Why Marketers Need to Understand Amazon Web Services
If you’re trying to understand artificial intelligence, you need to understand services like Amazon Web Services (AWS).
Artificial intelligence is forecasted to have trillions of dollars in annual business impact, and it has the ability to give marketers and brands superpowers. Marketers who learn and experiment with AI will be able to drive revenue growth, increase productivity and efficiency, and generate ROI like never before.
There’s a reason AI is being increasingly adopted across industries. And AWS is partially responsible.
Platforms like AWS make it cheap for companies to scale up computing power whenever they need to, by essentially offering IT infrastructure like storage and networking on demand. But leaders like Amazon are also baking AI and machine learning infrastructure on-demand right into services such as AWS.
Companies that use a cloud computing platform like AWS also get on-demand AI and machine learning services at their fingertips, which makes it much faster for companies to deploy AI at scale.
Once that happens, all bets are off. Established market leaders that get there first will experience unparalleled competitive advantages. Those who don’t risk disruption from nimbler competitors or new market entrants.
In short, AI is going to be everywhere—and it will have a profound impact on marketers and the marketing industry.
That’s why it pays to learn a little bit about why platforms like AWS matter. That way, you can begin understanding how AI will actually impact your company, career, and customers.
What Is Amazon Web Services (AWS)?
Think of AWS as a series of related products and services that live in the cloud. These products and services help companies power their IT infrastructure. AWS offers everything from servers to storage to email to cybersecurity. It’s all on-demand, in the cloud, and paid for based on your usage.
This is a bit more revolutionary than you might think.
Notes The Guardian:
“[...] before AWS, if you wanted to get storage and computing power on the net, you had to hire server time to do it. That meant tracking down a server provider, picking the type of machine you wanted, and paying every month for your stuff to carry on sitting on that machine (usually paying on top for any bandwidth you used to actually get data from the server to your customers).”
Thanks to advancements in cloud computing, however, that model changed. Services like AWS were able to deliver on-demand computing power, so companies didn’t have to waste resources on IT infrastructure they didn’t need or risk not having enough if traffic went through the roof.
The market has responded dramatically to AWS. In 2018, AWS made more money than McDonald’s, according to Quartz. The Amazon division raked in more than $25 billion, which was up 47% from the previous year. In fact, AWS produces “most” of Amazon’s profit says Quartz.
In the process, AWS has made it much simpler and cheaper for companies to scale up or down as they need more or less resources for their technology operations.
This is a critical advantage when you’re piloting, building, or scaling artificial intelligence.
Why Does Amazon Web Services Matter to Marketers?
As a marketer, you’re probably not directly building AI applications. But somebody is, whether that’s your internal development teams or your competitors. And platforms like AWS make it far easier for them to do that.
AWS offers a number of AI-powered capabilities to developers working on the platform, including AI that recommends; forecasts; analyzes images, videos, and text; translates; provides voice capabilities; and more.
These types of AI are pre-trained, which is a big deal. If you’re building AI from scratch, or buying it off the shelf, you need to spend considerable time and money training the AI on large datasets. Now, it’s likely AWS’ AI features still need some time to get good with your data, but the fact these models are pre-trained helps accelerate deployment of AI capabilities and tools built on AWS.
Not to mention, AWS significantly reduces the learning curve for developers when it comes to AI. Just because someone is a great developer doesn’t mean they know how to build things with machine learning and AI. AWS requires no prior machine learning experience for developers to use.
On top of it all, these powerful AI models and capabilities are available to anyone, and backed by all the computing power you need to run them. This is the kind of infrastructure it would take years to build or cobble together from existing solutions.
That means you, as a marketer and brand, can expect the proliferation of AI to accelerate sooner rather than later.
Whether your competitors use AWS or another service like Microsoft Azure or Google TensorFlow (which we’ll cover in later posts), tools exist now that make it much easier to train and deploy AI—even if you don’t have a huge budget or team.
The time to get ready for this massive change is now.
What Should You Do Next?
It’s clear AI and related technologies are changing the game for marketers and brands everywhere.
You need to be ready for what’s coming.
We’re here to help. The Ultimate Beginner’s Guide to AI in Marketing is a free resource with 100+ articles, videos, courses, books, vendors, use cases, and events to dramatically accelerate your AI education. Click below to get free access.
About Mike Kaput
Mike Kaput is the Director of Marketing AI Institute and a senior consultant at PR 20/20. He writes and speaks about how marketers can understand, adopt, and pilot artificial intelligence to increase revenue and reduce costs. Full bio.