The Invisible Brand – William Ammerman Book Summary

The Invisible Brand – William Ammerman | Free Book Summary

The Invisible Brand – William Ammerman

This is a 2019 book that delves into the world of marketing and automation in the age of big data and AI. It examines the impact that AI has already had on marketing and explores how it will shape the future of the industry. The book also looks at the ways in which AI can be used to measure customer sentiment and provide real-time insights into customer behavior. 

Additionally, it explores the implications of AI on marketing strategy, from how to use it to best engage customers to how to ensure the accuracy of data-driven decisions. Ultimately, the book provides readers with an understanding of the rapidly changing landscape of marketing and how AI is impacting the industry.

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The invisible brand takes over

Artificial intelligence is changing marketing in ways that will have wide-ranging impacts on every facet of our society. While we’re not yet at the point where AI agents are poised to take over the world, we are already witnessing the use of AI to influence people’s decisions—a trend that promises to produce far-reaching consequences for the marketplace and for consumers.

The hidden hand of marketers leveraging AI to influence the way we think and how we act is the Invisible Brand. It is enabled by four major innovations: personalized information, the science of persuasion, machine learning, and humanlike voice interactions, which have converged to create a new field called psychotechnology.Free book, podcast summaries

The Roots of the Invisible Brand in Digital Advertising

The power of data analytics to predict, and the capacity for algorithms to learn, will entirely reshape the field of marketing.

AI is already helping optimize targeting, images, messages, and the method of delivery for every type of marketing message imaginable. For a single advertising campaign, a machine can optimize millions of ad impressions with a hundred versions of a message delivered in combination with a thousand different images targeting 50 different audiences in 10,000 locations to achieve the best results. No human could ever hope to tackle such a task—but a machine can do so with ease.

Through personalized information, the Invisible Brand is accelerating its ability to influence the way we think.

Persuasion Equations: Gamification

We’ve all encountered plenty of examples of this kind of gamification in marketing. A classic example is McDonald’s Monopoly game that has been around since 1987, which encouraged us to buy more burgers, fries, and shakes in an effort to obtain those elusive Park Place and Boardwalk tokens. Remember collections and completing the set? Powerful motivators—and McDonald’s proved they can be really effective at getting us to buy more fast food.

Marketers have long relied on the powers of persuasion to influence consumer decisions. Due to the emergence of AI, persuasion is evolving into much more of a science—a set of rules—that can be repeatedly deployed behind the scenes in ways that influence consumers’ emotions and brain chemistry. The science of persuasion is a key component of psychotechnology, and it promises to become an indispensable tool of the Invisible Brand.

Infinite Data from Smarter Things

The evolution of the Internet of Things—where just about everything connected to our lives transmits data about our behaviors—has unlocked new opportunities for marketers. Armed with increasingly detailed information about our online and offline lives, brands now have unprecedented abilities to develop deep and insightful profiles of individuals. That information can then be fed to algorithms with the goal of creating customized and personalized messaging designed to persuade people.

Algorithms can learn by being fed data about what works and doesn’t work, and they can adapt in real time to changing information—especially when they’re placed at the edge of where the data is being collected.

AI and neural networks

Structured in neural networks, AI has the capability to learn in ways the designers don’t always understand. This has put us on the cusp of developing even more sophisticated tools of persuasion—as well as witnessing the emergence of machines that think and act in more human ways, and potentially unpredictable ways.

Marketing with Psychotechnology

The Invisible Brand is tapping into the power of psychotechnology to market to consumers. Digital media is being redefined as marketers now deploy focused, intimate, and dynamic messaging to promote their brands. The era of hyperpersonalization and microtargeting, enabled by artificial intelligence, is upon us.

One significant consequence of this shift is that the marketing world itself is being disrupted, forcing marketers to develop new AI skills and capabilities in order to keep up with their competitors. Machines are harvesting vast quantities of data about individual consumers and tailoring marketing messages for those individuals.

Nature Versus Nurture Versus Neural Networks

We now live at a time when computers have developed an influential role in our human development. People are wearing data-collecting technology and even embedding that technology under their skin. Many spend hours of their day living in simulated worlds powered by virtual reality where their behaviors are carefully collected and analyzed.

Not only can computers collect our personal data, they can now build emotional relationships with humans that would be hard to distinguish from relationships people form with friends, family, and even pets. Computers now influence intimate decisions about dating and sexual relationships, and no aspect of our lives seems off limits.

The Algorithmic Economy

Consumers are already seeing the impact of AI in many sectors of our economy, like autonomous cars, and there is further potential for psychotechnology to disrupt industries in ways that many overlook. In the years to come, psychotechnology promises to radically reshape how illness and disease are diagnosed and treated—while also giving new hope to those in need of constant care and companionship.

Psychotechnology will also help us make critical decisions that affect how we save and invest our money, and it will be at the heart of a radical transformation in education where AI agents act as our personal tutors throughout our lives and turn us into lifelong learners.

Privacy, Propaganda, and Politics

As more and more of our data is harvested for use in tailoring messaging for individuals, we must now confront the issue of who owns the data about us—and whether there should be limits on its use by the Invisible Brand.

Unfortunately there are no easy answers or simple solutions to how society should regulate the expanding power of pyschotechnology. We’re entering unexplored territory.

While there are now some examples of governments that are experimenting with laws regulating privacy rights, new questions have arisen regarding whether governments themselves can be trusted not to abuse the powers of psychotechnology.

The Bottomline

To remain competitive in this new market, marketing professionals must remain alert and educate themselves about the innovations that are emerging to make psychotechnology such a powerful force.

As consumers and citizens, we must inform ourselves and be aware of the opportunities as well as the dangers ahead. The potential exists for tremendous benefits for all of us, in areas as diverse as finance, healthcare, and education.

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