Interviews, insight & analysis on digital media & marketing

Managing risk and ensuring project success using AI and ML

By Saranya Babu, Senior Vice President of Marketing, Wrike 

This year, brands have found themselves under increased pressure to define who they are and what they stand for. Customers, investors, prospects and the wider public, are all paying close attention to what companies are saying, and more importantly, what they are doing.

Unsurprisingly, this has highlighted the vital function of the marketing department. Acting in many ways as the face of an organisation, marketing teams across the board have been working to create an overarching image that represents their business in the best way possible.

From defining and managing the brand, to developing and executing relevant campaigns, it has been the responsibility of these employees to proactively influence what people think, and say, about the company.

At a time when brand awareness, attracting new customers, and clear communications are proving critical to business survival, marketing departments must do everything they can to ensure the success of their projects.

High velocity needs real-time results

Throughout the pandemic, marketers have had no choice but to adapt. While some (41%) have reported building teams more rapidly than prior to the COVID-19 outbreak, others have been dealing with budget cuts. In addition, almost half have created cross-functional teams to deal with the crisis.

With things constantly changing at such a high velocity, having instant access to real-time metrics is critical for teams. They need to be able to understand how campaigns are progressing, as well as where adjustments need to be made, in order to make the right investments for continuous growth.

However, this is easier said than done. At any given time, thousands of ad, email and social campaigns could be running alongside each other. Operating on old data, therefore – even by a day or two – can have a profound impact on the final outcome and success of a project.

With no room for error, it’s essential for marketers to have full visibility across all activity. Especially as cross-team collaboration continues and remote working removes the ease of in-person communication.

Predicting, managing and mitigating risk

In many cases, figuring out the status of a campaign and knowing where delays could impact it is half the job. As such, marketing departments need to be able to predict potential road-blocks before they occur, alerting project and team leaders of any soon-to-be issues. Using a combination of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) technologies, teams can do just that.

Through identifying signals and patterns based on hundreds of factors related to past campaign results, work progress, organisation history, and work complexity, these technologies can identify at-risk projects with early diagnosis and make recommendations for timely remediation.

With intelligent insights to hand, teams can move from identifying the risk – which has already been done for them – to the most important part, managing and mitigating it. This can be done by determining a project’s ‘risk tolerance’. Put simply, how much risk can you allow before you need to act. This is an essential part of any project management process, helping marketers decide on the most effective response.

Value-based decision making

In addition to aiding decision-making in relation to potential project threats, AI and ML technologies are also being deployed by marketing teams to better manage workloads based on business value.

Using task prioritisation recommendations, staff are able to focus on activities that have the greatest impact. Not only does this have a more profound impact on the company’s bottom line, it also means that employees are able to step away from repetitive, manual tasks and make better use of their time. By setting up marketing automation workflows to include both a trigger and an action, teams can sit back and let technology take over.

The marketing department plays a critical role in helping to build and publicise the overall image of a company. It not only represents the business in the desired way, but does so to the relevant people, at the right time, using the most effective methods.

During the pandemic, as priorities have changed, so too has the way that we engage and respond to brands. As consumers, we’re now much more focused on why something is being said or done, as well as how this makes us feel.

Not only is this new for the public, it’s a new realm for brands and their marketing departments. As such, there is a lot of trial and error to come. Error, however, is something that businesses cannot afford to risk given current circumstances. Profitability needs to be front of mind. Therefore, generating content and campaigns that resonate is more important than ever before, making real-time insights and more informed decision-making critical to success.