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Outrun Your Competitors With AI

There’s an old joke about two guys walking through the woods. All of a sudden they see a bear, and the bear starts moving towards them. The first guy sits down, pulls a pair of running shoes out of his backpack and slides them on. The second guy says, “What are you doing? You’re not going to outrun that bear.” And the first guy says, “I don’t have to outrun that bear. I just have to outrun you.” 

Outrunning your competitors is the real goal. For many people who were dreaming of solving all their business problems with heaps of AI, they feel let down. AI has been entering the “trough of disillusionment” portion of the hype curve lately, as our CEO Steve Zakur discussed recently on the SearchChat podcast. First it was going to solve “all the problems.” But increasingly people greet it with skepticism because they feel like it won’t. 

Here’s the thing. AI probably won’t solve all of your problems, but it is a pair of high-quality running shoes. Heck, it might even represent a scooter that gives you an even greater boost of speed. Remember… you’re not trying to outrun the bear.

So, maybe you’re feeling disillusioned because you’ve tried adding AI-based software to your Martech stack but haven’t seen the dramatic improvement you want. I agree; that would suck. After all, a 10x improvement would be amazing! But if your competition is improving by 9% year-on-year and AI helps you drive 11% growth, guess what? You’re gaining market share. You’re doing better. You’re outrunning the other guy.

Don’t worry about 10x. Worry about solving your customer’s problems – and your business problems. Stay grounded while adding AI to your practices. Do you know what business problem you want to solve? Do you know if the tech you’re looking at can address that problem? And, do you have some objective to measure it by? Without these, you’re just throwing AI at problems to see what sticks. Let’s put it more simply. You’re the head of marketing or sales in your company. Do you really care whether people are utilizing AI, or do you care that they’re driving results?

10x improvement would be great. But remember what an extra point or two of growth means to your bottom line. For most of our B2B clients at SoloSegment, that’s a lot of money. I’m betting it is for you, too. Look for the tools that help you outrun the competition. And let them worry about the bear. 

Tim Peter

Tim Peter built his first website in 1995 and loves that he still gets to do that every day. Tim has spent almost two decades figuring out where customers are, how they interact with brands online, and delivering those customers to his clients’ front door. These efforts have generated billions of dollars in revenue and reduced costs.

Tim works with client organizations to build effective teams focused on converting browsers to buyers and building their brand and business. He helps those companies discover how marketing, technology, and analytics tie together to drive business results. He doesn't get excited because of the toys or tech. He gets excited because of what it all means for the bottom line.

An expert in e-commerce and digital marketing strategy, web development, search marketing, and analytics, Tim focuses on the growth of the social, local, mobile web and its impact on both consumer behavior and business results. He is a member of the Search Engine Marketers Professional Organization (SEMPO), HSMAI, and the Digital Analytics Association.

Tim currently serves as Senior Advisor at SoloSegment, a marketing technology company that uses machine learning and natural language processing to improve engagement and conversion for large enterprise, B2B companies.

Tim Peter’s recent client work covers a wide range of digital marketing activities including developing digital and mobile marketing strategies, creating digital product roadmaps, assessing organizational capabilities, and conducting vendor evaluations for diverse clients including major hospitality companies, real estate brands, SaaS providers, and marketing agencies.

Prior to launching Tim Peter & Associates, LLC, a full-service e-commerce and internet marketing consulting firm in early 2011, he worked with the world’s largest hotel franchisor, the world’s premier independent luxury hotel representation firm, and a major financial services firm, developing various award-winning products and services for his customers. Tim can be reached at or by phone at 201-305-0055.

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