September 26, 2023

Media Innovation: The Compelling Business Argument for Generative AI

By Heather Allerdice-Gerow

Sr. Director, Industry Leader for Media Portfolio

There are several reasons why a media business should explore the potential of incorporating generative AI into its plans. AI, when used properly, can be a transformative tool that helps media companies modernize their offerings.

Of course, as with any major initiatives, there may be hurdles in getting executive leadership on-board with adopting generative AI. In order to push through AI adoption across the organization, you may need to build a business case for its value and revenue-generating potential. Here, we’ll look at some of the most common objections to help sell AI through to the C-suite.

Objection: AI is a fad

This is one of the harder objections to overcome because there’s a kernel of truth to it. When AI isn’t applied strategically, it can be nothing more than an effort at chasing the hype. For example, if a media company wants to build out a fun ChatGPT application for its users to play with, that’s understandable. But every company needs to examine the risks of simply chasing fads, as opposed to building something with purpose.

To get support for an AI effort, it’s critical to explain that AI is a tool, one that can be used internally as well as externally in a customer-facing fashion. Internal use cases may actually be the more appealing use cases for media businesses, because it can create operational efficiency.

AI tools that help with SEO optimization and search responses that can maximize search term effectiveness. Improving search across all properties helps both customers and internal teams, building a long-lasting product that builds a connection with consumers, long after any perceived fads have passed.

Objection: We don’t have a use for AI

Again, there’s a bit of truth here. There’s no reason to integrate AI into a business plan without a clear use case. Executive teams may be wary of AI because of the very specific generative use cases that are popping up in news stories right now – namely, content creation.

AI doesn’t need to be used to generate new content. There are myriad use cases across the media industry for AI. One of the most obvious use cases is using AI to organize internal data, run analytics, and generate insights that can be used to optimize an organization. This is an application that almost any media business can make use of right away. At this point, with heightened competition and a need to develop new revenue streams, any operational efficiency should be greeted with open arms.

Objection: We can’t afford to build a new product

First and foremost, executive teams need to know that adopting AI doesn’t always mean building a new AI product. It can be used to improve existing products and build deeper connections with customers, while also potentially attracting new ones.

For example, as media companies look to build greater engagement with their customers, many are using email outreach. Publishers in particular are using newsletters to share content recommendations with users. AI can be used to create personalized newsletters and outreach, automating this process while also making each version unique to the customer receiving it.

Objection: AI won’t generate revenue

Once again, this may be a case of executive teams having a narrow focus on content generation use cases. Giving away a generative AI tool to users for free isn’t going to generate revenue immediately, true. Instead, think about long term impact.

For customer-facing applications, AI isn’t going to drive new subscriptions by itself But applications like personalization, customization, recommendations, and improved site search are going to improve the overall user experience. That encourages existing customers to stay with the company longer, and may even lead to deeper relationships.

For internal use cases, think of the potential cost savings that come with efficiency and automation. A company that uses AI for analytics may actually uncover new revenue opportunities that weren’t immediately apparent. Using AI to automate menial tasks frees people up to do more of the critical thinking that they are hired to do.

Here at 3Pillar we’re continuing to monitor the latest developments in AI and identify how media companies can apply AI to build breakthrough products that transform their business. To get started on a conversation about how AI can apply to your business, contact us.