3.25billion photos shared a day. a day! That is insane when you think about it. Facebook now has over 2 Billion monthly users - or, one third of the planet.  A third if the planet is connected at any given time. One click away from, well, anything really.  There are now, on average, 40,000 Google searches every second. EVERY SECOND. That is around 3.5billion searches every day. 

It is mind boggling, yet equally terrifying at the same time. Whether we like it or not, we are slaves to social. You are reading this on either your laptop, tablet or smartphone - forecast to be 2.5billion in 2019. As a civilisation, we are generating more data daily than was created in the decades of the 50s & 60s. 

Yes, we are entering unprecedented times, the debate around fake news rages on, now we have the debate on net neutrality, or did we really? If you have deep enough pockets for Facebook adverts, it seems you can buy what you want and whom you want.  This piece in The Guardian makes for some sobering reading.  That said, one cannot ignore the power of adverts on Facebook, if used correctly and part of a wider content marketing strategy, not relying solely on them.  Fish where the Fish are, with a 3rd of the planet on Facebook at any given time, not a bad place to start. With an average of 5 plus decision makers and influencers as part of the buying process, it is highly likely that some of them will be on Facebook. I would argue that almost, if not all of them use Google to search for things.  What is their search intent telling you? Are you even listening to them on social, across all platforms? How can you use this to create a hyper-personalised buying journey? Do you even know or understand what your buying process is and how your clients buy from you. And I am not talking about your gut instinct, go and actually talk to them. Look at your website analytics. What is the data telling you? How can you use this to change the conversation you have? How can this be leveraged to help you create better data points at the start of the buying journey to then give you even better data outputs at the end of the buying journey, learn, iterate and start again.

AI, or a computer software programme with a given set of instructions, will help you access & understand this faster then ever before. However, if you do not even know what data points to look for, followed then by what questions you need to be asking, you have bigger problems to tackle than whether AI will help you or not. 

AI will not solve your marketing data challenge, if anything it can make it even more difficult to understand.  Garbage in.... If we take the Microsoft Social Engagement tool, which sits in Dynamics 365, powered by Azure's Cog & AI. It is an incredible piece of technology, which as a Microsoft Partner, I have. However, I have had to teach it, tell it what to look for and then make decisions based on what it tells me. Iterate, adjust and then learn again. You don't just plug it in and hey presto, as if by some piece of AI magic I get all the answers, far from it.

You won't be replaced by a robot, but by someone who is able to understand what data points you need to be looking at and what questions to ask.