Do Great Products Really Sell Themselves?

at computer taking notes on paper

This saying is engrained in us, but the premise is questionable. Extraordinary product designers and engineers do their jobs and put out great products that deserve recognition. However, great solutions end up sitting on the shelf, making this notion a field of dreams. Products do not sell themselves because customers are increasingly making their purchase decision based on online research, or at least narrowing the field, before engaging with the business.

Pick your fiercest competitor. Search their solutions, brands and industry terms. Do this same search in social media. Document the content you find on the first three search pages including case studies, white papers, learning opportunities, videos, blog posts, and brochures. Now compare this to your own. You will find that your fiercest competitor is beating you at creating powerful, thought leadership content and it is siphoning off business from you before you even get a call.

It’s hard to do. You need writers, researchers, subject matter experts, creatives, and strategy that aligns with your Sales Team. You need your multi-channel, digital platform to be tuned to repurpose the content effectively. It often requires bandwidth from your most senior employees and leadership.

Executing on a content strategy may not be easy, but it pays dividends. Your Sales Team will thank you for the conversation starters, door openers, and stories that help their customers envision how your solutions will help them. They will spend less time educating their prospects on what the product is and more time on how to maximize the value of the solution.

If you aren’t creating content, start now. If you are, consider your pace and the quality of your output. Is your content addressing your customer’s need to reduce cost, improve performance, and mitigate risk? Content you create today can be repurposed for newsletters, blogs, social, and sales tools tomorrow. Perhaps the saying “great products sell themselves,” applied when everyone shopped at the corner store and when door-to-door sales was common, but no longer. The more appropriate idiom for today would be, “a rolling stone gathers no moss.” So, get moving or get markITnerds.

Me, Myself, and AI

showing digital brain

The idea of Artificial Intelligence can come off as futuristic, dystopian, and to many, an invasive concept. Your data and online interactions with a variety of different programs and applications could be used to create code that predicts your next actions, creates your next driving route, builds a new playlist, and much more.

The reality of AI is that these things are already happening. AI is all around you, rooted in complex algorithms drawing on vast data sources and in varying degrees mimic human decision-making. Here are 5 ways that AI is in your life right now.

  1. AI in Streaming Services

Ever wonder how those percentages pop up next to shows or movies you’ve never watched, usually between 80%-99%? This recommendation is based on a ton of info that the streaming service gathers based on what you already watch the most, and it is all funneled into an algorithm to spit out recommendations based on your interests. That’s why if you watch something a little out of your regular viewing zone, you may get recommendations that seem off. Even something at 80% might be a show that you have no desire to watch but based on that one movie you watched, because your friend really wanted to, the AI takes that new data and might not make the right recommendations.

  1. AI in Amazon

The second you search a product on Amazon, its algorithms work to recommend you all kinds of products based on a single keyword. At Amazon, they use a flywheel method to ensure that the AI technology is constantly at work, and that machine-learning discoveries at one part of the company can benefit other teams. As internal as that focus is, the reality is it effects much of their customers shopping experience.

  1. AI in Maps

When you enter in your next destination, Maps gives you multiple options on how to get there. How does it figure out the amount of time? Through AI, it tracks the speeds of many cars and can predict traffic, delays, accidents, and alert you to them without you even realizing that it is AI doing this. Google Maps’ most recent AI endeavor is giving you a month in review of all the different places that you have gone. If you don’t want it to track you, you have to go out of your way to turn that setting off in your Google application, whether on mobile or desktop.

  1. AI in Email

Wondering how your spam gets automatically filtered out of your inbox? This is all done through AI, that has marked what kind of e-mails you tend to delete and filters them out. Google has gone a step further in Gmail and even filters out Emails for social and promotions, which is done through machine-learning, a type of AI.

  1. AI in ALL the Voice Assistants

If you never realized that Siri, Alexa, and even Cortana are AI powered, here’s how they are. There’s a lot of research and development that goes into creating these voice assistants, and it requires a large amount of datasets. AI can figure out your voice, even if you have an accent or speak in a different dialect because of the variety in the data sets with voice samples from everywhere that engineers use.

Overall, AI already plays a huge role in people’s everyday lives. As time and technology progresses, it’s only going to be more prevalent and understanding its power is the first step in utilizing the technology to help us out even more in our everyday lives.