Thought Leadership

How analyst firms can embrace Generative AI to enhance customer value: Webinar

Artificial IntelligenceDigital TransformationTechnology

Key takeaways from our August 2023 webinar exploring how AI can be used to create value in analyst firms, with Content Catalyst’s Daniel Lord and Edwin Bailey, and special guest Rob Hughes.

Generative AI webinar takeaways

Imagine the type of analyst firm you might become if you had unlimited labour. What new customised products might you create and what innovative methods would you use to take them to market?

Generative AI has the potential to transform – or disrupt – how analyst firms capture and deliver research. In our most recent webinar, we discussed how analyst firms can protect their business from disruption by harnessing AI to improve search, create personalised content, provide instant insights, and upsell content. Here are the key takeaways.

Host: Edwin Bailey, Director of Marketing Content Catalyst

Speaker: Daniel Lord, Founder & CEO Content Catalyst

Guest speaker: Rob Hughes, Independent Advisor with 20 years’ experience in the analyst, vendor and enterprise markets and 8 years working with high performing technology firms.

Gain focus by thinking entirely about sustained customer value

Daniel Lord

“What we would suggest is the way to get focused is to think entirely about customer value. What are your ideas and approaches to leveraging Generative AI to create more of it? By focusing on this, we think you naturally take account of competitive threats as well.”

“The one caveat to this is obviously to approach it in a way which is sustainable for your business model. You don’t want to offer a lot of customer value in a way that you’ll find it hard to renew your customers next year.”

Key concerns analyst firms need to think about and decisions to be made:

  • You’ll want to retain control of your licensing and intellectual property.
  • How will you grow subscription use and value in ways your customers will pay for? For example, can you engage new roles or corporate functions? Can you provide new and more customised products and services from the same research assets?
  • How will you support customers with their own AI initiatives – they might ask you to send them all your content, is that something that you would want to do?

When is the right time to act?

“Generative AI has surprised everyone, including the experts, by how good it is. It’s natural to assume it will now improve incrementally, retaining the strengths and weaknesses that we have become accustomed to.  But we should be open-minded to further exponential improvements ahead, for which the implications are hard to imagine.”

“We’ve not enough time to reorientate, decide, and act. Change that took three years becomes 18 months, then nine months, then three months etc. In our case, we’ve started right away with experimentation. We’ve developed a chat-based discovery tool which works within our current platform for analyst research and we’re also developing the next generation of our platform technology with AI at its core.”

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Slide from webinar: How analyst firms can embrace Generative AI to enhance customer value

Opportunities to create customer value

Daniel Lord

“It seems that chat is one of the areas that has been of most interest – it’s a key tool offered by Generative AI. Even when we look at this particular area, we need to think about how this is integrated into the overall business model. For example, there’s personalised search, content summarisation, conversational results, handling complex queries.”

Some ideas for real-world applications for AI in analyst firms:

  • Improved search/predictive search – language processing that can remove the ambiguity from search queries.
  • Transforming content on a roles-based basis, making all of your content more relevant to a broader audience.
  • Instant insights – data delivery that can be transformed at multiple stages of the user journey, not just at the point of search.
  • Opportunity to upsell relevant content, feature tailored content recommendations outside of a user’s licence or even across brands.

How can analyst research be made more relevant to a broader audience?

Rob Hughes

“There’s a real opportunity to push information into workflows and roles in a much more proactive manner, rather than in a reactive manner waiting for it to be repackaged. I think there’s a huge opportunity for the analysts and anybody doing market research to become much more than just a provider of information and become a critical knowledge partner.”

“That’s always been an aspiration of analyst firms. I think the technology now allows us to do that just by doing much more with the same amount of effort. We can use technology to increase our productivity tenfold if we think about how to package it and how to place things.”

Considerations for analyst firms

Edwin Bailey

“Here are four considerations analyst firms need to be thinking about at this stage to make sure it works for your business strategy and creates business value.”

Analysts are valued: “Your customers trust you, they value your opinion, they make decisions from your opinion. They can make decisions around mergers and acquisitions, investments, and also how they market and position themselves and enter new markets.”

“Going to an analyst firm provides surety, certainly in the short to medium term, so I don’t feel the business model should have to change dramatically.”

Move quickly but plan ahead: “Let’s not think just about cost savings, let’s think about how it’s going to help our customers and create longer term value and success. Move quickly and plan for a two to five-year time-frame.”

Time is of the essence: “There seems to be an extraordinary appetite for just having the answer delivered quicker and quicker – and on the plate rather than having to read reports or assemble the information. So, one of the things to think about is answering questions quicker.”

Personalise your product: “The ability to align to roles, to departments or particular company types, or align to ‘jobs to be done’. Can the same content be tailored and served up or matched to individual’s interest areas? I think there’s an opportunity here and that’s certainly what we’re hearing from your customers.”

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Slide from webinar: How analyst firms can embrace Generative AI to enhance customer value

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Next steps

We believe AI can have a positive impact for analyst firms, but there’s much more to discuss and explore. Contact us if you’d like to talk about AI and how it could impact your business or:

Download our whitepaper: Exploring Productivity in the Age of Generative AI

Find out how Content Catalyst can help you use technology to grow your business.

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