Interviews, insight & analysis on digital media & marketing

2020 Visions: Narrow AI, Customer Experience and future of work

As we head into what is set to be a seminal year for the digital industry, NDA has been talking to leaders across the market to hear their thoughts on what 2020 holds.

Richard Robinson is Managing Director at Xeim, Econsultancy and Oystercatchers. Previously a marketer at companies including The Coca-Cola Company and McDonald’s, he also worked at agencies including Publicis. He’s an award-winning diversity advocate and is ranked in the top 12 men championing women in business by the Financial Times.

We caught up with Richard to hear his 2020 Visions and like many other of the experts in this series, one of the things he’s keenest to see is the continued seamless melding of digital techniques, technologies and attitudes into mainstream marketing.

What has been the most important development of 2019 in the digital industry and your professional highlight of the last decade?

What’s excited me most is watching classic and digital marketing fuse effortlessly into customer-centric, digitally-enabled modern marketing.

RIP the binary labels of digital and not-digital marketing that ruled the day in 2010.    

What are you most excited about in digital in 2020?

Narrow AI. The ability for brands to start harnessing the possibilities of AI can now be trialled and optimised in something as simple as an email subject-line.

Why should advertisers be excited about digital in 2020?

People no longer think in terms of their digital and non-digital worlds; they just think, act and do across every physical and digital touchpoint they come into contact with every day.

Customer Experience is exploding and there are unlimited possibilities for advertisers if you have the insights, ideas, and perseverance to write your future.

We are seeing a plethora of new companies entering the space. Other than your own company, who are you most excited about?

I’m loving all things Dexcom right now. The ability for Type 1 Diabetics to monitor blood/glucose in real-time is adding years to people’s lives. As someone who lives with a T1D I’m witnessing living proof of the power that phygital is bringing to life.   

What is your one Christmas Wish for the digital industry?

My one big wish for Christmas is that we wake up in 2020 and stop pretending that the 38-hour week is relevant in a world where people consume content and purchase product 168 hours a week however and whenever they want.

What we think of as work is no longer working — we need to tear it down and start again.