Artificial Intelligence and DaaS Leadership Strategies Technologies

Evolving Digital Marketing Strategies in the Era of AI Everywhere

Navigating AI Strategies & Digital Marketing Evolution
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IDC predicts that by 2025, the top 1000 organizations in Asia will allocate over 50% of their core IT spend on AI initiatives, leading to a double-digit increase in the rate of product and process innovations1. Moreover, according to a recent IDC survey, 35% of Asia/Pacific Japan (APJ) organizations will increase their IT budget to fund their AI Everywhere initiatives2. Both are proof of the ongoing AI revolution in the region.

As AI adoption continues to increase in the region, some organizations will find out the hard way though that they cannot simply replicate what peers or competitors are doing. Worse, some will realize they cannot buy or build just any AI solution they fancy and hope for the best.

As a framework to assess their organization’s AI Everywhere readiness, IDC drafted a framework outlining the key elements of successful AI implementations. First, it is imperative for organizations to be strategic in deploying AI in preparation for industry disruptions. Second is the importance of creating a roadmap that prioritizes use cases based on an organization’s distinct requirements. These first two are all about planning for success.

Next will be to build their enterprise on a foundation of intelligent apps, data and models to drive productivity, enhance operational efficiency, and create exceptional customer, partner, and employee experiences, among other benefits. Fourth will be the importance of having a robust digital infrastructure able to support AI workloads at scale to fully harness AI’s potential. These two are all about transforming their people, processes, technology, business models, and data readiness.

And, finally, the necessity of a rigid AI and data governance system to ensure data security, and safety and trust of their users.

In short, organizations who are already or about to embark on an AI journey will need to have a foundation of various digital innovations in place and to AI-engineer their AI adoption path before they can ensure AI creates the most significant business impact for their organizations.

It goes without saying then that tech vendors must master their customer’s AI journeys and readiness. Tech vendors must guide tech buyers every step of the way in effectively aligning their business objectives and priorities to their AI Everywhere initiatives. But, at the same time, tech vendors must also understand that each customer has unique objectives that require unique solutions. To succeed, tech vendors must be equipped to help them assess their markets better. Tech vendors should have the capabilities to demonstrate their AI solutions’ value, grow their business, create new opportunities, and elevate brand awareness.

IDC recently hosted a discussion on this topic with a group of leading global IT vendor CMOs in Singapore during a Sunrise Kopi briefing on AI Everywhere. At the event, IDC Research and IDC Custom Solutions had a lively discussion and advised them on how they can improve their AI solutions’ go-to-market strategies while aligning these to their customer’s objectives and challenges. Below are some of the key points discussed during the session:

  • Generate demand in a crowded market. Almost every vendor is touting an AI solution. Tech vendors need to raise their brands above the noise of the over 200 AI use cases available in the market by demonstrating the business impact of their “real AI’ solutions through effective content marketing.
  • Go beyond the CIO – Convincing the CEO through other decision influencer personas.  AI is more of a strategic initiative than an IT investment.  The decision-making process involves multiple personas with the need to convince the CEO and the board.  Tech vendors need to understand the priorities of these different personas and position their solutions appropriately, and not just focus on the CIO agenda.  IDC shared some of its published research on the AI investment priorities and buyer behavior of different personas across industries, and how to drive targeted marketing and enable sales teams to engage more effectively with these personas.
  • Communicate brand position clearly and change brand perception to an AI provider.  There is a need to cut across the hype and demonstrate who has a “real AI” solution.  We advised them on how to leverage thought leadership assets to show their understanding of the buyer journey and its corresponding issues, and to clearly demonstrate their solution’s business value and ability to generate tangible and significant business outcomes.
  • Shorten the decision-making process.  Although the buying decision involves multiple personas, the CEO and CIO must engage and align on the strategy.  A lot of conversations need to happen between the CEO and CIO.  IDC discussed its AI Readiness Maturity Model that helps bring all parties into a common assessment of where they are in their AI journey and aligns all stakeholders into a common decision pathway.  This tool can be used to measure partner/channel readiness to sell AI solutions as well as open an engagement opportunity for sales.
  • Tracking the dark funnel.  How do we track buyers who are clicking through, researching into the topic but are not picked up by the sales/marketing funnel?  IDC shared some of the TCO/ROI tools that can help tech vendors assess their customer’s environments and help draw them from the dark funnel into the sales/marketing funnel.  In addition, IDC also talked about leveraging media amplification and lead-generation services to facilitate the conversion of buyers in the dark funnel as marketing qualified leads.

In summary, there is a lot of noise in the market that muddles tech buyers’ visions as they search for suitable, legitimate, and reliable AI solutions to help them address their unique business needs. Given the right data, insights, and go-to-market strategies, tech vendors can clear tech buyer’s views if they plan, market, and sell their AI solutions well, and stand out as the preferred and trusted AI technology vendors of choice.

IDC Custom Solutions helps tech vendors enhance results with tailored insights and proven tools.

1 Source: IDC FutureScape: Worldwide Artificial Intelligence and Automation 2024 Predictions – Asia/Pacific (Excluding Japan) Implications
2 Source: IDC Future Enterprise Resiliency and Spending Survey Wave 1 (APJ N =300)

Victor is responsible for managing and executing consulting projects to meet the strategic, market planning and intelligence needs of IDC's clients. Victor has extensive hands-on experience in advising and providing support to senior managers in multinational companies with strategic planning, business development, mergers and acquisition planning and implementation, business/financial analysis, organizational re-engineering, and operational/process improvements.