Three Necessary Ingredients for Marketing AI to the Channel

For better or worse, artificial intelligence is all the rage these days. It’s almost odd to read a news or technology magazine and not encounter at least one article describing what will happen to us when the robots finally take over.

But despite the hype, brands are struggling to sell AI products. Buyers are signaling a strong interest in buying AI in the next 12 months, but far fewer are actually making the investment. The gap between consideration to purchase and purchasing underscores the need for stronger marketing efforts on the part of brands and partners.

How to Market AI

There is a temptation when marketing AI to try to explain the scientific genius that underpins these groundbreaking technologies. But that’s not your role as a channel marketer and end-buyers aren’t looking for a science lesson.

Your marketing efforts are better-used explaining to them how the innovation will serve their business. Buyers want to know how the investment will help their line of business deliver outcomes. They may be confident that AI is the way of the future, but they may not be convinced that whatever is available now is necessarily going to provide a solid return on investment.

Proof Points

Case studies are your friend. They provide evidence that AI works and help demystify the technology to the buyer. Case studies also help buyers at SMEs sell the technology to internal stakeholders who may not be as receptive to new investments.

For maximum effect, develop case studies that are specific to each vertical you’re targeting. It becomes much harder for a buyer to dismiss the potential of AI when he sees a case study that explains the advantage one of his potential competitors is gaining by implementing the technology.

Visual Content

No matter what kind of content you’re providing, it’s important to keep the visual element in mind. A well-crafted infographic can grab the attention of a buyer and communicate a strong message about the benefits of AI in a matter of seconds. In a recent survey conducted by Forrester Research for its Beyond the Lead webinar, 72 percent of buyers say they are likely to engage in infographics.

It’s key to include this type of easily-digestible visual content because many of your buyers, particularly those who are at the early stages of the purchasing cycle, will not be interested in diving into an e-book or case study. Even in those more substantial types of content, the visual element plays a critical role in guiding buyers through the information presented, making it easier to understand and explain to other stakeholders in the buying process.   

Engaging Content

How do you give buyers what they want? Here’s a trick: ask them what they want. Provide buyers with surveys that ask them about their business and needs and then offer them a solution based on their answers. The more you can tailor the product to the unique circumstances of their line of business, the better.

Surveys, questionnaires and other content that invites reactions from readers are always good to include in a digital marketing campaign, even if the goal is not to pitch the buyer on a certain product. The goal is for the campaign to feel less like a monologue and more like a two-way conversation. The more you can show that you care about what the buyer is saying, the more likely they’ll listen to what you’re saying.

Joel Montgomery is founder & CEO of OneAffiniti, a platform-enabled marketing solutions provider.