One of the most established ways for an entrepreneur to stay on top is by setting themselves out as a thought leader. A thought leader is an acknowledged expert of a narrowly focussed topic in their industry niche (Weil, 2006, p.5). In this digital age, the most effective way entrepreneurs become thought leaders is by using blogs. Blogs convey the genuine ideas and opinions of individuals and exhibit sincerity, honesty and passion for the company’s vision, mission, values, and culture, they become a gateway for people to get to know the brand first, and the products and services later (Lee et al., 2006, p.14).
It is vital to know that a thought leader is someone that is recognized for having innovative ideas and new insights that solve industrial and societal challenges and demonstrates the courage to share those ideas as insights with no intention of marketing itself (Iddrisu, 2017, p. 17). The differentiation of a thought leader from other businesses with knowledge is the mind set that allows a company to predict things in the future and have their confidence to promote or share these views as actionable views for business improvement (Butler, 2011, p.18). Thought leaders might even be called futurists as they operate at the forefront of their fields, and offer breakthrough thinking that others can act on. Commonly, thought leaders require a new point of view or an issue, and to achieve that, content is required to present their opinion. The more a firm can demonstrate their knowledge through their published blog posts, the more likely they are sought out by others who want to buy their expertise. Thought leadership allows a business to grow and to build a brand reputation, establishing themselves as an authority and resource that others can trust. A business that will not only be followed by customers but also by other related organizations in their field, thus providing technology firms credibility that would not be easy to be built through normal marketing activities (Butler, 2011, p.20).
Creating content that is specific to the interest of each viewer has been the main priority for many marketers as of late. Still, it is not very easy for a business to execute this process. To implement useful customization, a company needs to have access to massive amounts of customer data, which has to be appropriately analyzed and translated into actionable plans. Although data personalization has been a jargon in marketing for several years, the latest advances in artificial intelligence are now making it possible for this concept to become a reality. The AI systems are learning to collect relevant data from customers and website visitors, with the use of this data, they are creating individual profiles that are tailored to each individual and applied for the creation of an impactful brand experience.
The practice of creating content through artificial intelligence is increasingly rising and influencing the opinions and behaviour of people in their everyday life. Therefore, it is important for technological firms that are thought leaders to pay close attention to the unconscious racial bias that can be found in artificial intelligence technology. These businesses must ensure that their content still aligns with their company values. Businesses need to create “Friendly AI’s,” this refers to the creation of human-benefitting and non-human-harming actions in the AI systems (Yudkoswky, 2001, p.2). If they are not doing so, they could cause potential damage to their reputation. One should note that it is not the fault of actual prejudice that produces skewed results in the web searches, but it is merely the cause of distorted data that firms often overlook because of their naïveté (Garcia, 2016, p.112). Artificial intelligence and algorithms rely on training data, but often these training data samples are sets that are non-representative of the general population; this indicates that the data sets either exclude certain groups or characteristics or, on the contrary, over-represent other groups or characteristics. These mistakes may appear as small mistakes and could not be seen as dangerous. However, the issues do lay in these prejudices or biases possibly being magnified and inflicting discriminatory damage to the population, and essentially continuing and reinforcing bias at an industrial scale (Lloyd, 2018, p.1). Careful attention to instilling principles of equality into data sets is needed to ensure that a fair and equitable system is created. All groups and characteristics should be considered and represented in accordance with their distinct differences to remove racial bias and ensure equality (Lloyd, 2018, p.2).
The challenge of business in this digital age is to stay true to your views and company culture by sharing exciting unbiased opinions. It is vital for a business to do so in order to continually attract customers towards their content and differentiating them from being simple translations of traditional marketing channels.