C-Suite Network™

Why Machine Learning Should be in Your Present, Not Just Your Future

I have spent the last 40 years on the cusp of various technologies. (It’s a trick. If you are on the cutting edge, there are no experts, so you get to call yourself one.) Now I am an expert in Marketing and AI. (See what I did there?)

I actually have been working in text analytics since the 80s and was first exposed to machine learning in IBM Research in the 90s, so I have been doing this for a while, if that counts for anything. So I am used to hearing people talk about how AI is the future. And it is.

But it’s also the present.

Sometimes, it’s just how you talk about it. I remember early in my career, I did what I thought was a knockout presentation on some new superpower technology, and as the audience was filing out, a few people came up to speak to me afterwards. They were all very excited and all agreed as one person breathlessly said to me, “Wow, you are really a visionary.”

Except that’s bad. Because that means that they didn’t think they needed to do anything about that technology for three years. So if every time you hear about machine learning it sounds to you like Big Data 5G Blockchain, then you are missing the power of the present.

Machine learning can take the data you are sitting on and start predicting outcomes that you needed to wait to have happen. We are working with clients to predict the bounce rates of new pages without having to wait three months to see what they are. You can imagine applying the same approach to exit rate, social shares, inbound links, and any other content metric.

Think about what an advantage that is. Rather than suffering with poorly-performing pages for months until the data stabilizes, you can make changes presuming that those pages will perform the way similar pages have in the past. So make them look like better-performing pages instead. But do it now, not months from now.

That is what machine learning does. It takes all the data that you already have and speeds up the correct decision. That speed is your competitive advantage. Or at least it is your competitive advantage if you are using machine learning now. Conversely, if you think AI is the future, then it might be your competitor’s advantage now.

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