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Digital Marketing Summit 2024 explores marketing roles in heightened AI era

By Shim Woo-hyun

Published : May 22, 2024 - 00:25

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DMK Global CEO Park Se-jeong, Unboundlab CEO Cho Yong-min, Sungshin Women’s University adjunct professor Lee Si-han, and Park Ki-young, head ofCreative Shop North East Asia at Meta, join a panel discussion at Digital Marketing Conference 2024, held at Coex, Seoul, Tuesday. (Lee Sang-sub/The Korea Herald) DMK Global CEO Park Se-jeong, Unboundlab CEO Cho Yong-min, Sungshin Women’s University adjunct professor Lee Si-han, and Park Ki-young, head ofCreative Shop North East Asia at Meta, join a panel discussion at Digital Marketing Conference 2024, held at Coex, Seoul, Tuesday. (Lee Sang-sub/The Korea Herald)

Artificial intelligence’s impact on the marketing sector will become much greater in the following years, said experts who joined the Digital Marketing Summit 2024.

The Digital Marketing Summit is an annual digital marketing conference that invites marketers and experts to share the latest tactics, trends technologies and insights from the industry. The latest summit runs between Tuesday and Wednesday at Coex in Seoul.

“AI is going to have such a big impact on us. Technology today is so deeply embedded in everything that we do in life, that the potential of AI to make things simpler will be truly transformative,” Vishal Kumar, a former Amazon advertising executive who now leads strategy as an executive at Coupang, said during his speech.

The role of AI in the marketing industry has increased over the past few years, Park Se-jeong, CEO of DMK Global, the event's organizer, told The Korea Herald. “AI has been one of the hottest subjects in digital marketing for several years. But, this year, AI has become a more important topic with the advent of generative AIs, which started to be applied in actual business settings.”

There are many aspects that AI can help with digital marketing.

Machine learning models in marketing will automatically identify segments of users, allowing companies to micro-target their customers, according to Kumar.

In addition, generative AI can now generate content tailored to potential customers. “If you put those two trends together, you have mass customization,” Kumar added.

Park Ki-young, head of Creative Shop North East Asia at Meta, noted AI can help marketers with customer personalization, which is getting more difficult as customers’ interests have diversified.

The recent advancement of AI has allowed marketers no longer to have to go through data manually and try to correlate them, Google Chief Strategist Neil Hoyne also said.

Hoyne added that AI is not only capable of making reports on existing customer data but also capable of predicting customer behavior and informing marketers “what behaviors matter most and what are the signals you need to pay attention to.”

People at the Digital Marketing Conference 2024 at Coex, Seoul, Tuesday (Lee Sang-sub/The Korea Herald) People at the Digital Marketing Conference 2024 at Coex, Seoul, Tuesday (Lee Sang-sub/The Korea Herald)

However, there are also several aspects that marketers should be concerned about when using AI as their tool for marketing. During the AI transformation, the role of marketers will be significantly changed, and they will have to be adequately adjusted to changes, experts noted.

Kumar said that marketing professionals should “focus on strategy and not tactics.” He added, “The risk you run by leaning too far into them (AI tools) is that you begin to sound like everybody else. These tools, at the end of the day, are trained on data on the internet, and to truly differentiate themselves marketers have to find their unique voice.”

David Edelman, a senior lecturer in marketing at Harvard Business School, also advised that marketing professionals should now focus more on building brand value and bringing them to their customers through experiences. “As you think about the opportunities from AI don't just think about day-to-day automation to make things more efficient but think about delivering promises to your customer.”

Hoyne also warned companies not to rely on AI too much. “AI is not driving your company. But everything that made you successful is driving your company, and AI is helping you get to your strategy and your destination faster.”

According to Hoyne, companies should utilize AI to test many business hypotheses to make better predictions for their businesses in the future.

“One of the major concerns that marketers share is whether a marketer’s role will be diminished due to AI,” Park said. “However, marketers will still be needed at companies as AI has a weakness in making value judgments.”

Unboundlab CEO Cho Yong-min said, “Customer data is being collected at an advanced level. How to use the large amount of customer data is up to marketers.”

Meanwhile, officials from both local and overseas companies and marketing experts have also joined DMS 2024 to discuss the latest issues and trends in the marketing industry.

Issues and trends discussed on the first day of DMS 2024, include the increasing importance of video marketing, the AI transformation, marketing through social network services and digitization of customer experiences.

One of the emerging trends in the local marketing industry is Generation Alpha, a term used to describe the generation of people born, or who will be born, between 2010 and 2025.

"The growing purchasing power of Millennials is heavily influenced by their children who are categorized into Generation Alpha," said Choi Ji-hye, a researcher at the Seoul National University Consumer Trend Analysis Center. Choi said studying the digital-only generation's consumption patterns will help marketers predict future consumption patterns.