the year that AI moved from being this weird, misunderstood term on the periphery of marketing consciousness to this weird, somewhat understood term spiraling closer to the epicenter of marketing, on an unavoidable collision course with our daily lives and jobs.
  •     Seems to be something many marketers talk about this year, but not many understand the implications for marketing.
  •     AI has gone from something to think about to real-world development and implementation.

Examples of artificial intelligence include cognitive computing (e.g., IBM’s Watson), driverless cars, voice-enabled digital assistants (e.g., Amazon’s Alexa, Apple’s Siri, Google Now) and recommendation engines. A good example of the latter is Amazon, which uses algorithms based on data including a user’s purchase history, items in the shopping cart, items rated and liked, and what other customers have viewed and purchased. Artificial intelligence is also used in marketing automation, programmatic ad buying, chat bots and customer service.

Other top choices in the 2017 Marketing Word of the Year voting were “transparency” (the 2016 Marketing Word of the Year), “content marketing” (the 2015 Marketing Word of the Year), and “influencer.” “Programmatic” was the 2014 Marketing Word of the Year, the first year the ANA conducted the survey.


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