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Q&A with Jeffrey Rohrs

Updated: Oct 12, 2023

Exclusive Trusted Magazine Q&A with Jeffrey Rohrs, VP, Marketing - ActiveCampaign Insights.

How could you describe your career path in a few words?

Non-linear. I have been a DJ, attorney, applications consultant, salesperson, project manager, digital strategist, agency president, SaaS CMO/VP, author, and even a beekeeper. In a million years, I couldn't have predicted the twists and turns my career would take, but in retrospect, I can see that the common thread is one of helping organizations communicate, connect, and serve their customers (or bees) better. 

What are the highlights of the key digital innovation trends for 2023? Can you give us some major examples?

It feels like marketing malpractice to cite anything but AI in response to this question. However, digital innovation cannot happen without human creativity. We need to experience life as flesh and blood humans to identify the opportunities, problems, and friction points of life that cry for innovative solutions. What3Words is a perfect example--a company that recognized that the vast majority of the world lacks physical addresses and so they generated three-word addresses for every 3 meter square on Earth. Thanks to their creative, digital solution to a very human problem, we now have ways to deliver, serve, and even rescue people located in off-the-beaten path locations around the world. 

Based on your experiences, what are the impactful trends in digital innovation that are becoming more important in the context of 2023?

Now, we have to talk about AI in all its disruptive glory. Within our four walls at , we're seeing it drive efficiency in content production, data analysis, and marketing optimization. We're also leveraging it in our product to accelerate new customer onboarding, shorten time to value, and inspire better messaging. That creates a lot of value for customers. By the same token, if you look to other industries, you see huge challenges posed by AI. As I write this, the Writers' Guild of America has been on strike for over 120 days--with one of their major concerns being how studios plan to leverage AI as it may negatively impact their professional prospects. And in entirely different AI application, we're seeing a lot of backlash to self-driving vehicles due to safety concerns. The net-net of these and other controversies is that AI can yield unintended consequences. If your organization doesn't have a high risk tolerance, then working with partners who leverage AI in cautious, controlled ways with demonstrable value should be your focus. 

In your opinion, how can they create high value for organizations?

AI requires a cost/benefit analysis at every turn. Is it increasing the efficiency of your team in ways that allows them to focus on higher-value activities? Great--test, evaluate, and iterate. However, leaving AI usage to the judgment of every contributor for your team may create more conflict than value. To that end, the approach by companies like to spin up a dedicated role to guide their adoption of AI marketing tools is a trend to watch. An individual charged with evaluating, testing, and recommending AI tools for use will build internal expertise and help ensure that your AI efforts are synchronized across teams and learn from the mistakes of others over time. 

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