What is AI, really?

Simply put, AI is using a bunch of data to make sense of the world.

Let’s drill down a bit. If you read the typical artificial intelligence definition, you’ll see something along the lines of,

The development of computer systems with the ability to perform tasks that normally require human intelligence.

Which is also fairly simplistic. At least on the surface. We’re just getting machines to do what humans could do, given enough time, right?

Not So Fast...

The human brain is capable of processing an enormous amount of data. We’ve evolved to process a three-dimensional world (four-dimensional, if you include time), but that’s about the limit any of us can really deal with.

As explained by Malcolm Gladwell in chapter five of The Tipping Point, this processing limitation is why phone numbers are seven digits long and why the most successful organizations or groups never number more than 150 people at any given time. Those numbers represent the limits of our cognitive abilities.

Where AI has the upper hand over our own innate information processing abilities is in complexity. The patterns needed to really understand how any given thing - in our case, companies - will behave, have many, many more dimensions that what our brains can reasonably process.

We’re terrible at accurately spotting patterns past a few dimensions. Whereas machines - artificial intelligence systems - do just fine in higher dimensions.


And we’re already relying on
AI to do higher dimension processing
in our everyday lives.

section 4 AI powers the email auto-responses that allow us to quickly respond to messages with realistic, relevant responses. AI is how Netflix knows what shows you are likely to enjoy next, and how Amazon gets consumers to buy more of, well, everything, through their ‘Customers who bought this item also bought’ prompts.

All B2C examples, sure. But given the success of these small, everyday improvements, surely AI must have profound implications for the B2B world - where reliable data processing can make or break a successful quarter, a year, or a business.

It’s taken a bit longer to get the AI flywheel turning in B2B. It’s not complacency. The higher the stakes, the more reticent people are. It’s easy to test drive AI assistant programs like Siri or Alexa - it’s much more difficult to bet next quarter’s revenue, or potentially your job, on an as-yet-unproven system.

Today, the flywheel is starting to gather speed - because marketers are inherently risk takers. From targeting to messaging to campaign strategy, we’ve all adapted to living with a lot of unknowns. We’ve made reasonable compromises to move things forward, based on the available data and hard-won lessons learned over the course of a career. We’ve done pretty well. But all of us know we can do better.

And while we’ve been thinking about how to get to better, the risk has shifted. As more marketers move to add AI capabilities to their martech stack, it becomes riskier to wait.

How to Predict the Future With AI

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Why Are You Doing This?
What’s Your Endgame?

For this to work, you’ve gotta have goals. Specific ones. To find these, first look at the tasks you don’t like doing. You know, the things that are tedious, repetitive, time-consuming. Maybe it’s targeting. Or inbound email response. Maybe it’s lengthy conversations with prospects and customers.

Very often, we’re so used to just doing these things that we don’t even realize how big of a headache they’ve become. How much of our time they eat away at. How much more we could accomplish if we delegated these tasks to a software that’s designed to complete them with a high level of accuracy.

Find those things that dominate your time, those things you don’t like to do, and use AI to fix those problems.

Faster, more
reliable targeting?

LeadCrunch delivers accurate targeting that lowers customer acquisition costs and fills your pipeline with qualified leads.

Intelligent, inbound
email response?

Roboresponse’s automated responder works 24/7 to reply to inquiries that previously drained your sales team’s enthusiasm and efficacy.

Engaging with leads in
natural, two-way

Conversica’s AI assistants automate these communications so you can step in only after they’re further down the funnel.
Yes, goal clarity matters. But don’t overthink it.
Just get started. You just have to get in the game.
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