Episode 12 | 28.03.2024

Using AI in Marketing: Insights from the Wonka Experience

This week, we’re delighted to welcome Núria Antoja, a seasoned marketer with over two decades of experience with leading FMCG companies like Mondelēz and Reckitt. Núria discusses the fusion of ethics and artificial intelligence in marketing, reflecting on her roles as Senior Marketing Director and the impactful campaigns she’s led. With a rich background spanning sales and marketing across food/confectionery, healthcare, and personal care/beauty industries, she brings a unique perspective on navigating the challenges and opportunities AI presents in the marketing sector.

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In the rapidly evolving world of digital marketing, the application of Artificial Intelligence (AI) offers unprecedented opportunities for innovation and personalisation. Yet, it also brings forth a slew of ethical dilemmas that businesses must navigate with care. Núria Antoja, whose career has spanned two decades with industry giants like Reckitt, shared her invaluable insights on this delicate balance in a thought-provoking discussion on “The Responsible Edge” podcast.


AI’s Role in Modern Marketing

Núria, with her vast experience across various sectors, including FMCG and healthcare, underlines the transformative potential of AI in marketing.

“AI, in general, can be effectively utilised for repetitive tasks and those requiring extensive amounts of time-consuming data.”

she points out, highlighting AI’s efficiency and depth in processing consumer data. However, she cautions against blind reliance on technology, emphasising the need for marketers to remain vigilant and ethically grounded in their use of AI tools.


A Case Study: The Willy Wonka Campaign

Núria examines the Glasgow Willy Wonka experience, which was highlighted in a Birmingham University article, to discuss AI’s ethical implications in marketing. Promising a captivating adventure through AI-generated visuals, the campaign dramatically underdelivered, leaving families in a sparsely decorated warehouse instead of the promised chocolate fantasy. This incident underlines the gap between AI-generated expectations and reality, stressing the ethical obligation of truth in advertising.

Núria points out the necessity of using AI as a tool ethically, emphasising,

“AI needs to be a tool used in the right way.”

This example serves as a cautionary highlight of the need for marketers to ensure that their AI-generated promotions accurately reflect the real-world experience, maintaining consumer trust. The discussion around the Willy Wonka debacle, as detailed in the Birmingham University article, accentuates the broader conversation on the responsible use of AI in marketing to prevent consumer disillusionment.

The Ethical Framework

Núria envisions a future where AI enriches the marketing landscape without compromising ethical standards. She believes in innovation within boundaries, where technological advancements in marketing are guided by a strong ethical compass.

“Constraints drive innovation,”

she notes, suggesting that operating within ethical guidelines encourages creativity and fosters trust between brands and their audiences.


Cultivating Authentic Consumer Connections

Looking ahead, Núria is optimistic about the role of AI in facilitating deeper, more meaningful connections between brands and consumers. She anticipates advancements in data analytics and AI will enable marketers to tailor their strategies more responsively and responsibly to individual needs.

“The future of marketing lies in using technology to enhance our ethical approach,”

she asserts, highlighting the dual goals of effective engagement and unwavering ethical commitment.


Maintaining Consumer Trust

The dialogue with Núria brings to light the critical role of trust in the dynamic between marketers and consumers in the age of AI. She argues for a balanced approach where technology serves as an extension of a brand’s ethical values, ensuring marketing practices not only captivate but also respect the audience. This balance is crucial for fostering long-term relationships in an increasingly digitalised market landscape.


Forging Ahead with Ethical AI Practices

Núria’s insights from the podcast encapsulate the nuanced challenges and opportunities presented by AI in marketing. Her emphasis on ethical integrity, alongside technological innovation, offers a comprehensive blueprint for brands aiming to navigate the complexities of digital marketing. As businesses continue to explore the vast potential of AI, Antoja’s reflections serve as a timely reminder of the importance of grounding these explorations in ethical considerations, ensuring that progress in AI does not come at the cost of consumer trust and ethical standards.

This in-depth exploration, inspired by Núria Antoja’s conversation, underscores the importance of marrying AI’s innovative potential with steadfast ethical principles in marketing. Her perspective sheds light on the path forward for marketers aiming to leverage AI in ways that are both groundbreaking and grounded in an ethical framework, ensuring that the future of marketing is not only technologically advanced but also inherently trustworthy and responsible.

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