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Will the Future Still Have a Place for the Intuitive Marketer?

Marketing Horizons Will the Future Still Have a Place for the Intuitive Marketer?

With the rising demand for marketing accountability, and the emphasis being placed on data-driven decision-making, is the intuitive marketer under threat of extinction? Our guest, Susan K. Jones, says that AI and science will allow the intuitive marketer of the future not only to survive but to thrive. Listen in as we discuss how smarter AI and tech will lead to smarter “informed intuition” for marketers everywhere.

Susan is the author, co-author, or editor of more than 30 books. Academically, she is a tenured full professor of marketing at Ferris State University in Big Rapids MI, and she is also a marketing practitioner with a background in banking, collectibles, insurance, and business-to-business.

Ruth Stevens: What do we mean by intuitive marketer?

Susan K. Jones: Have you ever taken the Myers–Briggs test? It has four facets of the personality: introversion vs. extraversion, judging vs. perceiving, thinking vs. feeling, and the last one, intuitive vs. sensing. Only 26% of people, according to Myers-Briggs, test as intuitive. Sensing people king of live in the now, focusing on what’s on the surface while the intuitive person just naturally tries to find deeper meaning in things. In a recently Forbes magazine article, they were talking about the need to move toward informed intuition. When I was a copywriter, I was lucky enough that most of my bosses would allow me to infiltrate the target market by going where the customers were to get to know how they thought and felt beyonf just what they do. Nowadays, we have more data, but we still need to look at and test what is really going to work with our customers.

Cyndi Greenglass: With the rise of accountability in all things that we do today, are intuitive people in jeopardy?

Susan K. Jones: This has been happening for some time, the chief financial officer saying prove the value of every cent you spend. Direct marketing has always been based on results, but sometimes general advertising will say I’ll just go with my gut. Many times marketers are not very close to the customer profile, so we really need to use customer data to get close to the customer.

Ruth Stevens: Can AI tools actually mimic what an intuitive marketer should be doing?

Susan K. Jones: I did do some research and I found a tool called Jasper. I also looked at the testimonials and they were mostly copywriters. They said this is a great starting point, but it's not the copy, I need to go in and touch up the copy a bit. It helps some in the front end, especially if you have to do a lot of research for blogs. Jasper will start with a paragraph on a topic and ask if it is on the right track. If so, it goes and gets more.

Cyndi Greenglass: Where do you think the future is for the intuitive marketer? Will they survive or become a dinosaur?

Susan K. Jones: I do think AI is going to get smarter, just as chat bots have. As for advertising, digital marketing academics are doing some interesting things with AI already. There’s a lot coming in the future, but I’d like to see where some of these things will be in a year or so. Right now, the intuitive marketer is still needed, and can find ways to use AI to thrive.

Key Takeaways/Three Little Piggies

  • Data still needs interpretation. All of the data in the world still needs a skilled marketer to put into context.
  • Can AI do the job of creating the “big idea” required in awareness advertising? So far, no.
  • Neuroscience, AI, and related tools continue to provide insights and capabilities, so students and new entrants to the field of marketing should look to leverage these skills.

Marketing Communications Today presents Horizons, it’s forward-thinking, looking ahead, through the front windshield and beyond, into the marketing future. Join Cyndi and Ruth bi-weekly for new ideas, technologies, tools and strategies that are emerging to help marketers navigate over the marketing horizon.

Meet our guest

Susan K. Jones

Susan K. Jones is a full, tenured Professor of Marketing at Ferris State University in Big Rapids, MI, where she is entering her 33rd year of teaching. Susan's practitioner background includes work at agencies and companies in fields including banking, collectibles, insurance, and business-to-business. Originally a specialist in creative direct marketing, she has broadened her work, research, and teaching into digital marketing and social media. The author, co-author or editor of more than 30 books, Susan is an active volunteer focusing on education and child advocacy. She serves as a trustee of The Ferris Foundation. She holds bachelor's and master's degrees in advertising from Northwestern University. Married to husband Bill, Susan has two married sons and five grandchildren. She lives in Ada, MI.

Meet the hosts

Cyndi Greenglass

Cyndi W. Greenglass is a founding partner and president at Livingston Strategies, a data-informed, strategic consulting firm that helps clients develop, execute, and measure their customer communications with a close focus on results. Cyndi has razor-sharp strategic skills matched by impeccable on-the-ground savvy and tactical abilities. She is an Adjunct Instructor in the Data Marketing Communications online master's degree program from West Virginia University.

Greenglass has twice been named into the Top 100 Influential BTB Marketers by Crain’s BtoB Magazine and was the 2012 CADM Chicago Direct Marketer of the Year. She is a member of the Board of Advisors for BRAND United and has taught, trained and presented at over 50 conferences throughout the world.

Ruth Stevens

Ruth P. Stevens consults on customer acquisition and retention, for business-to-business clients. Ruth serves on the boards of directors of the HIMMS Media Group, and the Business Information Industry Association. She is a trustee of Princeton-In-Asia, past chair of the Business-to-Business Council of the DMA, and past president of the Direct Marketing Club of New York.

Ruth was named one of the 100 Most Influential People in Business Marketing by Crain’s BtoB magazine, and one of 20 Women to Watch by the Sales Lead Management Association. She serves as a mentor to fledgling companies at the ERA business accelerator in New York City.


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