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Why AI Strategy Needs to Be Bold, New and Move Into Uncharted Territory

Too long seen as ‘black box’ technology, a huge effort has gone into making AI strategy palatable for the tech-
averse marketers. However, by trying to explain it away, sometimes we minimize its capabilities and how much it can truly transform how we work.

Already, the technology has gone way beyond what we thought possible. You just need to look at the Deepfake tech that allowed Mark Hamil’s youthful face to stun viewers of Disney+’s latest offering, The Book of Boba Fett.

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In the realms of chess, arcade games, self-driving cars, protein folding – AI is pushing boundaries like never before. However, true innovation does not come easily, or with nicely mapped out journeys to success.

We have to stop treating businesses looking into AI strategy with kid gloves. It is a serious investment in their
future. Research suggests that more than 1.3 million UK businesses will use AI by 2040 and spending
on the tech will hit more than £200 billion in the same period.

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Its capabilities in making use of the vast realms of data owned and not used by many businesses are phenomenal.  ost marketers are sitting on an innovation goldmine if they just knew how to get the best from the resources they already have. What we do today with AI is just the tip of the iceberg.

Instead of being frightened to let AI disrupt beyond making processes a bit faster or freeing people up to spend a bit more time on a creative task, AI needs to become a partner in that creativity. Let it loose in the data – see what it comes up with.

We always need to be customer-first, create a world that is of their design.

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But then you’ve got good old Henry Ford telling us that if the customer knew what they wanted, they’d have asked for a faster horse. AI is the missing link that can help the customer articulate what they never knew they needed. By setting it to work in those piles and piles of pieces of structured and unstructured information, AI can create links and paint pictures most of us would never have dreamed were possible.

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When people set out to criticize AI, they often point to the uniquely human ability to create.

A machine simply can’t come close to the abstract connections the human mind can make. This is to misunderstand AI’s role in creativity. Yes, it can come up with a seemingly infinite number of email subject line variations, but its real skill will be to find insights that reveal new paths for innovation and creativity.

And marketers will have to be brave enough to take those paths.

But why not?

Since when was innovation about doing the same thing as everyone else, just with a slight variation on a theme. The insights that will open new doors will never have been uncovered before. It’s going to change ways of working – whole company cultures in some cases. It just has to be fed the right data and the possibilities are endless.

It will require a leap of faith to allow AI to lead marketers down the road less traveled.

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But it won’t be blind faith.

If you want to move the frontier, you have to be comfortable with taking risks. You may not yet be able to see the outcome, but AI is showing the way. It may only be building the road a few steps ahead each time, and sometimes you might have to go backward, but each step is bringing you closer to your goal while stretching your vision further than it’s ever gone before. AI will help you build that faster horse.

Only this one is more likely to be a Unicorn. On skates. With bells on.

[To share your insights with us, please write to sghosh@martechseries.com]

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