New consulting group aims to help marketers tap cognitive computing and analytics

Lead partner for KPMG's new division, Solution 49x, talks about the challenges marketing departments face around digital transformation

Cognitive computing and artificial intelligence have the power to transform marketing and advertising by bringing greater efficiency and effectiveness to the marketing function.

That’s the view of KPMG lead partner and head of the consulting group’s new Solution 49x business, Rod Bryan, who caught up with CMO recently to discuss the business’ go-to-market strategy, as well as how the operational structure of marketing needs to change in order to meet customer expectations.

One of Solution 49x’s core focuses is on bringing AI and cognitive capabilities to bear in the marketing arena. And that, according to Bryan, is very much a conversation about how marketing maximises technology’s potential for speed and agility.

“Most organisations can get stuff done, what they can’t do is get things done at scale or in an agile way,” he claimed. “That’s where AI and machine learning will really change the way you utilise these technologies to create far more impact and to manage the environment you are designing.”

As an example, Bryan said many large organisations today will have more than 100 models in their marketing department. “But they could use 1000 if they can make that be cost, process effective and accurate,” he said. “In marketing, the more granular you get, the more you are able to tailor messages for your consumer base.”

Solution 49x is a newly formed team within the KPMG business. The emphasis is on helping organisations design their processes, organisational structures and skillsets to into analytics, cognitive and digital capabilities for better marketing and customer engagement.

Bryan and his founding team members have been in consulting for several years before moved across to KPMG last October. To date, Solution 49X has recruited 30 staff including data scientists and modellers, process consultants and architects, digital experts, trained cognitive and AI/machine learning specialists and some behavioural science.

“We decided five years ago that we didn’t want to just do analytics, we wanted to create a factory concept around insights, connectivity, autonomics, and how that impacts product design, customer journeys and campaign management, to take a business outcome view,” Bryan explained.

“It’s about how you manage when you’re moving into an environment where you have 10 to 50 times the scaling of campaigns you’ve been used to running in the past, how you handle content, or how you create customer experience journeys and manage content across that.”

According to Bryan, every marketer must be well-versed in data and technology in order to function successfully.

“There’s no such thing as a marketing department that doesn’t need technology skills at the moment,” he said. “The issue is how organisations shift from being interested in machine learning, to pragmatically exploiting it and creating value with it. That requires real design work and a real understanding of what your team does, and what you need to transition in order to become a far more dynamic and agile group.”

While most organisations know they need to find a way to keep up with rapidly changing consumer expectations, many are struggling to take the technological, process and cultural steps necessary to do so. Bryan suggested most organisations are nowhere near well organised enough to meet customer expectations now and into the future.

“The consumer is moving so fast, as practitioners we find organisations struggling with how to bring all the elements together,” he commented. “For example, they’re struggling with programmatic buying and capabilities that are not linked to a total platform of marketing capability. They’re buying [advertising] real estate that’s not aligned to the total journey design.”

Another major issue is being able to action customer insights. An example Bryan pointed to is around audience segmentation.

“Marketers may have spent $300,000 with someone to come up with a great combination of lists, mosaic and so on,” he said. “So now I have insight into who buys my product. But what do I do with that? Am I changing campaigns, can I link that to data to run my propensity to buy and churn models against those segments?

“Unless you can make use of these, it has limited practical value. It’s funny how many organisations are willing to spend on interesting.”

Bryan also saw a similar issue around marketing technology purchasing.

“Organisations are often buying technology but don’t understand in-depth what their needs are or understand they have specific requirements,” he said. “You need to have a vision of where you want to be, not what you currently want. Then buy capability to get you on that journey.

“Take campaign management: Is it a technology, business or procurement choice? The reality is it’s all of these. And marketing can’t do it without the IT folks being a big partner in this, but that’s often not the case.”

Follow CMO on Twitter: @CMOAustralia, take part in the CMO conversation on LinkedIn: CMO ANZ, join us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CMOAustralia, or check us out on Google+: google.com/+CmoAu

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Show Comments

Latest Videos

Conversations over a cuppa with CMO: Microsoft's Pip Arthur

​In this latest episode of our conversations over a cuppa with CMO, we catch up with the delightful Pip Arthur, Microsoft Australia's chief marketing officer and communications director, to talk about thinking differently, delivering on B2B connection in the crisis, brand purpose and marketing transformation.

More Videos

JP54,D2, D6, JetA1 EN590Dear Buyer/ Buyer mandate,We currently have Available FOB Rotterdam/Houston for JP54,D2, D6,JetA1 with good and w...

Collins Johnson

Oath to fully acquire Yahoo7 from Seven West Media

Read more

Great content and well explained. Everything you need to know about Digital Design, this article has got you covered. You may also check ...

Ryota Miyagi

Why the art of human-centred design has become a vital CX tool

Read more

Interested in virtual events? If you are looking for an amazing virtual booth, this is definitely worth checking https://virtualbooth.ad...

Cecille Pabon

Report: Covid effect sees digital events on the rise long-term

Read more

Thank you so much for sharing such an informative article. It’s really impressive.Click Here & Create Status and share with family

Sanwataram

Predictions: 14 digital marketing predictions for 2021

Read more

Nice!https://www.live-radio-onli...

OmiljeniRadio RadioStanice Uzi

Google+ and Blogger cozy up with new comment system

Read more

Blog Posts

A Brand for social justice

In 2020, brands did something they’d never done before: They spoke up about race.

Dipanjan Chatterjee and Xiaofeng Wang

VP and principal analyst and senior analyst, Forrester

Determining our Humanity

‘Business as unusual’ is a term my organisation has adopted to describe the professional aftermath of COVID-19 and the rest of the tragic events this year. Social distancing, perspex screens at counters and masks in all manner of situations have introduced us to a world we were never familiar with. But, as we keep being reminded, this is the new normal. This is the world we created. Yet we also have the opportunity to create something else.

Katja Forbes

Managing director of Designit, Australia and New Zealand

Should your business go back to the future?

In times of uncertainty, people gravitate towards the familiar. How can businesses capitalise on this to overcome the recessionary conditions brought on by COVID? Craig Flanders explains.

Craig Flanders

CEO, Spinach

Sign in