Marketing AI, ML and XR Technologies

Marketing AI, ML and XR Technologies
 
Rob Cullum

Imagine this: Your competitors are actively discussing AI, ML, and XR at industry conferences, establishing themselves as thought leaders in these transformative technologies. Meanwhile, your target audience might not be aware of the significant R&D investments your business has made in these areas. Even if they are aware, they might not fully grasp the concrete benefits these advancements translate to in terms of their bottom line – how AI, ML, and XR can impact their daily experience and improve their business outcomes. This silence about the value proposition of these technologies might be costing you valuable marketing opportunities.

Connectivity, Data Storage Enhancements and Security

Connectivity has thrived with the Internet of Things (IoT), Industrial IoT (IIoT), Operational Technologies (OT) and Industry 4.0 bringing together access to more data across various technology locations. While data storage costs have reduced substantially, and discovery tools exist to find and manage this data (like those offered by our client SecurEnvoy), security remains a principal concern. The real challenge now lies in harnessing this data effectively. How can we extract valuable insights that drive efficiency, inform strategic decisions, and ultimately lead to better business outcomes?

Quick Differences Between AI, ML and XR

AI, ML and XR together are shaping the world we live in. While each technology offers distinct functionalities, they often work hand-in-hand to reveal their full potential. Below is a quick breakdown of what each term signifies:

Artificial intelligence (AI)

  • What it is: AI refers to machines that can simulate human intelligence, including learning and problem-solving capabilities. It is a subject currently generating the most exposure. Its opportunities are extensive, but it’s safe to say if managed irresponsibly, its negative effects on our planet could be just as extensive.
  • Example: In engineering, AI can analyse design data to suggest improvements in functionality, weight reduction, and material efficiency. Or, in manufacturing, AI can analyse sensor data to predict equipment failures or optimise production schedules based on real-time factors.
  • Machine Learning (ML)

  • What it is: ML is a subset of artificial intelligence that focuses on algorithms that can learn and improve from data without explicit programming.
  • Example: In IT, ML algorithms can analyse network data to identify potential security threats or performance bottlenecks before they cause problems.
  • Extended Reality (XR)

  • What it is: XR encompasses a range of immersive technologies that overlay virtual elements onto the real world (AR) or create fully simulated environments (VR). It can take big data, ergonomic tech and big computing to generate high-end XR but can create greater user engagement.
  • Example: In engineering, XR can be used for remote collaboration and training. Technicians can use XR glasses to receive real-time assistance from experts located anywhere in the world. Or, in manufacturing, XR can be used for virtual prototyping, allowing engineers to test and refine designs in a virtual environment.

Effectively Communicating Your AI, ML and XR Positioning

There is a reasonable chance that your AI/ML/XR solutions are relatively complex, so how can you simplify your target audience’s journey to understanding the concrete benefits for their bottom line? Use clear, concise language and tailor the level of technical complexity depending on the persona. Below is a general formula for communicating the benefits:

  1. Begin with a customer pain point: “Are you tired of unexpected equipment failures that disrupt your production?”
  2. Introduce the technology: “AI-powered predictive maintenance can…”
  3. Highlight the customer benefit: “…help you avoid costly downtime and ensure your machines are always running at peak performance.”
  4. Quantify the impact whenever possible: “This can lead to a 15% reduction in maintenance costs and a 10% increase in production uptime.”

By framing the discussion around the customers’ bottom line and using clear measurable benefits, you can effectively communicate the value proposition of AI/ML/XR and show customers how these technologies can help them achieve their business goals.

Typical ways of how these technologies can transform manufacturing, engineering and IT along with how to communicate these to customers include:

AI for Optimised Production Planning:

  • Transformation: AI can analyse historical production data, along with real-time factors like material availability and machine performance, to create optimised production schedules. This minimises waste by ensuring the right materials are used at the right time and prevents overproduction.
  • Customer Benefit: Increased production output and optimised scheduling can lead to faster completion and delivery times for customers. Reduced waste can lead to lower overall material costs, which could be passed on to the customer. Research by McKinsey & Company suggests that AI-powered production planning can lead to an increased throughput of 10-30%.

XR for Remote Expert Support and Training:

  • Transformation: XR allows for remote collaboration and training. Technicians can use XR glasses to receive real-time assistance from experts located anywhere in the world. New employees can also be trained on complex machinery in a safe, virtual environment.
  • Customer Benefit: Faster issue resolution can lead to reduced downtime for the customer. Collaborating with specialists remotely will also minimise travel costs and improve training effectiveness, leading to fewer errors.

ML for Virtual Prototyping:

  • Transformation: ML can create and test virtual prototypes of products, allowing for faster iteration and identification of potential design flaws before physical prototypes are created.
  • Customer Benefit: Reduced development costs through fewer physical prototypes, faster time-to-market with lighter and more sustainable products and improved product safety through early identification of potential issues.

Enabling Your Target Audience Towards Your Solution

Traditional sales pitches are fading as customers are armed with more information and prefer to conduct their own research before making a decision. This presents a unique opportunity: to become a trusted guide throughout their research journey.

By providing informative content, such as white papers, webinars, and case studies you allow the customer to take control with a choice in how they can learn, whilst still guiding them towards your solution organically.

Remember, the personas of your target audience may have different objectives and motivators. An engineer might need in-depth technical specifications, while a project manager or the procurement team might be more interested in ROI data. Tailoring your content to address the specific needs and understanding of each decision-maker is crucial to forming a strong connection.

If you work with a reseller network or channel structure, empowering them is equally important. Equipping your sales partners with the knowledge and resources they need to effectively communicate the value proposition of AI/ML/R can help accelerate the sales cycle.

Implementing new technologies can sometimes raise concerns among employees. Openly communicating the benefits of AI/ML/XR, such as increased efficiency and upskilling opportunities, can help alleviate anxieties and ensure team buy-in.

The concept of AI can also sometimes evoke a sense of “out-of-control” technology. Emphasise the human oversight involved in training and maintaining AI systems. Highlight real-world customer success stories where AI has demonstrably improved processes and delivered positive results. This transparency builds trust and positions AI as a valuable tool, not a threat.

Key Marketing Tools to Consider with Technical Sales

Unlike B2C marketing, your target audience likely operates in a niche industry. They possess some technical understanding, but busy schedules and skimming habits necessitate clear and concise communication. Additionally, the procurement and management roles you might be targeting may have varying levels of expertise in complex technologies like AI/ML/XR.

Visual communication is key: Utilise diagrams, infographics, and even XR demonstrations (if budget allows) to break down complex concepts. Showcase these technologies in stages, with and without examples, and leverage flow charts to illustrate real-world applications. This upfront visual approach can significantly accelerate your audience’s understanding, allowing you to delve deeper into details later.

Content that educates and empowers: White papers, technology guides, and quick facts sheets can take your target audience on a journey of understanding. These resources build trust in the technology and showcase application examples. Position your solution from the client’s perspective: what opportunities does it present? What challenges can it solve? How can it enhance their ongoing projects?

Showcase success stories: Case studies serve as the ultimate validation of your solution. While client confidentiality might prevent name-dropping in certain industries, consider creating anonymised case studies that highlight successful applications. You can always seek client approval for specific details. Alternatively, describe and annotate a list of relevant application examples, making it easier for your audience to connect with the real-world impact.

Establish yourselves as industry experts: Generate trust around your business and technology by positioning yourselves as thought leaders. This can be achieved through informative white papers, a series of insightful blog posts, sustained press coverage, or a series of interviews. Humanise your approach by showcasing the human expertise that complements the power of AI and ML tools.

Generating Leads Through Your Latest AI, ML and XR Investment

While AI/ML/XR represent powerful advancements, generating leads through these technologies requires a strategic approach. A dedicated landing page with content focused on your target audience’s needs and challenges will act as the hub of your lead-generation campaign for other channels like LinkedIn marketing or email to link to. Compelling CTAs that offer valuable downloadable educational resources, such as white papers or industry reports should be added to the landing page. Additionally, consider offering discovery sessions or product demonstrations to give prospects a deeper understanding.

Don’t just tell – engage your audience! Throughout your messaging, incorporate questions that prompt prospects to reflect on their challenges and how your solutions can help. Clarity and relevance in the messaging are key to a successful lead-generation campaign. Focus on the benefits they care about, not just the technical details of your technology.

Remember, lead generation through digital marketing requires a solid foundation. This includes a clear understanding of your ideal customer profile and a well-defined value proposition that resonates with their specific challenges. By carefully considering how to achieve true target client engagement, you can transform your cutting-edge technologies into a lead-generation engine.

Read more tactics on how to promote your technology investments here.

Teaming up with a Technology Aware Marketing Agency

At Motion, many of our clients already have involvement with AI, ML, XR and other Industry 4.0 technologies. Working with IT providers (integrating these technologies into their offering) and industrial manufacturing and engineering allows us to see the technologies from different perspectives, helping us bridge the gap between technology and real-world business needs.

Utilise Motion’s technology sector knowledge and full-service marketing portfolio to effectively communicate your offering and unlock the potential of your AI/ML/XR investments. Contact us to speak to a member of the team, or book a discovery session to get started.

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