Author, consultant and TV host, Bonin Bough is our Adweek Advisory Board chairman. He will be spotlighting Advisory Board members each month on relevant industry news and trends.
I spoke with Ben Lamm this month about his thoughts on the ubiquity of data and its place in marketing.
Ben, co-founder and executive chairman of machine-intelligence company Hypergiant, has been entrenched in the world of data. This technological entrepreneur has launched multiple companies that have been acquired by big names like Accenture. He spoke about how to keep data both secure and useful.
Bonin Bough: With the new data privacy laws coming into effect, in what ways do you see the industry changing to navigate them? Ben Lamm: We are moving from an era of “build fast and break things” to an era of “move fast to fix things.” This is where we are with data privacy. We were moving so fast with people’s data that we didn’t think about the long-term implications of what we were doing. What we have now is a time for businesses and government to work together to ensure that we are putting people at the center of our technology, and this means finding a way for people to control their data. We need to think about resilient data systems—these are systems built with security from day one and with people in mind. As certain states adopt new regulations and we strive for a national standard, we are indirectly pushing companies to be more thoughtful around their developments and inspiring them to conduct more attentive risk analysis. The challenge to the industry is to figure out how you leverage data to make personalized products that people want without risking their safety. If that means creating regulations that force companies to be more thoughtful about releases and testing with consumers, so be it.
Data has become so intertwined with marketing that it feels like the actual meaning often gets lost. What should marketers be keeping in mind with data now and in the future, say five years down the line? As an AI company, we believe data is insanely valuable and necessary to solve the world’s biggest problems—or market the world’s biggest products. There are three things to keep in mind with data: data is never pure, it is always clouded by the bias inherent in the question we ask; data is never clean, it is always going to need to be processed before it’s useful; data is never the only answer, all data needs to be interpreted and then applied to situations. Therefore, AI becomes very useful in helping us to look at data without biases, find and clean up the data and then be an ally of marketers in answering questions and looking at many different scenarios.