The wave of automation and AI disruption is coming. Is your business ready to ride?
We see new advances in digital automation and artificial intelligence (AI) nearly every day. Much like industrial robot technology reduced the number of available manufacturing jobs in the U.S. in the 1980s, the combination digital automation and AI is poised to disrupt virtually every industry at some point in the coming decade. The question is how can you position your company to be the disruptor, not the disrupted?
Ask how a competitor using advanced AI could beat you at your own game.
Diagram your complete path to purchase on a white board. Evaluate every part of your business for any moment along that path where automation or AI facilitated decision-making could reduce process time, costs and user frustrations. Also look for any part of your path to purchase where customers drop off or fail to convert, and try to re-imagine those points with AI or automation assist. Take time to explore emerging technologies that could directly or indirectly affect your market, long term.
Now, look at your market and ask, regardless of organizational, technical or monetary constraints. What would the ideal experience for the majority of your customer look like? What do your customers value/like/dislike about everyone’s current offerings?
Finally, get your smartest people—from operations, sales, marketing, admin et al—and design your worst competitive nightmare. What special expertise would they offer? What advantages would they have over your business? How would they price? What capital expenditures would they need to build their infrastructure, I.T. or facilities?
Figure out what it would take for them to get off the ground.
Once you decide how your new competitor would operate differently to steal your business, try to document what it might take to get a company like this going. What resources would be needed? What infrastructure would be required? What would the employee mix look like? How quickly would they be able to steal your business? How could they offer a parity or better product or service than you do now, cheaper than you can?
Create a script outlining what they would say to sell against you.
Be brutally honest. Talk about where your business is vulnerable. Ask what potential benefits of this new competitive offering that your customers would respond to that you aren't able to match.
Surprise, you just outlined a business plan.
In those three (obviously multifaceted) steps, you’ve outlined the product/service design. You’ve begun to outline a viable financial model. And you’ve laid the foundation for marketing and sales messaging.
Remember: if you can imagine this, so too can a real competitor.
With every new technology, it’s only disruption when you’re the incumbent. For everyone else, it’s simply opportunity.
Thinking about finding a marketing partner who can’t stop thinking about your business?
Since 1985, Magnani Continuum Marketing has made it easier for organizations selling in highly technical and complex markets deliver the most effective and seamless traditional and digital brand experiences. We’re more digital than your advertising agency. More strategic than your digital marketing shop. More creative than your management consultants. And a heck of a lot easier to work with than almost all of them.
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- Justin Daab, President