Our Changing World: Two Appier Experts Discuss the Impact of Data and AI

Appier's CEO Chih-Han Yu and VP of Enterprise AI Charles Ng share their views on data and AI in Singapore

On Wednesday last week, two of our senior leaders were dispersed across Singapore to chat with other experts about the different ways data and AI are changing brand communications.

Our CEO, Chih-Han Yu, was invited by CITI to attend the APAC Digital Leaders Summit, and alongside senior people from Twitter, Accenture and Mojodomo discussed how the digital advertising and marketing technology space is evolving and how brands can leverage data insights and AI to tap into emerging opportunities. The panel was moderated by Morgan McKenney, Citi Core Cash Product Head for APAC.

The panel first touched on the new expectations of consumers. Arvinder Gujral, Regional MD SEA at Twitter noted that we can’t expect people to sit through ads the same way they did a few decades ago. Caspar Schlickum, Regional MD of Accenture pointed out that brands must understand that consumers expect the same experience from very different types of brands. For example, people expect the seamlessness of purchasing an Apple product when they deal with the bank. Chih-Han shared that meeting customers’ needs here means effectively leveraging data.

The panellists also discussed that in the age of the distracted consumer, it’s actually quite easy to capture attention as there are so many ways to do it (apps, social media, etc.), it’s retaining that attention that’s challenging, so relevancy and timeliness is key. Chih-Han noted that the focus needs to be on the most high-quality customers, the ones you can build long-term relationships with, and that leveraging data via AI is critical for identifying these people. As Caspar pointed out, the key for marketers is to focus more closely on the execution than they have in the past- not just the creative ideas.

Elsewhere, at the annual FUTR conference, our VP of Enterprise AI Charles Ng was also discussing data and what it means to ‘humanize’ it. He was joined by Shawn Roy, Global Lead, Consumer Insights, GSK and Veena Swaminathan, Global Emerging Markets – Integrated Solutions and Stakeholders Insights, Sanofi. The panel was moderated by Gavin Teo, Partner, B Capital Group.

The panel discussed what it means to be a data-driven organization, as data can’t be used effectively if a business is not committed to acting based on what the data says. Charles shared that in his role, he works with many different enterprises via the marketing function, all of which apply data in slightly different ways depending on what they want to achieve. For example, some companies want to predict user behaviour, whereas others want to know exactly which products to show their customers at any given moment. What they have in common, however, is that they’re responding to what the data is telling them to make decisions that will affect real people in real time.

The panel closed by sharing their predictions on what will happen with data and AI in the coming years. Shawn and Veena both agreed that for the foreseeable future, data analysis will still require some element of human input to explain outcomes and attach them to real-life scenarios. Charles, as he has shared before this year, expects to see more interesting applications of AI in the automatic generation of new content such as images, stories, etc., going beyond AI’s current core strength of prediction and detection.

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