Marketing and Sales; A Blurred Line Armed with Artificial Intelligence

SOON THERE’LL BE NO DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A MARKETER AND A SALESMAN, THANKS TO AI

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So, me and a couple of my colleagues got into an argument about the differences between sales and marketing and we argued about which was more important. We eventually agreed that they both had their place as they both are important, however, the line that separates them is gradually being blurred out as AI is helping both end of the stick achieve same results in the same time frame. Marketers and salesmen would both be able to build brands over time and also make sales immediately as they are now armed with artificial intelligence.

AI does a couple of things but here are a few;

Data acquisition: one area artificial intelligence (AI) has been able to get right over the years is collecting data. Data has always been a holy grail for both marketers and salesmen as it helps with predicting the next point of action, purchase, and effective marketing strategy to deploy.

Automate repetitive tasks: in marketing there are certain tasks that are repetitive and trust me, they can be extremely daunting to undertake every now and then. AI allows you the opportunity to be more efficient and increases your productivity by availing you the opportunity to focus on more important tasks. A report by Mckinsey further buttresses this point as they say nearly 45% of tasks can be automated to achieve the afore mentioned benefits.

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Create a great consumer experience: what do consumers want? Many times, they want to save time, time is money, they say. Consumers want a vendor that can be swift and equally efficient. The more your brand or organization spends a lot of time dealing with mundane issues the more at risk you are to lose your consumer to your competition who is more agile. AI helps your organization attain agility quicker as it will deal with “mundane” issues while your staff can focus on dealing with consumers who require a more human approach to cater for their need.

Although AI is increasingly becoming the more intelligent with every new update it still doesn’t take away certain processes from staff. To adopt the right AI solution, you or a member of staff must devote sometime to brand audit – understand your strengths and weaknesses, also know what your competition is doing. Next, decisively outline what the desired AI tool should achieve and then adopt one.

In this age where the lines between marketing and sales are getting blurred with each passing second every marketer or salesman must be armed with AI to win.

Africa’s Owning the Spotlight

BEYONCE’S ALBUM “THE GIFT” HAS GOT THE WORLD VIBING TO THE SOUND OF AFRICA

Source: Waploaded

Source: Waploaded

Following a successful premier of the Lion King movie, star artiste Beyonce Knowles-Carter released a one of its kind album and it has got the world in some sort of “spirit” mode. The movie which would see the star artiste play the role of Nala (Simba’s love affair – in the movie) was originally released in 1994 as a cartoon produced by Walt Disney. I practically grew up watching that cartoon, I think I must have seen it nearly a thousand times, to the point I could recite the lines of each character word for word. To be honest, Scar was my best character – he had a goal and he was determined to get it no matter what – he was ambitious, although he was cunning, a sly guy, and a liar (characters I don’t approve of).

I am particularly excited that such an album was released in my time. I guess it’s just the right time for Africa to feel the limelight for a bit and an opportunity for us to get this sound that we love so much to eardrums beyond our shores on a larger scale. Beyonce Knowles-Carter said that this album is her to gift to Africa and as such she set out to work with the best of the best in the African entertainment industry. The album featured many of Africa’s finest musicians such as Wizkid, Yemi Alade, Burna Boy, Mr Eazi, Tiwa Savage, Tecno, Shatta Walle, and more. 

One of the most difficult things I encountered while listening to this album was picking a favourite song, the album is simply phenomenal and if you haven’t heard it yet, I TINK you should and if you already have, kindly leave your thoughts on any of the songs in the comment section below.

Entrepreneurs are the Real Avengers

AFRICA CONTINUES TO FLOURISH AS ENTREPRENEURS BEARS ITS FULL WEIGHT ON THEIR SHOULDERS.

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Nearly every definition you can find over the internet or in books around the word "Entrepreneur " is skewed towards portraying the entrepreneur as someone who starts a business or a “start-upper”. That doesn’t even nearly capture what the entrepreneur is about. His high coffee consumption, sleepless nights, persistent headaches aren’t just because he is trying to start a business but because he understands that he bears the weight of the world on his shoulder. He is saddled with the responsibility of providing a solution that caters for specific human needs – that’s how great businesses are born.

Entrepreneurs serve as a country's economic pillar, playing important roles in the country's economy, from creating new businesses, inventing goods and services which results in employment, thereby adding to the country's national income.

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Let me show you a direct representation of what entrepreneurs can do.

There are over 582 million entrepreneurs in the world. Africa as the second largest continent in the world has been blessed with an astonishing number of such individuals, with over 22 percent of its working population starting new businesses, which is the highest rate compared to any other region of the world. As a result of input from entrepreneurs, Nigeria's GDP increased by 1.9% in 2018 garnering $392.270 billion compared to 2017's $376.361billion. Nigeria's GDP has averaged $125.26 billion form 1960 until 2018 making an all-time high of $568.5 billion in 2014 – The Hill report.

Buoyed by a strong youth population, Africa is flourishing on the backs of these entrepreneurs. Vocational trainings are being introduced to both secondary and tertiary institutions in Nigeria in order to fuel the entrepreneurship drive in the nation. Thereby giving them the necessary tools to chart their own course.

The trend of entrepreneurship in Africa cannot go unnoticed as it leads the continent into a bright new future. They are the real avengers.

The Future of Marketing - Purpose Marketing

BRANDS ARE EXPLORING THE POSSIBILITY OF MAKING MONEY WITHOUT TRYING TO MAKE MONEY. READ THIS ARTICLE FOR CLARITY.

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Brands are no longer seeking to just sell products; they also want to impact culture and frame perceptions. It has now become unavoidably obvious that consumers are no longer just buying products, they buy an experience, they buy a personality, they buy a brand.

Take a look at yourself, the phone you have in your hand, the designer shoe or shirt you are currently wearing didn’t jump into your possession just because it’s beautiful, or durable, or matches your body, or some other stuff consumers naturally look out for while making a purchase. It is largely in your possession because of the perception attached to it, because of the way it makes you feel.

This reason has caused brands to not only develop their products but invest in enhancing their own personality. For example, you don’t just buy a Patek Phillipe you own one. If for any reason you do not understand this paragraph, kindly read through all over again, by the third time I’m certain you’ll get it.

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Truth is, brands don’t want to just sell to you, they want to be a part of your everyday life. There’s a plan, there’s a purpose, and that’s the future of marketing – Purpose Marketing.

 Meaningful marketing or Purpose marketing revolves around a company's greater purpose beyond just selling their products and services. In a recent publication by Accenture it is stated that “customers aren’t just making decisions based on the stalwarts of product selection or price. They’re now assessing what a brand says. What it does. What it stands for.” They aren’t chasing quantity but quality. They are seeking authenticity and relevance. They want to feel as though they are a part of something bigger. They are driven to connect, to grow, to make a difference. They are buying on belief.

Talent management is Beyond HR

EMPHASIS ARE BEING LAID ON HOW PEOPLE TREAT OTHER PEOPLE ESPECIALLY WITHIN THE WORKPLACE AND THIS COULD TRANSLATE INTO A MAKE OR BREAK SCENARIO.

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Truth is, no one wants to be treated poorly and everyone wants some form of guarantee and security. When you begin to treat people without any level of respect or utter disrespect they tend to leave you. Employers need to understand that the motivating factor for one to come work with you isn’t always money but whatever the case may be, they are giving of themselves (knowledge and expertise) to deliver value to your organization. This therefore means that both employee and employer are working with hands intertwined to achieve each others dreams (goals). This is where talent management becomes extremely important.

Talent Managers formerly known as Human Resource (HR) has evolved from being the police of the office (tracking and punishing people defaults) to actual people management (showing concern for staff). Many organizations have a problem with turnover rate and they are currently plagued with the curse of trying to drastically reduce it.

Also, the issue of skills gaps recognised in some organisation has become even more vital as the shelf life of certain skills decreases. Identifying, monitoring, assessing and most importantly, closing skills gaps have become talent developers chief concern.

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The need to keep learning has also become imperative for talent managers to address. In a world where none of us have any time, it turns out what we really want is a self-directed learning experience. Online learning means that employees have to take responsibility for their own learning journey, they choose what they want to learn and when to learn it. According to the report, over 40% of Gen Z and Millennial learners and 33% of Gen X and Boomer learners long for opportunities to create their own goals and choose their own learning content that will help them achieve those goals - Bizcommunity. 

In a nutshell, the Talent Manager’s new age responsibility is to not only boost employee retention but also to increase value derived from employees by recognising skill gaps and recommending appropriate measures such as trainings to fill it.