This post is part of our new Future of Marketing series which interviews the leading founders and executives who are on the front lines of the industry to get a better understanding of what problems the industry is facing, what trends are taking place, and what the future looks like.
The following is an interview we recently had with Marie Outtier, Co-Founder and CEO of Aiden.ai.
1. What’s the history of Aiden? Where and how did you begin?
MO: It started in the summer of 2016.
My friend PJ (now Aiden.ai’s co-founder/CTO) and I had both started separate entrepreneurial endeavours and often met to discuss the next big paradigm shifts in the years to come.
PJ is a software engineer and a product guy who spent 10 years at Apple, and I come from a business & marketing background. Having worked on Siri early days, PJ was fascinated by the possibilities offered by virtual assistants, and I was convinced that B to B applications of AI-powered assistants were vastly unexplored.
We both came to the conclusion that the future of work would look very different thanks to AI. 2016 was rather early to see concrete applications but fast forward to 18 months later, we have built Aiden, an AI-powered coworker for marketers raised a round of $750k seed round with AI and Martech experts as investors and hired a team of 8 talented software engineers and data scientist between London and SF.
3. What specific problem does Aiden solve? How do you solve it?
MO: Imagine having a software which behaves like a marketing analyst:
* Aiden understands plain English – You communicate with Aiden using natural language on your usual work chat (Slack, Skype)
* Just like an analyst, Aiden has access to ad spend data (Facebook for now) and crunches that data to extract valuable insights, spend projections and anomalies in the spend. Unlike an analyst, Aiden is great at dealing with high degrees of complexity and large data sets, in real time.
* A great analyst would not only automate reports, analyse data, detect anomalies and extract insights. They would draw conclusions on the best possible course of action going forward.
Marketers have little difficulty surfacing the data, dashboards do that rather well. Where they struggle is in surfacing insights from those large data sets. Until today, that is largely done by human intuition. With Aiden, we’re bringing them a sidekick which allows them to combine human intuition with algorithmic power, and deep domain knowledge.
3. What’s the future of marketing?
Prediction #1: Marketers taking their spend back in-house and combining this with deep tech solutions.
Prediction #2: Mass adoption of AI-powered assistants with the understanding that those assistants are giving marketers and analysts their humanity back by allowing them to not robotically produce reports and runs queries.
Prediction #3: No more black box. There is a shift towards transparency in ad spend placements and optimisation strategies driven by algorithmic decisions. Marketers are rightfully becoming increasingly intolerant to ad fraud, wastage, and opacity.
4. What are the top 3 technology trends you’re seeing in marketing?
AI all around, and in 3 different subfields:
Trend #1: Machine learning (used for anomaly detection, pattern recognition, predictive analytics)
Trend #2: Natural Language Processing (NLP) the capacity for software to understand humans, which is the exact opposite of what is asked of marketers today
Trend #3: Image recognition – this technology is namely used to develop AIs capable of reproducing creative processes such as creating on-brand campaign imagery from scratch.
5. Why is the marketing industry ripe for disruption?
MO: Marketers, similarly to finance and healthcare workers, are asked to make hundreds of micro-decisions a day, on fragmented and fast-moving data.
On the other hand, Machines excel at combining, analyzing and extracting insights from large and complex data sets. The future of all “knowledge workers” will look very different thanks to AI. Given the benefits and help to decision-making, machines are starting to provide in a more human way, it is a no-brainer that the status quo in marketing is about to be disrupted, for the best!
About Marie Outtier
Marie is the Co-Founder and Chief Executive Office of Aiden.ai, the AI-Powered coworker that assists marketers in the same way a skilled analyst would.
Born and educated in France, she completed a business degree in Marseille's Business school and started her career in media and advertising in Paris. She moved to London in 2011, and held business development roles at adtech startups before starting Aiden.ai with ex-Apple co-founder & CTO PJ Camillieri in 2016.
She spends her time between London and San Francisco.
Her company Aiden.ai is backed by some of the world's leading deep learning and NLP experts and is headquartered in London, with operations in SF, where the majority of Aiden.ai's clients are based.