Preparing for AI-driven customer experiences

Digital marketers today are caught in the middle of a huge digital transition.

Behind them lie the old, slow, and manual methods of creating content, connecting with customers, tracking engagement, and measuring the results.

Ahead of them is the promise of the brave new intelligence-enabled world, teeming with possibilities—task automation, massive-scale analytics, and real-time, data-driven decision making powered by Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, and Deep Learning solutions.

For the most part, these promises have been made in good faith. Connecting clean, structured, and tagged data with powerful machine learning algorithms is an exciting prospect brimming with interesting use cases like:

  • Automated content tagging
  • Self-assembling web pages
  • Dynamic audience discovery
  • Predictive scenarios and best next steps

However, for many, this bold new future of seemingly magical efficiencies might be further away than it seems. The industry is currently packed with pundits and vendors getting excited about what might be possible with AI without thinking about the steps needed to get there. While the benefits of becoming an AI-enabled marketer are clear, the journey a marketer and their team needs to take is still hazy.

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Soul in the Machine – Combatting Unconscious Bias

This is Part 4 in the Soul in the Machine series.

In the Soul in the Machine series, I will be delving into our collective responsibility to ensure that computing systems are treating users fairly and responsibly. Specifically, I will be raising the ethical questions around current trends such as data privacy regulations and machine learning capabilities.

Right now, in Part 4, we are going to look at building a diverse team capable of implementing ethical AI and ML solutions. How do we ensure that the culture of integrity we are working so hard to support leads to fair results in our machine learning? How can we be conscious about battling unconscious bias in the solutions we develop?

Two heads are better than one

Building up the culture of integrity in an organization allows us to start asking questions about what we’re doing, and how we’re doing it, but a critical step is building a team that is capable of seeing WHEN these questions need to be asked.

Continue reading “Soul in the Machine – Combatting Unconscious Bias”

Preparing your CMS infrastructure for traffic spikes

We’re living in the days of “going viral.” Consumers move faster than ever, and businesses need to be ready to respond to sudden demand the moment it arrives—or risk losing out to competitors.

The right endorsement from the right person can generate global exposure and cause unprecedented numbers of people to flock to your site, with little or no prior warning.

Take Lady Gaga’s Super Bowl halftime show in 2017—millions of people saw her backup dancers in Steve Madden boots and rushed online to order them. That can amount to more traffic than most people dream of in a year, all arriving in seconds.

Major televised events are only one piece of the puzzle. In the modern digital world, digital marketing is aimed purposefully at trying to create demand–and businesses need to be ready to scale up to meet sudden successes from the drop of a tweet.

Crucially, it’s not just about bearing the weight of enormous traffic spikes. It’s about being able to innovate, and capitalize on sudden demand at a moment’s notice. One great way to do that is to leverage cloud hosting for your CMS.

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I hate best practices and so do you

NOTE: This article first appeared in 2016 on the nonlinearcreations.com blog.

“What would you say are the best practices for [your thing here]?”

I’m about to slam my head into my keyboard, but I restrain myself. It’s a simple enough question and I probably have the answer. I’ve helped out a lot of folks with this type of question so that they can start moving forward in a more deliberate manner. That is a good thing! Answering this question is usually very easy. Somewhere deep inside, however, I don’t really want you to hear the answer.

Not because I want to hold out on you. Not because I expect you to know the best practices. Not because I have some sort of jaded outlook on the whole thing (well, maybe that plays a part).

I simply am losing the desire to recommend to you what amounts to “what everybody else is doing”.

Continue reading “I hate best practices and so do you”

Mitigating CMS implementation risk

Prior to joining Sitecore as a Technical Evangelist, I worked as a consultant on many projects implementing Sitecore in various types of scenarios. The implementation is where things can really start to heat up!

The stakes are high. More than that, implementation projects can also be long, costly, and susceptible to error, even with the best partner. No implementation project is exactly like another, so there is always an element of the unknown as you undertake this new project. Also, just like the selection process, these projects are highly visible to the rest of the business. That means risks need to be identified early and addressed as soon as possible.

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Soul in the Machine – Top AI/ML Orgs and Unconscious Bias

This is Part 3 in the Soul in the Machine series.

In the Soul in the Machine series, I will be delving into our collective responsibility to ensure that computing systems are treating users fairly and responsibly. Specifically, I will be raising the ethical questions around current trends such as data privacy regulations and machine learning capabilities.

Right now, in Part 3, we are going to quickly look at the top organizations that are investing in the development of Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, and Deep Learning.

Continue reading “Soul in the Machine – Top AI/ML Orgs and Unconscious Bias”

Soul in the Machine – Building with Integrity

This is Part 2 in the Soul in the Machine series.

In the Soul in the Machine series, I will be delving into our collective responsibility to ensure that computing systems are treating users fairly and responsibly. Specifically, I will be raising the ethical questions around current trends such as data privacy regulations and machine learning capabilities.

Right now, in Part 2, we are going to examine the challenge of introducing a culture of integrity in the digital space and how we can take responsibility for ensuring teams are ready to face the challenge, particularly when dealing with machine learning and artificial intelligence.

Continue reading “Soul in the Machine – Building with Integrity”