Are You Using AI to Interrupt or Interact? Redefining Consumer Relationships
7 mins read

Are You Using AI to Interrupt or Interact? Redefining Consumer Relationships

In the era of digital transformation, marketing strategies are constantly evolving, and with the advent of AI, the possibilities seem endless. AI has become a pivotal tool in the arsenal of marketers, enabling unprecedented levels of personalization, efficiency, and insight. However, as we stand at this crossroads, it’s crucial to pose a fundamental question: What should we use this super tool for? The answer to this question shapes not just the future of marketing but also the very relationship between brands and consumers.

This edition of COMMENTARY is by Sebastian Jespersen, CEO & Founder of Vertic, A Globant Company.

He is a frequent contributor to The Internationalist and focuses on industry disruption and creating brand relationships for life. These thoughts also appeared as an article by Sebastian on LinkedIn.

At Globant Create, we’ve observed a growing tension in the digital landscape. On one hand, AI offers the means to reach consumers in more targeted, sophisticated ways. On the other, there’s a palpable consumer backlash against intrusive advertising. A significant body of research, including industry reports and consumer surveys, underscores this sentiment. For instance, studies reveal that an overwhelming majority of consumers feel bombarded by ads, with many expressing annoyance and distrust towards overly aggressive marketing tactics. This consumer sentiment is a clear signal to marketers: the path forward isn’t about intrusion but integration.

Building Trust in a Skeptical World

Moreover, the Edelman Trust Barometer highlights a crisis of trust in institutions, including businesses. Consumers are increasingly skeptical of corporate motives, questioning whether companies are truly committed to the welfare of their customers or merely out to maximize profits at any cost. This skepticism extends to advertising practices, with consumers wary of the authenticity and intentions behind marketing messages. In such an environment, traditional approaches that prioritize reach and frequency of exposure over genuine engagement are not just ineffective; they’re counterproductive.

Share of Life®: A New Marketing Philosophy

At Globant Create, we champion a different approach: Share of Life®. Share of Life® is a philosophy that transcends conventional marketing. It’s about creating brands that people not only recognize but resonate with on a deeply personal level. Brands that consumers willingly invite into their lives, not because they’ve been persuaded by a clever ad, but because they see genuine value in what the brand represents.

Achieving Share of Life® means moving beyond the transactional dynamics of traditional marketing. It’s not about marketing “to” consumers but engaging “with” them, fostering a sense of community, belonging, and shared values. This approach requires a nuanced understanding of the consumer’s world – their aspirations, challenges, and daily routines – and finding ways to make the brand a meaningful part of their narrative.

Practical Implementation of Share of Life®

How do we implement this vision in practical terms? First, by leveraging AI and data analytics not just to target consumers more effectively, but to gain deeper insights into their lives – we reference this as obtaining a “Zero Degrees of Separation”. This isn’t about exploiting data for the sake of more aggressive marketing; it’s about understanding the consumer on a human level. AI can help identify patterns and preferences, yes, but its ultimate value lies in enabling brands to anticipate needs, offer solutions, and enhance the consumer’s life in tangible, appreciated ways.

Second, by embracing transparency and authenticity. In an era where trust is at a premium, brands must be open about their practices, values, and how they use consumer data. This transparency builds trust, and trust is the foundation upon which genuine relationships are built.

Third, by prioritizing value creation over advertisement. Consumers are looking for brands that add value to their lives, whether through innovative products, exceptional service, or content that entertains, informs, and inspires – “we call this “One-with-one”. Marketing, in the Share of Life® philosophy, is about seamlessly integrating this value into the consumer’s daily experience, making the brand an indispensable part of their life.

Ultimately, the goal is to create brands that consumers not only trust but are enthusiastic about. Brands that they’re eager to integrate into their daily lives, share with their friends and family, and advocate for in their communities. This is the essence of Share of Life®: a symbiotic relationship where the brand and the consumer enrich each other’s existence.

In conclusion, as we navigate the complexities of the digital age, it’s clear that AI is transformational and will transform marketing and advertising. At Globant Create, we believe that the future of marketing lies in creating non-intrusive, meaningful entanglements with consumers, fostering trust, and building brands that people want to share their lives with. It’s not about marketing “to” consumers; it’s about creating experiences and values that resonate so deeply that consumers choose to live “with” these brands. This is the future we envision, and it’s a future we’re committed to making a reality.

At Globant Create, we’re rethinking marketing with our “Share of Life” philosophy, focusing on non-intrusive, meaningful engagement with consumers. Amidst AI’s rise and increasing ad fatigue, we prioritize building genuine relationships “with” rather than marketing “to” consumers. Our approach emphasizes understanding, trust, and value, fostering brands that people want to invite into their lives and advocate for. Join us in creating a future where marketing is welcomed and cherished.

Sebastian Jespersen is an innovator, a business strategist, and a breakthrough digital thinker. He founded the independent digital agency Vertic over a decade ago; today it has a global footprint and serves some of the world’s best-known global marketers and brands. Both a digital guru and evangelist, he has successfully taken a start-up from the birth of the online marketing era through to the advertising world’s new internet playground. All while shepherding Vertic to extraordinary year-on-year growth and profitability. Clients include Microsoft, SAP, GE, Novo Nordisk, Biogen and Eli Lilly.

In 2022, Sebastian sold Vertic to Globant, a leading digital transformation company, after building it into one of the world’s most innovative digital agencies. Under his leadership, Vertic was included in Gartner’s Market Guide for Global Digital Marketing Agencies as one out of only 20 global digital agencies.

Sebastian’s pre-Vertic years as a management consultant in Europe and Asia underscore a multinational, analytical problem-solving vantage point, in contrast to common creative or technical leadership found at most ad agencies today. His interpretation of social business, data, targeting, and the bridging of marketing to sales – as well as his revolutionary application of this understanding to new platforms like LinkedIn – makes him a leader in today’s fast-paced, complex marketing world.

Sebastian is also the co-author of “Entangled Marketing”, a book on the future of marketing that he wrote with the ‘Godfather of Direct Marketing’, Stan Rapp, Co-Founder and CEO of Rapp & Collins and a young copywriter during the original Mad Men era.