AI Marketing: A Data-Driven Approach to Save Time and Increase Revenue

Aug 10, 2023 1:30 PM2:00 PM EST

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Key Discussion Takeaways:

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is not only intriguing but also powerful as a business tool. How can we harness AI’s strengths to transform business operations and, in turn, increase revenue?

In an increasingly data-driven business world, AI is becoming increasingly integrated with marketing strategies. Processes involved in AI-powered marketing can streamline business operations, save time and transform consumer experiences. Brittany Callahan’s insights shed light on how AI strategies play a multifaceted role in marketing, primarily through transforming business operations and personalizing consumer experiences. 

In this virtual event, Tiffany Serbus-Gustaveson sits down with Brittany Callahan, Director of Client Strategy at Attentive, to explore AI-powered marketing strategies. They discuss the importance of understanding AI models, the benefits of leveraging AI for personalization and operations, and the major stakeholders involved in the implementation of AI tools. 

Here’s a glimpse of what you’ll learn:

  • Which strategies should you prioritize when it comes to AI-powered marketing? 
  • Why should brands think about transparency when using AI with customer data?
  • What is a Customer Data Platform (CDP), and should brands invest in it?
  • How are brands leveraging AI imaging tools for marketing?
  • The most popular AI tools for marketing
  • How do you get started with an AI marketing strategy?
  • Different ways AI can free up time for a team
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Guest Speaker

Brittany Callahan

Brittany Callahan LinkedIn

Director of Client Strategy at Attentive

Brittany Callahan is the Director of Client Strategy at Attentive, a cutting-edge platform that reimagines how brands interact with mobile audiences. At Attentive, she engages with top brands, taking the lead on discussing brands’ perspectives on AI and debunking AI-associated biases.

Brittany has extensive experience in digital marketing from her years in the agency sector. She also has a robust background in Customer Data Platforms (CDP), which equips her with the expertise to navigate the interplay between data and marketing effectively.

Tiffany Serbus-Gustaveson LinkedIn

Senior Digital Strategist at BWG Connect

BWG Connect provides executive strategy & networking sessions that help brands from any industry with their overall business planning and execution. BWG has built an exclusive network of 125,000+ senior professionals and hosts over 2,000 virtual and in-person networking events on an annual basis.

Event Moderator

Brittany Callahan

Brittany Callahan LinkedIn

Director of Client Strategy at Attentive

Brittany Callahan is the Director of Client Strategy at Attentive, a cutting-edge platform that reimagines how brands interact with mobile audiences. At Attentive, she engages with top brands, taking the lead on discussing brands’ perspectives on AI and debunking AI-associated biases.

Brittany has extensive experience in digital marketing from her years in the agency sector. She also has a robust background in Customer Data Platforms (CDP), which equips her with the expertise to navigate the interplay between data and marketing effectively.

Tiffany Serbus-Gustaveson LinkedIn

Senior Digital Strategist at BWG Connect

BWG Connect provides executive strategy & networking sessions that help brands from any industry with their overall business planning and execution. BWG has built an exclusive network of 125,000+ senior professionals and hosts over 2,000 virtual and in-person networking events on an annual basis.

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Tiffany Serbus-Gustaveson

Senior Digital Strategist at BWG Connect

BWG Connect provides executive strategy & networking sessions that help brands from any industry with their overall business planning and execution.

Senior Digital Strategist Tiffany Serbus-Gustaveson runs the group & connects with dozens of brand executives every week, always for free.

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Discussion Transcription

Tiffany Serbus-Gustaveson  0:18  

Happy Thursday everybody, I am Tiffany Serbus-Gustaveson, a digital strategist with BWG Connect and we are a network and knowledge sharing group. We stay on top of the latest trends challenges whatever shaping the digital landscape, we want to know and talk about it. We are on track to do at least 500 of these virtual events this year, due to the increase in demand to better understand the digital space. We'll also be doing at least 100 in person small format dinners. So if you happen to be in tier one city in the US, feel free to shoot us an email, we'd love to send you an invite, the dinners are typically 15 to 20 people having a discussion around a certain digital topic. And it's always a fantastic time, we spend the majority of our time talking to brands, that's how we stay on top of the latest trends. We'd love to have a conversation with you feel free to drop me a line at tiffany T I F F A N Y And we can get some time on the calendar. It's from these conversations we understand the content you want to know about and it's also where we gain our resident experts such as Birol who is with us today. Anybody that we asked to teach the collective team has come highly recommended for multiple brands. So if you happen to have any need within the digital space, we have a shortlist of the best of the best. And we wouldn't be happy to provide that information to you. Also note if you have any hiring needs we do partner with a talent agency Hawkeye Search formally BWG Talents that we can put you in contact with as well. A few housekeeping items. First and foremost, we want this to be fun, conversational, educational. So drop as many questions comments you have into the chat, the q&a bar or feel free to email me at And we will be sure to get to them. Also note that this is a 30 minute session. So we'll be moving pretty fast. And we will formally wrap up at the 30 minute mark. So with that, let's roll and start to talk about AI marketing and a data driven approach to save time and increase revenue. The team at Attentive have been awesome partners and friends of the network. I'm gonna kick it off to you Brittany, if you want to introduce yourself, then we can dive right in.


Brittany Callahan  2:17  

Yeah, absolutely. Thank you, Tiffany. Hi, everyone. Thank you so much for joining. My name is Brittany Callahan. And I am the Director of Client Strategy at Attentive. I've been at Attentive almost two years and have been very much focused on AI, talking with top brands about you know how they're they're viewing AI, what they're doing with it, breaking down some of the biases, things like that, previously built my career in digital marketing on the agency side for a number of years, CDP and very happy at Attentive have right now.


Tiffany Serbus-Gustaveson  2:52  

Fantastic. All right, the chat is open, the q&a is ready to roll. So this was a very timely topic, because like I said, we talked to a lot of brands 1000s of brands collectively within our team, and so much chatter about AI. And it doesn't matter what industry you're in what job you have, you know, obviously this is very big news and the world of technology. And just like what does it mean for me? What does it mean for my team? So I would love from your lens and what you're seeing, and I know you've been immersed in a lot of this recently, a lot of research and, you know, what are you seeing, and especially when it comes to marketing, like what do those marketing professionals have to start thinking about when they're looking at their strategy for next year?


Brittany Callahan  3:36  

Yeah, totally. It's funny, you really can't get, you know, a number of of marketing professionals in the same room without AI coming up. I feel like it's coming up on every single call. Every conference, every conference, it feels like the agenda is stacked with, you know, AI topics are related. So you're certainly right. I think in today's marketing world, AI is absolutely becoming necessary to survive. And we're just kind of scraping the surface of that. We can all agree, I think at this point, it's not just hype. It's not just a buzzword or words. It's here to stay. And we need to figure out what that means for us. And I think a lot of brands are very much at that spot right now. So we think about like, why that's happening and kind of thinking about, you know, attentive specifically. So for those of you who may not know, attentive is really the leader in conversational commerce. So thinking about kind of reinventing the way that businesses communicate with their consumers. We are an SMS first platform and an email solution, helping everyone from like entrepreneurs, to enterprises, really strengthen relationships with their consumers in a super personal way, which is generally our mobile device. Probably like you sitting right here. Right. So I think when we think about that, there's a huge opportunity to continue to challenge ourselves. Marketers challenge themselves to continue to get super personalized to understand What your consumers want to hear. And to do so in a voice that makes sense. So when we take a step back and think about how that applies to AI, and how AI kind of fits into that, one of the reasons the landscape is very much leaning toward AI becoming a necessity for these brands, is because AI can truly analyze data, generate actionable insights, with the accuracy, speed, at scale, that really does go beyond those human capabilities. It doesn't only enhance the precision and this the speed of, you know, evaluating customer data, drawing, insights, conclusions. But it also enables personalized marketing at a scale that's like virtually impossible to achieve manually, especially if you happen to be a company or brand that maybe is operating on a leaner team, which I think we've all we've all been at some point. So in that, in that regard, you know, thinking about the market becoming increasingly competitive, consumers expect even more from brands. And we all know this. I mean, we're consumers first. And marketers second, probably, marketers who use AI tools do meet their consumers needs and expectations. And that's going to set them apart, and ideally help them win amongst their competitors. I think about 75 80% of businesses that have already adopted a I do believe that it's critical to their success. But I think on the flip side of that, we talk to brands every single day to tend to have that are a little bit apprehensive, still, they know it exists, but maybe they've heard the wild ChatGPT stories, you know, and things like that, that have created a little bit of concern about not having full control. So that's something that I think we'll touch on later throughout throughout the time today. But there is a huge potential for AI. And you know, what's possible. It's an incredibly fast paced, technological revolution that we are in. And we're also kind of figuring it out.


Tiffany Serbus-Gustaveson  7:07  

Absolutely. We have a question here. Can you share some specific examples of personalized marketing that's leveraging AI?


Brittany Callahan  7:16  

Yeah, absolutely. So I think a really great example, is with attentive creating and sending email marketing campaigns, or SMS campaigns, is one example of a task that can benefit from the assistance of AI. So what that would look like is a brand could potentially analyze subscribers behavior, purchase history, previous previous engagement, things like that. And AI can determine the optimal time to send emails to each individual, it can potentially personalized email content for better engagement, automate follow up emails based on the recipients response, even in instances where we do have access to like a product catalog, things like that, we are able to better identify what those users are interested in things like propensity to buy, kind of like a lookalike model of some sort is absolutely possible with AI. And that, of course, results in boosting campaign effectiveness, ideally, with minimal human intervention.


Tiffany Serbus-Gustaveson  8:19  

Is there a new level of transparency that brands have to think about when they're delving into that much consumer data? To let them be aware? Because that's, that seems like it's a lot of data that AI is analyzing that they may not be doing that at this time, when they're not using it.


Brittany Callahan  8:39  

Yeah, that's exactly right. There definitely is a greater sense of awareness and just initiative that I think needs to happen in those instances. And I think when we start to think about, you know, for brands that are dabbling into AI currently are looking to do so it is very much like, oh, crawl, walk, run approach, you want to learn about it, like, what are some of the the most popular AI tools out there? How does it work? How does that company feed their models so that it ideally eliminates as much biases or kind of controls the data as much as possible? Because what we do see in some instances with some third party, third party AI tools, is you know, at the end of the day, AI produces content based on human prompts and natural language models. So that means if someone feeds a bias prompt, or an incorrect set of data into an AI tool, that can absolutely make inferences that contain those same biases. So I think thinking about the types of tools that you're using, understanding how those models are built, how that kind of fits into your brand voice, and making sure that you are keeping an eye on the integrity of the data, how you're using it is super important, especially if you're newer to the AI space or wanting to just kind of dip your toes in it.


Tiffany Serbus-Gustaveson  10:05  

Yeah, that perpetuate devices, that's that's always comes up a lot. And as of now, there's nothing in the market per se, that can really prevent that it's more of like your own ownership of the data and making sure that it doesn't take over. Correct?


Brittany Callahan  10:21  

Exactly. That's exactly right. And when we start to hear, you know, if you listen to podcasts like I do on AI, there's always the questioning of we've all heard, you know, is AI going to take over our jobs? Or what what could happen all have the potential, you know, worst case scenarios, not to say that's not potential, probably outside of my scope. But I think at the end of the day, like there is that hybrid approach, and that's the successful approach at this point, AI is not like a set it and forget it forever kind of approach. In most cases, for a lot of brands, it is something where I mean, with attentive, you have the potential or the ability to essentially say like, Yes, I'm going to look to AI to guide me or to essentially do the work 90% of the way, but I want to be the one at the end of the day to look at it and to validate, you know, yeah, this makes sense for my brand. Or maybe it doesn't, and I want to kind of put it back in and see what else comes out. So I think that hybrid model is something that helps make sure that there is some sort of system of checks and balances. And then I think it's up to the brands to remain vigilant and make sure that the content is both inclusive and sensitive.


Tiffany Serbus-Gustaveson  11:37  

Absolutely cool. Questions, comments, put in the chat that q&a, and we will get to them in the next 15 minutes or so the idea of the personalization. So again, going back to like our conversations we hear, doesn't matter, the industry, what they're selling, everybody wants to understand, like how to be more, meet the customer where they want to be met, and have more personalization. And so this, what it sounds like, is definitely an opportunity with AI. I tend to hear a lot of like the the negative sides of it, like we've talked about previously, but like this is truly an opportunity to maybe be able to get more of that personalization with your customer without having to shell out a lot of money for I don't know, like, the CDP has come up a lot. You know, like, oh, do I need to invest in a CDP? And like, what does that mean and this and that. But this could be a way to test per se, and be able to personalize with maybe not making that leap that quickly into investing in something that's higher price point, like a a CDP.


Brittany Callahan  12:42  

Totally, that's so interesting, because CDP is like based on data, right? It's like the plumber of data in some way. And it's funny when you think about that, and we start to talk about the power of data and what companies are doing with it, and how expensive and like cumbersome that can get sometimes, I think around like 87 85% of marketers say that data is their most underutilized asset, which is huge. And when we think about why that is, it's not because they don't know that there's power there, there's insights, and there's revenue on the table as a result of maybe not doing as much with that data as they want. But it's usually a resource thing, right? It's like they don't have enough people to do that work. And that is where AI is capable of providing, we would say better insights in most cases. But it is capable of solving that problem and making sure that for companies especially who who do invest in CDP's, or things like that, like there is no need to leave anything on the table or to be investing a ton of resources and like the day to day tactical kind of work if AI can do that in a way that, you know, makes data entry tracking analysis significantly easier. And then it can also you know, help with actionable suggestions based on the insights that it's driving, which is generally another team in some organizations or another step for a human to actually take. So there are a lot of benefits. And I think absolutely like the the Insight piece is huge. It is data driven. And then it's also kind of the ability to just lift off some of those day to day tasks from your team so that they can focus on some of the strategic work that probably makes more sense.


Tiffany Serbus-Gustaveson  14:32  

Yeah, absolutely more impactful. Now that question here. How are brands leveraging imaging AI tools like Midjourney for marketing purposes?


Brittany Callahan  14:41  

Oh, we see quite a bit. I think that the ability to use AI for copies suggestions and image suggestions or pulling in like Product Catalog images from your website and kind of edge adjusting them for the specific campaign or use case. Those are kind of the most comfortable ways I think that brands are starting to use AI because it generally especially with with our tools specifically, it gives you the opportunity to kind of put in what you're looking for. So we do see it often and it would give you the ability if you are a you know Shoe Company for example and you're creating a promotion for you know, fall let's think Ugg boots one of my favorite things though I live in San Diego. You know Ugg boots, where do you want them to be you want them to be in a cozy chair, maybe you want the couch to be white, kind of a Restoration Hardware vibe, a cup of coffee on the table, woman working with fantastic Ugg boots on, you can essentially type that description in or something along those lines, cozy Ugg boots fall coffee table, and it will essentially a lot of these kinds of instances will essentially give you that image. And in some cases, it will give you multiple images for you to look at. That is something with with attentive AI tool, you know, we have magic message, which essentially, is our generative AI functionality. It's built right into the platform. And you can do this super quickly by either turning on Product Catalog images, or simply uploading an image of your product and letting I take it from there. So same kind of thing with copy, you can make it funny. Whatever your brand voice is, whatever the messages, you have the ability to customize it. It is something we are seeing a lot. It's kind of like that safe zone because AI won't create those and trigger your message or trigger your campaign out. It will create those for you and then say, Hey, John, like, take a look. Does this make sense? If you're satisfied, go? Do you want to do an AB test? That's also very easy. Yeah, great question.


Tiffany Serbus-Gustaveson  16:52  

Very good question. That's weird. Another one too? What are the most popular AI tools for marketing? That's not just for copy or image generation?


Brittany Callahan  17:03  

Oh, that is a good one, I think when we start to think about kind of taking a step back from the specific tools and starting to think about, like, how those are, are being used, because I think depending on the brand, both the brand sophistication and comfort with AI in general, but also the brand itself and like what kind of things they do, we see a ton of focus and brands using AI for what we what we touched on, of course, but also there is an effort to you know, simplify operations to understand, you know, ways to better engage, and maybe train or onboard teams is a huge use case. So depending on the specific use case, in the specific brand, I'd say there's a ton of tools, it does come down to simply doing the research, because I think ChatGPT is probably one that we all know very, very well. But like attentive and building our AI solution, it is very much based on like a group of different technologies. I think ChatGPT is in there somewhere. But it is very much focused on not putting all of your eggs in one basket, so to speak, but recognizing what you're looking to accomplish for us, the bigger the data, the better, we have trillions and trillions of messages and data points that we're operating on. And that to us instills a greater sense of confidence. So in a lot of cases, it is challenging to just identify one solution and say, Great, this is what I'm going with, or you identify someone like attentive or another, you know, technology or partner that you trust, and you know that they've built it in a very meaningful and confident way.


Tiffany Serbus-Gustaveson  18:51  

Got it. Fantastic. As we get here towards the end, I wanted to touch upon, you know, with the AI marketing strategy, if you're just getting started, where do you start if you're trying to create those omni channel messages via email or SMS?


Brittany Callahan  19:10  

Yeah, that's a great question. And an exciting one. It's, it's, um, yeah, everyone is very much in a different journey. I mean, we, my team and attentive, we work with over 8000 massive brands globally. And thinking about all of the different conversations we have, with each brand. Every brand really is in a different spot with their journey in AI and their familiarity. So I think kind of using the crawl, walk run analogy. I think you absolutely educate yourself on it. You can listen to podcasts, you can read up find neutral sources that will simply educate on like, how is an AI model built? What does that mean? How do you ensure it's statistically significant and kind of what we're tied to making sure that you can trust it and the biases are removed and so forth. So I think the first step is absolutely familiarizing yourself with some of the more prominent AI tools, experiment with how you can use them to support your marketing efforts or your internal, you know, challenges and things like that. We've all heard, you know, early ChatGPT, stories, things like that. But there's so much more to learn about. The landscape is developing and advancing, I feel like daily. If you are using AI for the first time, I think some initial ideas that are more actionable that you can start doing is, you know, one, first and foremost, use it to simplify complex ideas. So try to take something that maybe if you are someone who sends a long monthly brand newsletter for your customers, Someone's probably writing that it's going through multiple versions and edits, take that at some point, put it in and see what kind of results come back. So you feed the text into an AI tool, ask it to give you suggestions to simplify your language, paraphrase, make sentences shorter, and it will likely condense that communication and ideally result in more powerful communication. Another way to do it is like creating brand visual assets. That's what we talked about with the images. Attentive AI is a great way to do that. Upload your image, draw from Product Catalog, anything like that, that's more of the AI image generation tool for email and SMS. It helps quickly modify images, you can make sure that it has your brand voice and things like that, with AI, for example, or excuse me, with attentive AI, for example, you simply define what you want. And then you can make adjustments on the style, color orientation, whatever you need. High performing copy, I think is another one that is just huge. It is super challenging to write fresh copy. For every email and SMS marketing campaign. We see this all the time. And even when we do have super talented copywriters, and creative masterminds within your organization, they hit creative walls, there's distraction, there's prioritization challenges. So that is where tools like attentive AI, magic message, kind of feature can generate copy in seconds, fits your brand voice. And those kinds of things are helpful. I think that's probably a really good spot to start. And then I think, you know, when we think about repurposing content for other channels, that is an area that you can get crafty to so like 94% of marketers currently repurpose, repurpose content, or plan to do so say from email to bring in to SMS, or whatever that might be. And that's because we know consumers view like 12-13 Digital touchpoints, usually before making a purchasing decision. So this makes it critical for marketers, marketers like yourselves to be consistent with messaging the tone across those multiple platforms. So when repurposing content, it is a great tactic, but it's also time consuming. You want to make sure it's personal and it's catered to each audience. And AI is a great way to do that. Because you can simply put in copy into the AI tool and ask for simple tweaks or modifications that might make sense for different different channels.


Tiffany Serbus-Gustaveson  23:23  

So I'm so curious about the collaboration of teams. So who are the stakeholders that you typically see, when we are onboarding, let's say a solution like Attentive like, who are those, those key team players? That should be a part of this conversation and an onboard?


Brittany Callahan  23:40  

Yeah, that's a great question. So absolutely. The marketing side of the house generally, you know, CMO, VP of, of marketing, something along those lines, who is overseeing the broader ecosystem, I think where we maybe see things not go as well as we'd want from the start is when it is someone who is simply focused on SMS or the email solution, because SMS and email and AI in general, should be part of the broader ecosystem, it should not be viewed as like a siloed channel or a siloed tactic per se. So I think make sure that you have someone from your organization or if you're that person, make sure you're involved, who has a greater scope of the broader marketing vision for your organization. I think that's a big piece. Technically, I mean things with, I think, integrating with attentive or onboarding with attentive is super, super easy. The AI tools, almost all of them do feel right into the platform. So with us, it's extremely easy. We don't generally need to get too involved on the technical or dev side or anything like that. But I do know with some other organizations or tools, I think that can be a little bit more of a heavy lift. So that is something to keep in mind based on your team's bandwidth initiative. So if maybe you are a little bit leaner, you are looking at really being as efficient as possible in that regard, you may want to consider an AI tool or solution closer to you know what attentive offers, or someone who does have a lighter lift. And you can kind of plug it in and gives you the ability to test and play with that too, and make sure that you're comfortable with it.


Tiffany Serbus-Gustaveson  25:20  

Awesome. Well, since for you know, what, four months away from the holidays, not even product recommendations, you had touched upon that, but we'd love to like, dig in a little bit deeper if we could of like, how, how does that work with AI? And how can it free up more time for your team?


Brittany Callahan  25:42  

Yeah, totally. That's a great question. And it's crazy that we are talking about that. Black Friday, Cyber Monday for us is massive. And we've already started our prep sessions, which we all love and hate at the same time. The absolutely, I think understanding kind of the ability to look at data and know that you are segmenting and reaching your consumers in a super meaningful way. We've all heard the term you know, right message right time. And right person, how do you get there you get there by understanding what their interests are. So are you someone who tends to shop for women's clothing, men's clothing, kids like drawing those kinds of insights, and even distilling it down beyond that can really, really help make sure that you are reaching the right consumer using your marketing dollars effectively, and AI by the way of drawing greater insights and analyzing data on the spot in real time, can actually allow you very, very quickly to leverage that to automate every step in the campaign creation process. And that can save your team time, but it can also make sure that it is very much factual, data driven information that's informing the insights, segmentation. I think, you know, with attentive, like I mentioned, we have about 1.5 trillion consumer data points across 70 different verticals. So the amount of data you're able to collect and understand about your consumers, really does allow you to get hyper focused with understanding what they might want to purchase, or what they might be most engaged in. And that will say, save you money. It'll save you time and ideally result in super happy customers who feel really understood.


Tiffany Serbus-Gustaveson  27:35  

Yeah, given that personalized journey, and that's awesome. Yeah, well, Brittany, we move fast, but we did it. So thank you so much for the content, the intel it's always a fascinating conversation with AI. We definitely encourage a follow up conversations with the Attentive team and we'd love to have a conversation with you. That's how we get the content ideas for our future events. So with that, it's a wrap Brittany take care recover from the Taylor Swift concert, take a cough drop or something, you know as your bracelet awesome and take care.

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What is BWG Connect?

BWG Connect provides executive strategy & networking sessions that help brands from any industry with their overall business planning and execution. BWG has built an exclusive network of 125,000+ senior professionals and hosts over 2,000 virtual and in-person networking events on an annual basis.
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