The Power of a Network: I’d love to see more mentoring groups and associations for this industry. There is currently a lack of nationally organized associations for women in AI.
As part of my series about the women leading the Artificial Intelligence industry, I had the pleasure of interviewing Nicole Larrauri is President of the EGC Group, a marketing and digital agency with offices in Manhattan and Melville. A 15-year creative marketing and digital strategy veteran, Nicole has led the strategic marketing direction and AI-based communication campaigns for companies that include Canon USA, Brother International, and Thomson Reuters, among others. Under Nicole’s watch, the agency has been named an Inc. 500 Fastest Growing Company, an Agency Post Top 100 Agency and a Google Premier Partner.
Thank you so much for doing this with us! Can you share with us the ‘backstory” of how you decided to pursue this career path?
I began as a painter and had a deep passion for the creative business. As much as I loved fine arts, I became interested in how creativity and technology intersected and what that could mean for businesses.
Can you tell our readers about the most interesting projects you are working on now?
We’re building new Alexa Skills and Google Home integrations for companies and brands, including Brother International. Among Brother’s many global products are home sewing and embroidery machines, and we’re helping their customers get step-by-step voice tutorials as they sew. While we’ve built many tutorial videos, a customer using a sewing machine needs to have both hands and eyes on the sewing needle, so we’re finding voice tutorials to be really useful.
We also see a lot of potential in visual search and are working with our eCommerce clients to implement visual inventory search similar to Target’s integration with Pinterest Lens.
What are the 5 things that most excite you about the AI industry? Why?
– Usefulness: AI is exciting to us as it makes our job at connecting customers to brands more meaningful.
– Efficiency: While AI hasn’t replaced any functions on our marketing teams, it allows our team to be more efficient via better processing of big data.
– Accountability: Through our AI predictive analytics platform, we can easily calculate the return on marketing investment.
– More Impactful Creative: We can use AI for creative testing to best understand the most meaningful and best performing messaging.
– Better Targeting: AI allows us for enhanced behavioral targeting previously unseen in this industry.
As you know, there is an ongoing debate between prominent scientists, (personified as a debate between Elon Musk and Mark Zuckerberg,) about whether advanced AI has the future potential to pose a danger to humanity. What is your position about this?
I think it’s interesting that the government is now taking a closer look at these things and I think we need to be building more legislation and oversight into how AI, and how data privacy, is handled.
How have you used your success to bring goodness to the world? Can you share a story?
We run an event called CreateAthon, where we build impactful digital experiences for worthy causes, all within a 24-hour period. It becomes an agency pajama party and it’s wonderful for all involved.
Can you advise what is needed to engage more women into the AI industry?
– The Power of Network: I’d love to see more mentoring groups and associations for this industry. There is currently a lack of nationally organized associations for women in AI.
– I believe companies should have a reverse mentoring program, where up and coming women in the AI space can help train more senior women in trending AI topics.
– Be Visible: Motivate other women by promoting your own brand and your story. This doesn’t come easy to everyone, but it’s important to motivate young women to pursue AI.
How can our readers follow you on social media?
Twitter: @Nicole Larrauri, or find me on LinkedIn.
This was very inspiring. Thank you so much for joining us!