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Interviews von der DMEXCO: Nr.1 mit Nikos Acuña

Studierende der Media- und Kommunikationsberatung führten auf der DMEXCO 2018 Interviews mit ExpertInnen aus der Digitalbranche

Im Rahmen der diesjährigen Auslandsexkursion besuchten Studierende im 3. Semester des Bachelorstudiums Media- und Kommunikationsberatung die DMEXCO in Köln und haben vor Ort spannende Persönlichkeiten der Digitalbranche interviewt.

Dies ist eine Kooperation von Barbara Klinser-Kammerzelt (FH-Lektorin Digital Marketing) und Harald Rametsteiner (Lehrgangsleiter Digital Marketing).

Zum Start der Interview-Serie haben die Studentinnen Beatrice Hackl und Paulina Richter den Chief Visionary von Sizmek, Nikos Acuña, interviewt.

“Anticipate trends and read your customers.”

Nicos Acuña, Chief Visionary at Sizmek, tries to understand how the industry is evolving, how technology transforms our life, how trends can be anticipated and how we become better at understanding the complexity of emotions. In this interview, he gave us some insights into his thoughts and beliefs about the future of data, technology and humanity.

Emotional intelligence & company strategies

Beatrice Hackl/Paulina Richter: We noticed that emotional intelligence plays an important role in the future of advertising. How can emotional intelligence be implemented into company strategies?

Nikos Acuña: The Harvard business review came out with a study alongside with a company called “Motista”. It is a San Francisco based company that has created something that’s called an emotional taxonomy. They created an entire taxonomy of people that were lifetime value customers of specific brands.

What they did was, they took the most valuable customers. They started to segment the types of ads that they provided for those people. They were able to dissect what types of people react to specific types of ads. Based on that emotional taxonomy they created a data set, to which they were able to tie correlations with those attributes to actually drive lifts.

They were able to map how people buy more stuff based on the types of emotions that an ad has made resonant within that specific type of campaign. I think we could be much better at understanding the complexity of our emotions and that’s why I think Artificial Intelligence will help us to understand emotions in a much more meaningful way.

The future of Brand conversation and experience

Beatrice Hackl/Paulina Richter: As you are an expert in themes covering brand experience, what would be your advice for companies, on how to realize this aspect into their company culture in the future?

Nikos Acuña: I don’t think that customers care that much about brands, like brands mean for them to. Unless you are Apple or some type of company where you truly love those products and you will stand in line for hours, but that’s only in the top 1 % of brands. As consumers, we don’t really think about it. We think about what is convenient for us and what makes things easier.

The brand conversation and experience in the future is all about predictive marketing. It is all about anticipating that customer need and the best AI recommendation engines will do that. That’s why Amazon is king, that’s why Netflix is king.

So, within our culture, it is always about trying to be the best and to inspire the employees to do what’s best for your client. You need to empathize! As much as I am a proponent of machine driven intelligence, the human based emotionally driven intelligence is just as important to help our culture.

Impressions that insprire

Beatrice Hackl/Paulina Richter: Impressions that inspire - that’s what Sizmek stands for. As Sizmek is one of the leading Ad-Tech Company in the industry, it would be interesting to know, how the whole network functions and how Sizmek can assure the flow of communication between all divisions?

Nikos Acuña: What we do is, we create impressions that inspire by aligning creative media and data powered by AI, so that any brand can connect more meaningfully with their customers. Sizmek helps you align your data and organizing it, in order to understand your customers. This is also very important for marketers. It’s all about trying to find correlations between different attributes of individuals, so that you can message to your customers more meaningfully.

With Sizmek you are able to make better decisions on, which customer to reach and to craft better campaigns. We are the only company that has a dynamic creative optimization engine, data management platform and a demand site platform for media.

AI & emotional intelligence

Beatrice Hackl/Paulina Richter: Is it able to combine AI also with emotional intelligence?

Nikos Acuña: Yes, we innovate around that as well. That’s a fairly new offering. Now we can start to understand what types of customers will be most receptive to ads. We also have a semantic ingestion engine, called Peer 39, that helps advertisers to understand, where their ads are placed, without having to know who that person is. We can now start to ty creative attributes with context attributes more meaningfully.

YouTube Channel

Beatrice Hackl/Paulina Richter: We watched some of your Videos on your YouTube Channel Symbiosis. Could you please tell us a little bit more about it and why you launched it?

Nikos Acuña: For me growing up as a technologist in Silicon Valley it was always interesting to understand the relationship between technology and us. I think tying the knot between what we are doing as marketers to the broader implications of what technology means for humanity is a big question for me. We are at a time in which we have a great responsibility to harness technologies in very positive ways. That responsibility has created the inception of Symbiosis.

Data and technologies

Beatrice Hackl/Paulina Richter: How do you think data and technologies will change our lives in the next five years?

Nikos Acuña: I feel that in the future, everything is going to be driven by a lot of different changes. But three things will remain the same. Interfaces, infrastructure and information. Our Interface is becoming ubiquitous, it’s going to disappear. Infrastructure will change.

As AI started in 1950’s, it now helps our information to get better, but also to understand, how intelligence works. Data and technology will continue to evolve to the point in which we can constantly predict our next move. The more you understand technologies, the more it enables us to do a lot more things and start to anticipate what’s next. You’ll know when VR, AR, Contact Lenses may start to happen. Based on that knowledge and AI, you are just going to know more about the world and how technology is really empowering us to do lots of great things for humanity.

About Nikos Acuña

Nikos Acuña is a famous author, speaker, and futurist. In the areas of media, marketing, technology and data he brings 20 years of experience with him.

Currently Nikos Acuña is Chief Visionary at Sizmek – a company that provides advertisers and agencies worldwide with state-of-the-art technologies for digital cross-device advertising campaigns.

Furthermore, he is the creator of Symbiosis, a YouTube channel, where he uploads different episodes about how technology transforms our lives. Moreover, he has written many different whitepapers and books about artificial intelligence and cross-industry digital transformation (Dmexco (2018), o.S. ).

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