Machine learning, a new look at the 4 P’s and more: the future of marketing is here

Guest Blogger:  Ravi Bapna, Associate Dean, Executive Education, Curtis L. Carlson Chair Professor in Business Analytics and Information Systems, University of Minnesota – Carlson School of Management  


We’re gathering data from our customers at faster and faster rates. But many marketers are sitting on pile-ups of actionable, usable consumer data, and they’re asking themselves: Now what happens? The acceleration of what is being collected is sometimes outpacing our ability to make sense of it and take effective action. But there are many usable, human-friendly tools that are coming onto the market that can allow you and your staff to use machine learning for the anticipation of consumer behavior in ways the human eye simply cannot detect.


Ignite 2107: Academics and business leaders

“New tools / The Marketer and the Machine” will be the topic of my presentation at the Ignite 2017 Marketing Conference on October 19, where we’ll be focusing on the convergence of marketing and technology with an eye toward practical applications and solutions. The conference is sponsored by The Institute for Research in Marketing at the University of Minnesota’s Carlson School of Management and YA, an industry leader in delivering high-impact marketing promotions. At each session, business scholars and corporate leaders will be co-presenting academic findings and real-world results. My session will include both my own academic insights and a presentation from Graham Tutton, Vice President of Customer Insights at Comcast. Following our remarks, Graham and I will be sitting on a panel to take audience questions.


The new “4 P’s”

The changing digital landscape is having a significant effect on many marketing organizations. During my presentation, I’ll talk about how I’ve taken the old 4 P’s — pricing, product, promotion and placement, and have redefined them as the “Four P’s 2.0,” which are now participation, platform, personalization and prediction. I’ll be offering some practical suggestions for ways you can include predictive algorithms in your own marketing plans for relatively low cost and significantly higher returns on your investment.


Finding those who think and respond like your best customers is the new “ultimate goal” for successful businesses. If we have good data from the past about things that work and things that don’t work, we can train a machine to uncover patterns that can make a real difference. I’ll be sharing examples from my private consulting practice that bring these concepts to life. I’ll show an example of a bank that ran a loan promotion and got a 10 percent return. Then I’ll show how an algorithm was trained to get a 40 percent return on the next promotion.


Ready to learn more? I’m looking forward to seeing you on October 19. Register for Ignite ’17 here.

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