Efficient marketing needs (data) curiosity

If you want to create innovation, you have to ask the right questions. Answers to many of these questions can be found in data. That's the core of the Curiosity Forever brand campaign that analytics and AI giant SAS is now rolling out worldwide.

The central tool for change and optimization: Data analytics and artificial intelligence (AI). However, AI in particular is met with enthusiasm and reservations in equal measure: The assessments range from business drivers to job endangerers.

On average, the media's assessment of AI is quite balanced. This is an initial finding from the newly created "Trust in AI Index" by SAS, which is designed to regularly determine the current opinion climate on AI. The average sentiment score in the first three quarters of 2021 so far is 52 (50 = neutral; 0 = very negative, 100 = very positive). This means that AI is only rated weakly positively in the media. Accordingly, criticism is limited - but euphoria looks different.

With its current brand campaign, SAS aims to create broader adoption for AI and data analytics. The global, multilingual campaign focuses on five industries: Banking, Retail, Industry, Healthcare and Public Administration.

With curiosity to innovation

The motto "Curiosity Forever" is intended to give a face to the corporate vision that has been announced in the strategic course set in recent years. Thus, SAS has already launched an investment program in the amount of one billion US dollars in technology around AI in 2019. In addition, SAS has been investing more than a quarter of its revenue in research and development for many years; in 2020, this figure was 27 percent.

Curiosity about new approaches to solutions and innovations was also demonstrated by the participants at the first global SAS Hackathon: over 100 teams from 31 countries set out to find answers to questions about sustainability and business practice using agile methods, SAS and open source on Microsoft Azure.

Understanding promotes acceptance of AI

An important aspect of the campaign is to make data analysis understandable - even for employees who are not data scientists. For this purpose, a decidedly emotional approach was created on the one hand. On the other hand, SAS supports data literacy - i.e. the well-versed handling of data - with numerous measures in the area of education, among other things with free software for universities, with special e-learning programs such as the Analytics Value Training or with the SAS Academic Programs.

"Curiosity" - a core competence of marketers

Covid has fundamentally changed customer expectations in recent months. In the digital world, fast and personalized interactions are even more important, otherwise the customer is just one click away from a competitor. Marketers therefore need to do even better research into what drives their customers in order to be able to respond to their needs in a timely and targeted manner.

This places special demands on the skills of marketers. Analytical curiosity becomes a core competence. They need to use insights from analysis to understand, interpret, measure and prove their activities and the level of engagement with their customers. Always with the question in mind "What can we do better?".

The answers to marketing questions that AI and analytics can already provide was the topic of this year's SAS Forum Digital End of October. In the SAS Forum Mediathek, interested parties can access information on the past event.

Curiosity@Work study: Curiosity as a key competence in business

Curiosity is becoming increasingly important for employers and employees. This can now be proven with concrete figures: 72 percent of managers in companies worldwide see curiosity as a very valuable trait in employees, and 59 percent as a real business driver. This is a result of the global Curiosity@Work Report by SAS, for which a total of around 2,000 managers were surveyed. 51 percent of them also believe that this characteristic has become much more relevant in recent years.

One thing is indisputable: Curiosity has enormous potential to counteract current weaknesses in staffing and resources. In each case, more than half of the respondents see the greatest potential for greater efficiency and productivity (62 percent), creative thinking (62 percent), closer collaboration (58 percent) and stronger employee retention and satisfaction (58 percent). The IT department in particular is seen as having a high need for curiosity: 64 percent of respondents confirm this. Research and development (54 percent) and marketing (46 percent) follow only behind. Tasks where curiosity is seen as particularly relevant are developing innovative solutions (62 percent), solving complex problems (55 percent) and analyzing data (52 percent). Curiosity is thus an important prerequisite for gaining data-based insights as a basis for decision-making.

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