Vault AI at EES: M&E Companies Can Use AI to Level Up Content and Marketing Decision-Making

Once thought of as a far-out future technology, artificial intelligence (AI) is now something many people use in their everyday lives. But when it comes to using AI for entertainment insights and decision-making, it can feel overwhelming and difficult to know where to start, according to Rich Calabrese, VP of client solutions at Vault AI.

“I’m talking today about how to use AI not just for content, but also for marketing,” he said Sept. 21 at the Entertainment Evolution Symposium (EES).

“What I’m not going to be talking about is what is AI? What is machine learning?” he told attendees during the Efficiency & Sustainability breakout session “Using AI to Level up Your Content and Marketing Decision-Making.”

“I think some of us mostly know that. I’m also not going to talk about the ethics and morals of AI [and] machine learning because there’s another seminar for that,” he said.

During the session, Calabrese broke down AI-powered consumer insights for the entertainment industry. And attendees learned how AI can be a powerful, yet practical, new insights tool at their disposal: one that can help answer questions in new ways, and level up their decision-making.

Calabrese has worked for the last 10 years in consumer insights for media and entertainment, he noted. That is “not a long time considering there’s probably folks here who have been here in this industry for quite a bit,” he conceded.

“But in my role in insights and product and now on the client strategy side, I hear three common challenges every day,” he told attendees.

“The first, when I talk to research teams, is how much they are being asked to do with either little budget and/or little resources, human resources to help,” he said.

As pointed out several times at the event that day, he noted there is a growing amount of data that firms have to “sift through.” “There’s also a lot of noise in that data,” he said, adding, “with all that data, you really have to balance which data stream is going to give you the insights the fastest,” or at least, the one that provides the “most quality.”

After all, he explained, “if you can make a decision faster, [the] process gets moving a little bit quicker and you can have more time to evolve creatively on a project.”

Clients come to his firm, saying they heard AI can be helpful to make fast decisions, and that “they’re leveraging emerging tech, which is sometimes tough to do because internal stakeholders and senior leadership might be kind of stuck in their ways with specific research methods and data that they use,” he noted.

Additionally, “sometimes those methods are very expensive,” he said. And so, new technology combining AI and human expertise is needed, he noted.

Noting that Vault AI is an AI-powered consumer insights company, he told attendees: “We help marketers and content researchers to make decisions faster using the power of data. What’s important to know for everybody in here is that we’re pulling data from story and behavioral data. We are not pulling data from from surveys or focus groups.”

AI insights “can be used in various ways, and every day we’re working with our clients to create new applications, to give them the data insights faster,” he added.

The Entertainment Evolution Symposium (EES) was presented by the Pepperdine Graziadio Business School Institute for Entertainment, Media and Sports (IEMS) and the Hollywood IT Society (HITS) and was sponsored by Iron Mountain, Signiant, Whip Media, Atos, Fortinet, FPT Software, invenioLSI, Perforce, Vision Media, and EIDR.