Five minutes with a senior tech marketer, Daniela Zuin, who shares her learnings on marketing AI products
Daniela Zuin, a former technology journalist, has worked in various regional and global marketing roles promoting the business benefits of digital transformation for some of the world’s largest IT and professional services firms including Accenture, EDS, The Carlyle Group, T-Systems (part of Deutsche Telekom) and more recently led the launch of a brand new category of AI virtual agent for automation innovator IPsoft.
Karl: What do you enjoy about the tech marketing industry?
Daniella: It’s that wider story that captures my imagination rather than the inner workings of the products themselves. What’s particularly exciting is that technology is always evolving so the art of the possible is constantly moving to a new horizon. In turn, this means that as a marketer you are not stuck in re-inventing existing stories to inspire business leaders, but introducing them to fresh ideas.
"The more disruptive the technology, the more creative you can be in attracting the attention of your target audience."
There has been some criticism that tech marketing frequently over-hypes the capabilities of products. Is that a concern you share?
Certainly, when the gap between vision and reality gets too wide it damages the downstream sales effort. In the battle for recognition, especially in emerging market sectors, marketing teams run the risk of hitting all their awareness and lead generation KPIs, without converting them into sustainable revenue increases.
Could you share your learnings on how to avoid overhyping a tech product?
It’s important for marketing to get a clear understanding of the questions that arise in dialogue with customers during the proposal stages and later on in the sales process. Invest time in acquiring this knowledge, this will help sharpen the messages crafted across the entire marketing programme. There’s plenty of room for content that paints a picture of where the future is headed complimented by stories of what can be achieved right now; just don’t blur the two.
You’ve been involved in marketing AI products from early on in their development, how have you seen AI change in the market?
Market interest in AI has exploded. Just four years ago when I launched Amelia, IPsoft’s virtual agent, it was the most forward thinking innovation teams within enterprises who were assessing this technology. Today, the appetite for deploying AI has matured to such a level that it’s frequently the CEO who is driving adoption in a bid to get ahead of the competition. While the science of today’s digital marketing techniques is highly effective at targeting new contacts, the backdrop to any marketing campaign has shifted too. There has been such widespread public debate about the potential dangers and social impact of AI that technology companies must be prepared to engage with a full community of stakeholders and not just target ‘buyers’ as they promote the positive benefits AI can deliver.
The depth of the change we are about to witness around current working practices is more radical than anything we’ve seen in a generation, and to handle this, change management programmes will need to reflect collaborative, emotionally aware engagement with the business and influencer community rather than focus on tech-heavy capabilities-centric marketing.
Integrating all aspects of marketing and communications activity to create on and offline dialogue will be essential for tech firms to build brand trust and win the confidence of those business executives who pioneer the use of their AI.
With thanks to Daniela Zuin, for taking part in VMAGROUP’s Q&A blog series that will be providing valuable insights into the marketing profession from the experts themselves.
For more information on this blog series or to discuss the interim marketing job market, please contact Karl Ramsaran.