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Tim Bond | Ipsos

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Welcome Tim Bond, Associate Director, Ipsos, sharing his insights on Generative AI, Gamification, Marketing Innovation & Marketing Skillsets, as part of the MarTech Thoughts series.

What is your industry? And how would you explain your job to a 5-year-old?

I’m a market researcher, specialising in media companies. Essentially, I work with the companies you listen, play, watch or use every day to help them understand what the world looks like today and tomorrow.

What is the one marketing platform/app/solution you can’t live without? Why?

I can’t live without a device/app that has an infinite battery life, storage capacity that is more than adequate (but is easily replaceable too), is malleable to the tasks I have and shareable with colleagues.

Ok…it’s my notebook. You will rarely see me without a physical notebook and they’re invaluable to my day-to-day life. While I have a host of digital services I use too, the ability to note, write and often draw out the things I’m working on is a tactile experience that I’ve not yet been able to replicate digitally.

How do you see the skillsets needed for the marketing profession changing?

The need for data and digital skills is not new, but it’s a continued challenge for all organisations. Not least because even those successfully addressing these skills gaps are doing so while the environment continues to evolve, meaning the skills we needed yesterday aren’t necessarily the same as those we need tomorrow.

What will be the next evolution in marketing technology that we can expect in the coming years?

After the initial hype around Generative AI, I expect the next major evolution to be organisations embedding these tools (alongside improved data quality processes and analytical AI) to enable marketers to create, execute, measure and optimise campaigns like never before.

What are the key challenges when it comes to implementing Chatbots for the first time?

Training. Just like hiring a new member of customer service staff, it takes time for them to learn the ropes and then get used to some of the queries they might get. Even if you’ve scripted everything already, applying those scripts to the real world is not as simple as copy and paste.

What is the scope of using AI and machine learning in Marketing Mix Modelling?

Game-changing, but also not a silver bullet. The ability to process this data into insights at speed and scale is huge, but the idea that any technology is going to be able to perfectly predict the future is fanciful at best. They will change the game, but the game will also change.

How could a marketer start utilising the Metaverse?

There are a multitude of ways brands can utilise the metaverse, but the first thing any marketer should do is first define the metaverse they’re targeting and ensure there’s an audience there they want to target. Then it’s about understanding how they can offer engaging experiences that truly add value.

With the advancement of AR & VR, how do you see these being utilised in Digital Storytelling?

These mixed realities offer huge opportunities for brands to offer consumers unique experiences and take them on a journey. The key, for marketers, will be connecting these experiences to the brand in order to drive outcomes that can be tangibly measured.

With more consumers being conscious of their data being shared, how do you overcome the growing concern?

Consumers want to understand what is being collected and why. So brands that are clear, transparent and upfront about what they would like to know and how they are (and aren’t) going to use it, will be the ones that will earn consumer trust.

What are your views on having a single stack? (e.g. Google or Adobe vs. a mix of best stacks for each function)

There are merits to having a stack built of the best solutions around and also to opting for a single provider. My view is that something between the two is likely the best option for most businesses, offering the reassurance and trust of a ‘primary’ stack provider, but the opportunity to build in the specific functions and utilities you might want from the best-of-breed too.

Which MarTech solution/platform will you invest in if you’re an angel investor?

Getting in on the ground floor of one of the big MarTech solutions providers for 10-15 years would have been an incredible opportunity to not just capitalise on this investment, but also watch the industry transform over that time period from the inside.

What’s the best approach/tools to understand customer pain points? Especially when the survey response rate is low.

Proactive customer insights. If response rates are low this might be telling you something already, but to understand customers, you need to find them and then listen. Whether you take a quantitative or qualitative approach, using an external provider to source and speak to your customers can unearth key pain points, as well as possible solutions.

How do you keep abreast of all the latest MarTech out there?

Read, listen, watch, ask. I read industry (and wider) news every day. I subscribe to more podcasts than I can keep track of and do my best to listen to most of these. I also watch others talk about the MarTech industry, whether in-person/virtually or live/recorded. I also ask questions whenever I have the chance to speak to someone actually on the ground in the MarTech industry. As a researcher in the space, rather than a marketer myself, it’s often these opportunities that are most valuable to understand what’s really going on in the industry.

Do you think people take influencer posts with a pinch of salt?

Recent scandals around influencer campaigns have certainly made some consumers question the claims they hear, holding the people they follow to account for the products they promote has also driven some influencers to be more selective about the brands they partner with too.

What are the top 3 things on your checklist when choosing the right influencer to work with?

  1. Are they speaking to your audience? (Whether that’s millions or hundreds, consider how many are your target audience…and how many aren’t).
  2. What are you asking them to do? (Are they testing something or just promoting it? Are you willing to hear their actual opinion?)
  3. How are you measuring success? (All-to-often overlooked is defining what success actually looks like and how you’re going to measure it).

How do you foresee the role of gamification across industries?

There are myriad opportunities for brands to gamify areas of their customer experience. Gamification can be a way to build brand awareness as well as attract, convert and retain customers. It’s not restricted to a specific industry either, but the key is ensuring the connection to the brand and that it matches the underlying goals of the business too!

What are the roadblocks in implementing gamification?

More often than not, the biggest roadblock is budget. Not necessarily the absence of it, but the justification. This is why it’s so important for gamification strategies to be clearly linked to business goals – not to mention have matching measurement strategies that can prove their success.

How would you use a million pounds?

I dream of starting my own cycling/board game cafe in (or near) my village, but I’d most likely buy myself a new bike before I did much else!

What’s the best advice someone has ever given you?

Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Whether you’re worried about looking stupid or don’t want to challenge a client, people are often tentative to just ask the questions that are on their mind. Early on in my career, I was encouraged to be inquisitive and want to understand how things work. It’s this encouragement that has led me to my role today and continues to fuel my willingness to keep asking questions for a living.

A big thank you to Tim Bond from Ipsos, sharing his insights on Generative AI, Gamification, Marketing Innovation & Marketing Skillsets.

If you want to connect with Tim after reading his MarTech Thoughts, please reach out to him via his LinkedIn Profile!

See more MarTech Thoughts interview posts here: https://themartechsummit.com/category/martech-thoughts/

Last updated: Sep 2023

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