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And the Marketing Word of the Year Is…?

Evolving from a Steven Spielberg film title to the talk of the advertising industry, “artificial intelligence” was voted the 2017 Marketing Word of the Year, according to the Association of National Advertisers (ANA).

AI’s rapid emergence in society can be seen through driverless cars, cognitive computing and voice-enabled digital assistants like Amazon’s Alexa and Apple’s Siri. More than 90% of companies in the energy, high tech, telecom, retail and automotive industries already use AI, according to Tata Consultancy Services.

Gartner, an IT research and advisory firm, listed AI among the most strategic technology investments in 2018. Company executives hailed AI’s increasing ability to enhance decision-making, reinvent business models and improve customer experience. “Investment areas can include data preparation, integration, algorithm and training methodology selection, and model creation,” said David Cearley, vice president and Gartner Fellow, at the company’s symposium in October. 

Other top choices in the voting were “transparency” (the 2016 Marketing Word of the Year), “content marketing” (the 2015 Marketing Word of the Year) and “influencer.” “Programmatic” was the 2014 Marketing Word of the Year, the first year the ANA conducted the survey.

ANA members voted online from a list of words determined by ANA staff. The ANA’s membership includes more than 1,000 companies with 15,000 brands that collectively spend or support more than $400 billion in marketing and advertising annually. The membership is comprised of more than 750 client-side marketers and 300 associate members, which include leading agencies, law firms, suppliers, consultants, and vendors.