…you can see from this chart that master-martech-analyst David Raab shared at the last MarTech confernece in San Francisco that AI (machine intelligence) is blossoming across the whole industry with vendors of all sizes (and this is only a partial list today)…
…because so many core AI algorithms are essentially commoditized by these open market options, they cease to be a source of competitive advantage by themselves. Instead, strategic advantage with plug-and-play AI is achieved by other means, particularly these two:
Data. The specific data you feed these algorithms makes all the difference. The strategic battles with AI will be won by the scale, quality, relevance, and uniqueness of your data. Data quality will become ever more important — as will services and software to support that mission. Markets for accurate and timely 2nd-party and 3rd-party data will thrive, available on-demand via APIs. AI finally puts big data to good use.
User Interface (UI). AI can be used to create significantly better user experiences with your digital products and services, from predictive features that anticipate what a user will want in a particular context to natural language interfaces — text and voice-based chatbots — that can bypass arcane menu-driven interfaces. The opportunity for AI-UIs to make previously complicated tasks fast and easy is enormous — especially in business applications where we can often state what we want to know or do much more easily than we can figure out how to manually get the $#&!% software to do it for us. (Think of all the multi-month certification courses for enterprise software that have been a barrier to “regular” folks unlocking value from those systems.)
As marketing technology becomes a standard part of managing a business, many companies have become comfortable enough with the concept to shift away from their initial focus on platforms, and to focus instead on data.
When marketers are surveyed about what they hope to gain from adopting marketing tech, “data” is one common response. This might seem like circular logic, but data—specifically, customer data—is the undisputed center of the marketing tech ecosystem.
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