Executive ai playbook

The Executive’s AI Playbook: Is Your Organization Ready?

Organizations are adopting AI at a faster rate than ever before. What was once part of a myth about robots taking over the world is now more commonly seen as a tool to automate time-consuming processes to gain better insights from large amounts of data. There is eagerness across the board to implement artificial intelligence into business practices but it is important to know that there is no “one size fits all” solution. The first thing you’ll want to do is educate yourself and develop a plan that fits your needs. This interactive AI playbook built by McKinsey & Company will help you do just that.

The extensive playbook is broken down into three parts:

1. Value & Assess - Size the opportunity and determine data needs

The Value & Assess section shows the potential total annual value of AI and analytics across 19 industries. By clicking on your industry you can see the areas where AI techniques can be applied and a range of economic value for those applications.

ai playbook value and assess

Image source: www.mckinsey.com

2. Execute - Learn best practices to realize the value

The Execute section breaks down best practices for implementing AI across your organization. The high-level summary of these practices includes: aligning on the strategy - building tech, data & people capabilities - completing the last mile.  

AI playbook best practices

Image source: www.mckinsey.com

3. Beware - Know the warning signs of an AI program failure

The Beware section outlines 10 red flags to keep an eye out for once the decision is made to implement an AI program. Each red flag has a suggested response to help quickly resolve these issues and increase the chance of a successful AI initiative.

AI playbook beware

Image source: www.mckinsey.com

Are you ready to get started?

Contact rasa.io today about implementing AI t o engage your members and generate new sources of revenue.  And if you are interested in other applicable AI frameworks, read our recent blog on the AI Canvas.


john spence speaking to audience about ai for customer engagement webinar

Whoever Owns the Voice of the Customer Owns the Market: Our Upcoming Webinar

Whoever owns the Voice of the Customer, owns the market

Our team at rasa.io is joining world-renowned business leader, John Spence, to deliver an action-packed educational webinar focused on how to understand and own the Voice of the Customer.  

John Spence: Business thought leader and world renowned speaker

John Spence is known worldwide for his talent at making complex business challenges simple - awesomely simple. A key area of focus in John’s teachings is that a company must truly listen to the voice of the customer and deeply understand it, to own a market. Historically, gathering the insights necessary to understand the voice of the customer in depth, with breadth, and with high frequency, has been challenging.

Today, there are unprecedented opportunities to gain the necessary insights on a daily basis with both depth and breadth, and understand the voice of the customer like never before. The question now is, is your firm ready to listen?

Using AI to understand the voice of the customer

Our team at rasa.io is partnering with John to deliver this new educational program that combines his practical lessons on strategy and execution with the latest in cutting edge applications of Artificial Intelligence. Using AI, we can now understand the customer in ways that even the customer sometimes doesn’t notice. We can gather insights in a non-invasive and elegant way that is completely privacy-safe, and utilize those insights to better serve each and every customer in a unique way.

We can further utilize these insights to develop new products and services ahead of the competition and reach new opportunities faster. Experimentation and innovation requires a steady stream of new ideas and having deep and real time insights into the customer’s viewpoints, preferences and personalities, at scale, provides us all with a new paradigm to consider.  

Webinar hosts

John is an author, business management consultant, executive trainer and speaker. He is recognized as one of the top 100 business thought leaders and one of the top 500 leadership development experts in the world.

I am a serial software entrepreneur. I have founded, scaled and sold several successful companies including Aptify, a worldwide leader in software for non-profits and member-based organizations.  My team at rasa.io and I are focused on using Artificial Intelligence to “Better Inform the World”. We use AI to understand customers better than ever and use those insights to curate and personalize content in new ways. We are also able to share those insights with our clients using methods that are deeply informative while maintaining privacy safety.  

In this webinar, John and I will discuss the John Spence Formula for Business Excellence, the Voice of the Customer, and how AI can be leveraged to better understand the Voice of the Customer than ever before.   

John will explain why "extreme customer focus" is an essential strategy for creating a highly successful business and offer several suggestions for how to better connect with your customers. I will share how AI can be used to optimize customer engagement by gathering behavioral insights, and we will both share how to take action on the knowledge you gain.

AI: Made awesomely simple

Many people hear the words “artificial intelligence” and think complex and maybe even scary.  John has made a career of “Making the Very Complex…Awesomely Simple”. In this webinar, we will do just that by breaking down how AI can make your life simpler and your customer experience better and more successful.

Register for our webinar today if you are interested in learning more about using artificial intelligence to better understand your customer.

 

 

Image credit: johnspence.com/services


AI Email Render-ation Sensation: How rasa.io Makes Emails Look Great - Part II

AI email render-ation sensation, part II

Email can be tricky. The emails you create that look fabulous in your email generation software might not always translate when they are actually delivered. Why is that? The answer is that there are countless email platforms and countless devices, and between those two factors, the combinations are endless.

In the first part of our series we explored coding superior email designs that will render properly, and look good, across all email clients and devices. In this part of our series we will explore how we treat images and then conclude with a very important part of email design: testing.

Images in rasa.io emails - Imgix

Careful consideration of email image treatment is another important part of making our emails look great here at rasa.io. One of the tools we use is an image processing service called Imgix, which helps us format and crop images inside of our newsbriefs.  

As we gather news articles for our newsbriefs, we are storing the images in an Amazon S3 bucket (cloud storage) and then giving Imgix access to that bucket. We can than enhance and crop our image by passing query parameters (filters for image processing) to the end of our images hosted URL.  

In the example below, we have the original image on the left and two examples of cropping using query parameters. Imgix gives us the ability to recognize faces in an image and that is denoted by the “fit=face” query param.

However, as you can also see in the example below, it does not work perfectly all of the time. A setting we later discovered was Imgix’s entropy setting. The idea here is that the most “interesting” part of an image will be the areas of high contrast. By setting “crop=entropy” we can now crop to the most “significant” part of an image. Imgix is a great tool that we use in every newsbrief.

email rendering using imgix for image cropping at rasa.io

Figure 2: Imgix image cropping examples

 

Testing rasa.io email design - Email On Acid

Another great tool we use is Email On Acid (EOA). We use EOA to test the responsive layout and look of our emails across multiple email clients. EOA gives us the ability to quickly view what our email will look like on over 80 email clients.

Viewing our designs over multiple email clients is important because, as I mentioned earlier, the top 3 email clients which are iPad, iPhone, and Gmail are included in EOA’s test summary (Figure 3). Also, there are several versions of Outlook that are included in EOA’s test summary.  Outlook can be troublesome when trying to get an email layout rendering properly. By utilizing EOA’s email client test summary we can ensure that our clients will receive a great looking newsbrief.

Figure 3: Email on Acid Test Summary

 

Summing up our email rendering series

In summary, in part one of our series, we briefly discussed how we build responsive email designs by using a combination of inky and jinja templating languages. We also mentioned some of the techniques we use for image cropping to the most “significant part” of an image. Lastly, we covered the comprehensive test summary offered by Email on Acid.

Why is this important? At rasa.io our core purpose is to better inform the world. One way of informing the world is through our daily newsbrief. The reason we exist is to help people engage with relevant information more frequently. That’s why.

Are you ready to take your association emailing to the next level and leverage artificial intelligence to generate content that your users want to read? Are you ready to give your brand a boost? Contact the experts at rasa.io today.


AI Email Render-ation Sensation: How rasa.io Makes Emails Look Great - Part I

AI email render-ation sensation

At rasa.io we send a lot of email newsbriefs; in fact we send millions of email newsbriefs per month. And an important part of what we do is to help associations, and other organizations, engage with their members more frequently via their AI-curated email newsletters. So, it is important to build and deliver emails that will look great on a user’s phone as well as their desktop.

This blog is the first of a two-part series that will explore: first, the importance around coding superior email designs that will render - which is a fancy word for display - properly and look good for all email clients - which is a fancy term for email systems. The second part part of the series will focus more specifically on image rendering and then conclude with a way to test your designs across multiple email clients.

How people consume their email content

Currently, mobile email clients represent about 54% of all email opens according to Litmus email analytics. iPhone, Gmail and iPad are among the top 3 email clients. Gmail’s 75% of their 900 million users access email via their mobile device. With this in mind, it is important to build an email template that will work across multiple email clients and devices. (For a less technical approach to optimizing your association newsletter, read our blog on 15 ways to give your association news a boost!)

Email template language

At rasa.io, we use several tools to help us build responsive and beautiful email designs. To start with, we use an email templating language called Inky.

Inky provides a responsive grid layout and several out of the box components, and it allows developers to write a small amount of code and that gets compiled to a much larger chunk of code. This is important because the larger chunk of code will help with compatibility across email clients.

For example, in the image below, the image on the left is the precompiled Inky and Jinja syntax, (we’ll come back to Jinja); and on the right is the same bit of code but compiled to its full HTML form. The reason for this is that some email clients do not support modern web html elements such as <div> tags. On the contrary, <table> tags are guaranteed to work across most email clients. From a developer’s perspective, maintaining the bit of code on the left is preferable to the one on the right.

rasa.io artificial intelligence email rendering code example

Inky / Jinja to compiled code example

The Inky grid

Inky’s grid layout gives us the ability to separate and carve out parts of the email. The grid is primarily composed of rows and column components. Rows define horizontal sections of the email and columns carve up the row into side-by-side sections. Inky uses a 12-column grid and column sizes can be controlled via sizing classes. Once again, these inky components will eventually get compiled to a much larger chunk of code and that is what goes out to the email client.

+ Jinja

Let us briefly go back to the image above. All the bits of code inside the curly brackets {} are Jinja. Jinja is a python templating language. It allows us to create variables, insert conditional logic and to iterate through lists such as a newsbrief.

In the example above, we have a basic for-loop that will iterate through each item in the recommendations list. Through each iteration we typically expose attributes such as a recommendations title, description, source, or image, if one is available for the given blog, article, news story, or journal publication. Several of our emails contain images and it is important that we show images that are nicely cropped and formatted.

An email render-ation sensation part II

Next week, in the second installment of this blog series, we will first discuss image rendering. We will then conclude with how to test your code and designs across multiple email clients.

Are you ready to take your association emailing to the next level and leverage artificial intelligence to generate content that your users want to read? Are you ready to give your brand a boost? Contact the experts at rasa.io today.


overcoming resistance to change at associations using artificial intelligence

Struggling With Resistance To Change? 3 Ways Your Association Can Overcome.

Change can be tough for organizations of every shape and size

Oftentimes associations understand the importance of change and adaptation in order to stay relevant to their communities, but that doesn't mean that they have the cultural foundation or structural bandwidth to plan and implement these adaptations.

Large (and even small) organizations can be slow to implement new processes and technologies, which can lead to negative implications for membership renewals and revenue generation. Challenges to implementing new technologies can range from board-member opposition to resistance against abandoning ‘business as usual’ comforts.

Every change management project is its own beast. But there are some recurring challenges that lead to their failure. Below are some common obstacles we see our customers facing, along with suggestions for combating those challenges.

Challenge 1: Colleagues not understanding why change is needed in the first place

The familiar is comfortable. Your team not understanding why things need to change in the first place is difficult to overcome - it is a resistance that can be rooted in the organizational culture.

In order to combat this mindset, you need to consider adapting your culture from the top down. This means being brutally honest with yourself and asking, "Who are we and how do we ultimately achieve our organization’s overarching purpose?”

When you start to look in the mirror at who you are, how you operate, and the purpose that your association’s brand ultimately stands for, you'll start to see where you're coming up short. Then the hard work of identifying who you want to become and how you want to get there can begin. Your organization's purpose should guide the change management project you want to take on.  

Challenge 2: Team members feeling left out of the decision process

Employees who are going to have the responsibility to implement the change you seek need to feel bought into that change. You should give them a sense of responsibility and ownership throughout the lifecycle of the project.

One great strategy is to have your team’s first exposure to your change project be a sincere request for their input and opinions from the beginning. Involving them in the construction of a plan - as opposed to keeping everything behind closed doors until you are ready to unveil some sweeping new change project - can breed skepticism. You can gather opinions through workshops, meetings, surveys, or whatever data gathering process your organization prefers.

You should be mining your association members’ and team members’ thoughts and opinions on a continual basis. They are integral to change-implementation succeeding, and it is imperative for you to know what they think of your performance, culture, and operations.

Challenge 3: Team skepticism due to history of change management failures

Cynicism towards sweeping change is entrenched in many association cultures, and it can come from all parts of the association, from front line team members, to more tenured members of the board and c-suite, who are settled into old routines. Swallowing new strategies can be difficult if there are memories of past project failures and experimentation is not embraced in the culture.

For this reason, you will need to come prepared for those difficult conversations. Research is your most powerful tool. Make your case with data and real world case studies to appeal to both pathos and ethos. And once you get people on board, if you've truly convinced them, then the change will need to come from the inside out.

Acting on your approach to change

The "start small, think big" approach absolutely applies here. Starting with a small seed of change and culture readjustment can have ripple effects throughout the association. And in order for this to happen, you need to begin by getting everyone in your smaller circle of influence on board.

Even if "starting small" is appropriate for your association, you're eventually going to need to have 100% of your people on board. Everyone should be invested in the success of this change, from the most senior board member to the newest hire. Another department that might require special attention for education and influence is human resources. It may seem obvious, but they can be overlooked when focusing on other employees, and their buy-in is absolutely critical.

Attitude and behavior are intertwined. With the help of change-makers taking action and holding people accountable, you can make broad strides. Being cognizant of these 3 challenges, and how to avoid them at your particular association, is key to reinforcing change that is purpose-driven and resilient.

Just start to experiment

At rasa.io, we are constantly encouraging our customers to just take the first step. Try something new. We try to make the implementation of the rasa.io newsbrief as easy as possible. It takes very little time to begin to send your members personalized news, and risk is low. Learn about how you can begin to experiment with our technology today.