AOL Data Summit: Designing Brand Breakthroughs in the Cognitive Era

Go From Marketer To Industrialist : Designing Cognitive Brand Experiences with Data

This week at the Verizon /AOL Data Summit, Data Scientists, Innovators, Advertisers, Marketers and Designers like me came together in an effort to begin an industry changing conversation and collaboration between the art and science and tech and Brands. From game changing models that harness the power of individualized pricing models to attribution and machine learning to Cognitive — we are jumpstarting and data mapping a revolution to progress the future of our brands and companies. As one of the day's speakers I shared a point of view that we must think bigger and not get lost in the dead ends of the old marketing model of using advertising to build 21st Century brands — but instead, enthusiastically assume our new role as industrialist (a synthesis of: artist, inventor, mechanic , economist, evolutionary strategist and market makers) that provide individualized cognitive brand experiences that attract, convert and retain customers who are demanding more from our brands. During a time of great change in businesses our brands can be elevated to serve realize their purposes in context to an individual’s life instead of becoming commoditized by disruptors.

Marketers Can Be The Great Market Makers

Modern marketers and innovators, are at the frontline of global change as every aspect of business, as we know it, undergoes a tectonic shift, from one industrial age to the next. The next evolution of human and machine is discovering how artificial intelligence can be used in different ways, from trading mundane tasks for quality moments in every industry, to understanding and connecting to our audiences and customers in unique and individual ways.

This upheaval in business creates an exciting opportunity of the proportions that made history’s most famous industrialists, just a century ago — men, and even a few women, who understood the nature of change, saw the future and made it a reality. Back then, fortune was granted to an elite few. Today, disruption can easily come from the largest enterprise lab or a garage workshop in the burbs.

The Price of Not Knowing Is To Big For Your Bottom Line

The stakes have never been higher, and the price of not knowing has never been more expensive. What is the price of not knowing your customer? In some cases the price is so high you risk your market position and credibility and for others you stand the chance of losing the soul of your brand at a time when we are facing greater societal anti-establishment trends.

When customer attention span is minimal, and the need to engage it and retain it, is greater than ever — We, the marketers that can design with data to create new products and services have been dealt a winning hand. Such times come round once in a century, if that, so I feel incredibly fortunate, as a woman of the 21st century and a post-digital player, to have a seat at the table of global reinvention of business and brands, and by definition, a hand in shaping the future. When we bring together Data Scientists, Innovators, Advertisers, Marketers and Makers like me — United, we can envision the future, find common ground, redefine the metrics for success and produce market making innovations. It is with that enthusiasm, rigor and optimism that we go from marketers to being the post-digital industrialist in the cognitive era.

Thanks to the team at Verizon / AOL for hosting a fantastic event and thanks to my incredible experience design team Chris Degnen and Alex Sinclair for inspiring and making my presentation an experience.

The Presentation



Artist, Activist, Inventor, Designer of intelligent things that are useful, usable and magical. |

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Joanna Peña-Bickley

Joanna Peña-Bickley


Artist, Activist, Inventor, Designer of intelligent things that are useful, usable and magical. |