These days, the term “AI” is used as a buzzword more than anything else. In fact, a new phrase making the rounds is the “Whitewashing of AI” — meaning that the term is being overused. As AI and machine learning topics permeate nearly every sales conversation in the technology world, marketers must compete with one another to stay relevant within these dialogues.
Often, this competition can get so fierce that companies feel pressured to talk about AI, from both a general perspective and as it relates to their precise products, despite having no real skin in the game. The muddled, ambiguous and often overhyped landscape is creating an inherent distrust of all companies within the space – even those that offer real, business transformative AI solutions.
Ultimately, this creates a cloud of haziness that true, AI-enabled companies need to separate themselves from in order to properly stand out. Luckily, for AI players that can deliver on their promises, there are several ways to prove to prospects that your solution is more than just talk.
Educate potential customers about the problem you can help them solve.
The competition to innovate in the business world has never been stiffer. Companies are under immense pressure to optimize efficiencies and products to stay one step ahead of their counterparts. Simply put, they don’t have time to dilly-dally to find a solution that will solve their complex business problems. From the outset, marketers should be crystal clear about the top pain point that their AI solution can solve for companies and provide a palatable proof point to back it up. Taking a transparent approach when talking about your product will help combat skepticism by offering tangible evidence about the benefits of AI and resulting business transformation. With the “hype” factor a core pillar in most AI marketing conversations, you can stand out by providing real proof points.
Don’t be afraid to get specific.
Contrary to some opinions, many consider AI and machine learning to be fairly “mainstream” technology topics, with many business decision makers able to grasp the myriad of types and capabilities at a high level. When speaking about your product, I would encourage you to get granular when outlining the components and outcomes of your technology. Although you may have to answer a couple clarifying questions, this is a much better position to be in than having to explain how you’ve misled the prospect by using cryptic buzzwords.
Offer a demo of your technology.
The best way a marketer can back up their claims around an AI-enabled product is to pull back the curtain and show potential customers how it works. Everyone knows a picture is worth a thousand words, so a real-time demonstration must be worth a million. Any good technology marketer knows how to talk about their solution in a way that appeals to their audience, but only great marketers know that walking the walk is just as important as talking the talk. As early in the conversation as it makes sense, offer to spend time walking the prospect through each step of your technology. Not only will this help corroborate your claims, but the extra time this requires will show them that you are invested in their company and committed to winning their business.
Learning how to accurately talk about a true AI solution in a landscape that is overrun with hype can often seem more complex than the technology itself – especially for those who are selling the tiny differentiators – using specifics, offering a real solution to business problems, and providing tangible product proof points – that will ultimately put true AI marketers miles ahead of the host of charlatans.
In fact, this is one of the biggest challenges a marketer faces. Be authentic.