How to Offer AI Consulting Services and Drive Business Innovation

Artificial intelligence may seem like a new buzzword in many industries, but AI and machine learning is fully integrated into most workdays and lifestyles. More than 75 percent of devices rely on AI to some degree, and 90 percent of organizations support the integration of AI to build competitive advantages (Authority Hacker). 

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Despite the preponderance of AI in apps and devices, businesses of all types still struggle to integrate AI into processes. AI consulting services provide expertise and help in implementing AI solutions. Positioning your agency as an expert in AI implementation and use can help you create new lines of business and support stability in an ever-changing digital world. 

What is AI consulting?

When you offer AI consulting services, you provide expert advice and assistance—and potentially access to machine learning and AI tools—to clients who want to solve business problems with these technologies. As AI consultants, your team would assess client needs and recommend viable AI solutions, work alongside clients in implementing those technologies, and potentially provide ongoing support to ensure clients get value from AI.

Some specific tasks that might be involved in AI consulting include developing algorithms, training GPTs, and creating data management practices. However, the skills you need and the services you offer can vary widely depending on the AI needs of your clients and the industries you target.

When would businesses need AI consulting services?

The AI consulting market size is expected to experience a 26.49 percent CAGR through 2031, ending at a forecasted $45,642 million value (Business Research Insights). AI strategy consulting and other services are likely to be relevant to every possible industry, but some specific scenarios make it obvious a company might need such services.

Understanding common scenarios where these types of services are relevant can help you come up with viable AI startup ideas. Here are a few times you can serve clients as an AI consulting agency:

  • When clients need custom AI solutions. ChatGPT consulting, algorithm development, and automation design are some examples of services you can offer to customize technology solutions for clients. 
  • During complex implementation projects. You can create tried-and-true practices for implementing specific AI solutions that offer expertise and services to clients as they work to integrate those into existing processes. 
  • When clients are first integrating AI. Agencies that offer AI expertise can work with clients who are just beginning their AI journey, offering guidance and support in selecting AI tools and replacing tedious manual processes with automations. 
  • As AI evolves within a niche, industry, or process. Not everyone has the time and ability to keep up with fast-paced technology changes. By remaining at the forefront of your niche, you can act as an educator, trainer, and support system for clients. 

Examples of industries benefiting from AI consulting

As AI’s reach grows, every industry can benefit from AI consulting services. We asked ChatGPT where such services might be beneficial, and it provided a long list of potential industries that ranged from healthcare to human resources. 

What business operations would need AI consulting?

Understanding the types of business functions that might benefit from AI management consulting can also help you position your agency for success.

Here are some top areas where AI is making major impacts today:

  • Marketing and sales strategies. AI tools can support a wide range of marketing and sales tasks, including social media management, lead generation and nurturing, PPC ad campaigns, and SEO strategy. 
  • Customer relationship management. AI can be used in CRM via chatbots, automated processes, data management, and many other tasks. Artificial intelligence also helps personalize offerings and customer journeys to maximize customer satisfaction and lifetime value.
  • Supply chain management. Machine learning and AI can help streamline logistics chains, manage inventory, and support predictive analytics for better forecasting. These can all lead to lower costs and higher profits. 


Benefits of AI consulting services for your clients

As with any service you provide, you’ll need to market the benefits of AI consulting. Here are a few advantages these services offer your clients:

  • Improved decision-making processes. AI can source, analyze, and report on more data than people-powered systems alone can. That can provide clients with important insights when making business decisions about marketing, product development, customer service, finances, and other critical issues. However, this is only true when AI is property integrated, which can take the expertise of a consultant. 
  • Increased efficiency and productivity. When AI is integrated well into existing processes, such as campaign management for social marketing, the end result is greater efficiency, more production with fewer resources, and an ability to scale. Consulting agencies can help ensure clients get these benefits with whatever AI processes they want to deploy. 
  • Enhanced customer experience. When implemented well, chatbots and other AI-powered automations help improve customer experiences by expediting answers and processes and supporting digital self-serve environments in customized ways that work for consumers. 

Challenges of AI consulting

Despite the benefits, integrating AI consulting services into your lineup is not without challenges. It’s important to have a plan to address these obstacles.

The rapid pace of adoption and need to integrate with existing systems

Organizations are adopting AI at an accelerated pace. In 2019, the average number of AI or machine learning projects deployed by organizations was four. In 2022, that figure was 35. (Exploding Topics). This rapid pace can create resource burdens on organizations and their consultants, and you may need to step into a leadership and counseling role to help clients prioritize efforts so they don’t stretch those resources too thin.

You’ll also likely face challenges in integrating AI marketing and other tools into existing systems. Most organizations won’t be ready to pull the plug on every legacy platform or process, so understanding how APIs and other integrations work is important. 

General perception of AI

While business owners and professionals are increasingly seeing AI as a potential positive for their organizations, there are still misconceptions about the role of machine learning and AI-powered processes in business environments. One of those is that AI is a threat to human jobs.

It is expected that AI will eliminate around 85 million jobs worldwide as of 2025. However, the integration of these new technologies will create 97 million jobs—a net increase of 12 million jobs (National University). As an AI consulting agency, you can work to set cultural expectations about how AI is a help for—and not a replacement for—people in any process. 

Data privacy and security concerns

Data security continues to be a huge concern for any technology-based process. When engaging in AI technology consulting, you must define how data is used and what your responsibility for privacy and security are. If cybersecurity and AI data privacy are not part of your expertise, it may be worth working with outside vendors to support these areas of your service. 

AI’s own limitations

AI is not infallible or unlimited. You’ll need to work with clients on humanizing content generated by AI and understanding how the inherent limitations and biases of AI may work against processes such as AI lead generation or making money with AI art

Image source: Washington Post

How to offer AI consulting services

If you’re looking to offer AI digital marketing consulting services, follow the steps below.

  1. Build a team of AI experts with diverse skill sets. You can’t start an AI agency without some relevant skills. You may need to hire some people in-house, but you can also work with vendors to scale your services via white labeling. 
  2. Establish partnerships with AI technology providers. Research white-label AI software and other solutions, such as Vendasta.
  3. Market your AI technology consulting services. Choose a niche and begin to market your AI consulting services to your target audience. Remember to demonstrate your expertise and the unique value you can provide clients. 
  4. Conduct a thorough assessment of client business needs. Once you sign up a client, spend time getting to know more about their business. Ensure you understand their existing process and what their desired future state is so you can assess AI solutions that may work well for them.
  5. Develop a customized AI strategy and implementation plan. Create a custom AI implementation strategy for each client. Avoid cookie-cutter solutions, as they don’t tend to provide excellent value to every client. Consumers and clients are also used to personalization due to constant interaction with algorithms via services like Amazon and Netflix, so they will expect a tailored option. 
  6. Provide ongoing support and monitoring of AI solutions. Continue to monitor AI solutions you implement for clients, provide ongoing support, and improve solutions where possible to build ongoing trust and value for clients. 


About the Author

Lawrence Dy is the SEO Strategy Manager at Vendasta. His career spans from starting as a Jr. Copywriter in the automotive industry to becoming a Senior Editorial Content Manager in various digital marketing niches. Outside of work, Lawrence moonlights as a music producer/beatmaker and spends time with friends and family.

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