New Horizons: Using AI to Explore New Markets

Finding new markets or a competitive advantage can help you expand, but it’s not easy. AI can help you identify market trends, find opportunities for strategic partnerships, and leverage your unique strengths to accelerate your business growth.

I was in beautiful New Zealand last week, speaking in Christchurch at the annual conference of an Australian group of independent travel agents. I was talking to them about being fit for the future and more specifically about the impact of AI.

The travel industry has an interesting attitude towards AI. Some travel agents fear it, because they think AI will make them redundant and their businesses obsolete. But the smart ones – and this group is one of them – recognise they can leverage AI to improve their productivity and serve their customers and clients better.

In my AI workshop, we discussed ways travel agents can use AI to improve and enhance their business – and even generate new business ideas.

For example, let’s consider a travel agent who was based in Cairns for years, has moved to Adelaide, and is re-establishing her business there.

We first asked ChatGPT how she could use her specific and unique expertise about Cairns and Far North Queensland to offer something different for her new customer base in South Australia.

ChatGPT generated a list of ideas, including one that wasn’t a direct answer to her question: offering South Australian experiences to her existing Queensland clients. That’s promising – and easier than looking for new clients.

She then asked ChatGPT for a list of businesses in and around Adelaide who might be interested in partnering with her to create unique experiences for people visiting from Queensland. This gave her a list of businesses to approach for a strategic partnership.

Finally, she asked ChatGPT to create a 3-day and 7-day itinerary for a typical customer: a couple visiting Adelaide from Cairns who will hire a car, have a specific budget range for accommodation each night, and including some of the businesses identified earlier. Sure enough, ChatGPT created these itineraries – in minutes!

Does that make her job redundant?

No, not at all.

Despite the details and speed (and confidence!) of ChatGPT’s suggestions, they were not perfect. Some were not relevant, others might not suit her customers, and some were plain wrong. She still has to apply her intelligence and expertise to double-check and refine these suggestions.

But ChatGPT did much of the heavy lifting for her, and gave her many ideas for expanding her business, exploring new markets, and giving her a competitive advantage.

This is exactly the right way to use AI tools like ChatGPT. They are assistants, not replacements, for your role.

I’m running a free online workshop soon to help you understand more about these AI tools, and especially how leaders can use them. It’s free, public, and open to everybody – so please register and invite others as well.


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