Becoming data-driven with Artificial Intelligence

Interview with Alessio Semoli, CEO of PranaVentures

We at are always attentive to new Martech trends, especially those that include the application of Artificial Intelligence (AI) technologies to content, in order to extract data on the users who use it. We wanted to interview a figure competent in the subject, so that together we could understand and examine in depth how, in the coming months, the route of consumers, who will be engaged thanks to Artificial Intelligence, using more and more personalized customer experience, could change and evolve.

Our guest today is the digital communication and new media expert Alessio Semoli, CEO of PranaVentures, an Italian venture capital company specialized in the field of digital innovation. Professor of Digital Analytics and Big Data at the IULM University of Milan, book author ("Digital Analytics" and "Marketing Automation", published by Hoepli) and speaker at events, the last of which ("Big Data and AI: The Future of Marketing") focused on the theme of Artificial Intelligence, how it can be used in the fields of marketing and communication, and on the current state of Italian companies.

Today, AI technologies are really changing the way we do marketing and Alessio Semoli is going to explain to us how.


D: Artificial Intelligence and Marketing, what is their relationship? In what contexts is this relationship already operating and what are the challenges we will face in the future?


A: For modern marketing, Artificial Intelligence represents the perfect combination of data, tests and the continuous search for the right alchemy, in order to develop the communication than can best reach the right person at the right time. In fact, the algorithms which Artificial Intelligence is based on are able to identify the needs of the customer and draw their attention in the moment when they are more open to listening.

There are already various active marketing and Artificial Intelligence services. An example is the automation of advertising: today programmatic advertising is already heading in this direction, with the possibility of buying and selling advertising based on its performance; basic data is used to understand whether what we are doing is working on the basis of our goals.

Future challenges are mainly about changing mentality, because we are in a transitional phase where both the old and the new methods of doing business coexist. Elasticity must be the new imperative of this sector, to call into question a whole range of knowledge acquired up until now. On the other hand, marketing has changed: we can no longer talk about targets but rather unique profiles, represented by the individuality of each person which, if studied and taken into account, enables us to create customized activities.


Q: Why is data so important in the Customer Age? Why must we not only collect it, but also activate it in order to make it useful for our business?


A: Data is the most precious thing we have and not using it would be like crossing a desert without a GPS: it would be far more tiring and, above all, it would not enable us to quickly reach the goal we have set for ourselves. "Collecting data is not necessary" is often used as an alibi to explain why a job carried out wasn't very useful. But the information collected must be used and applied to get what we need. Artificial Intelligence, which runs constant tests, can also be used to activate the collected data. This way it will be possible to understand, in a shorter time frame, which elements work best in communication, or in what period, zone or on what type of device they work best.


Q: In your opinion, could Content Intelligence, that is Artificial Intelligence applied to content whose performance can be used to obtain strategic data about the interests of users, be the new frontier of Content Marketing?


A: Yes, absolutely. Today content, whether it's textual, audio or video, is too monolithic. That is, we have one solution for everyone. In reality, each of us needs content that reflects us, filtered on the basis of our experience, our profile, the unique characteristics that we all possess. I have seen various solutions of this kind, including some that end up writing content based on the topics that are of interest at that time. In this respect, Artificial Intelligence has a great advantage: it's not limited to a single vision but constantly calls it into question. This leads not only to a more efficient Content Strategy, but also to less prejudice (it totally eliminates cognitive biases) and works on continuously improving, without fear of making mistakes, something which human beings still cannot do.


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