Is AI a problem or a solution?

Technology, like many things, is cyclical. This is never more evident than in the marketing and communications sector. There’s the hype phase, filled with buzzwords and optimism. This soon gives way to saturation, causing a sort of lethargy that gives reason to reassess go-to-market approaches. Undeterred, there is then a demand for tangible results. Get enough of those and any new technology becomes table stakes.

We saw it with Big Data – and are seeing many of the same characteristics with Artificial Intelligence.

It’s been particularly interesting to watch the rise of AI, particularly through this lens of marketing and communications, as it doesn’t fit quite so easily into any one of the aforementioned stages of the tech lifecycle. I’d argue that we are at the stage where tangible results are being demanded. Yes there’s still plenty of hype, leading to saturation, but organisations have already accepted that they will need to adopt it eventually, meaning they want proven results as to the impact it makes on their industry.

This poses a question as to how providers of AI solutions should position themselves in the market if they are to cut through the noise.

When the AI bubble started to grow in earnest, we long argued that, from a communications perspective, it must be seen (and positioned) as the solution to a challenge, rather than the challenge itself. Nobody has an AI problem, they simply need it to overcome an obstacle. This belief hasn’t necessarily stood the test of time. There is unbearable pressure, from investors or the boardroom or beyond, to adopt AI. This might be to reduce costs, improve processes, operate faster or any number of reasons. But this pressure means that AI has become a problem in of itself. Departmental leads must look at ways to adopt AI almost for the sake of it.

So, what do they do? They look for tangible results. 

Many tech firms are calling themselves AI-powered. And for good reason. Without doubt, it helps when seeking funding. But that superficial approach isn’t going to be enough to win customers. Budgets are still stretched – and AI solutions are still an outlay, even if they will save money or create extra revenue in the future. In response, they are looking for credible providers that are proven to have delivered results. This enables them to achieve both their aims: make their organisation run smoother and demonstrate to the powers-that-be that they have adopted AI.

We have the pleasure of representing an incredible roster of hyper-growth tech firms, many of whom have AI at the heart of their proposition. For some this may be more overt than others, but they all recognise the need for credibility. AI must move beyond the hype phase if it is to take its place at the end of the tech lifecycle – and become table stakes for businesses the world over. 

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Is AI a problem or a solution?

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Read more

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