4 July 2024

Why Content is Still King in the Era of AI

It seems everyone is talking about AI and what it means to creative industries, including the world of bids, proposals, and tenders. Like most subjects these days, AI is divisive. There are people who believe that AI will transform the bidding landscape, immediately levelling the playing field for small businesses and allowing them to compete with the best bid teams from corporate bidders. On the other hand, there’s resistance to the use of AI, with bid professionals defending their hard-earned skills and experience claiming that generated content will never be able to compete with them.

Like most issues, the truth isn’t found at the extremes, but somewhere in the middle.

What can AI do?

No matter how die-hard of a creative writer you are, there’s no doubt that AI delivers great promise to cut down the production time of a first version (V1) for a bid response. Using past material to create V1 isn’t a new thing, bid professionals have been doing it for decades by trawling through past responses and re-using the best bits of past bids to create a patchwork V1 that can be smoothed and tailored to the client. But that took time.

What AI allows the user to do is to generate a V1 far more quickly. Even if you have a well organised library and you know the content inside out, you can’t pull information out of it as quickly as AI does. More than that, AI will automatically rewrite that content in the process, so you have a totally refreshed response.

We have found that partnering AI with a really good bid library can generate a 40% time saving on creating V1, and that gives our team more time to tailor and finesse to get those top marks for our clients.

AI is also really good at guessing, but not so great at figuring out where it’s guessed wrong. For example, we’ve had AI pull up the incorrect name for a piece of software, or the wrong person for a given role. That’s why everything you generate needs to be checked by someone with the right knowledge and experience to understand any potential mistakes.

What can’t AI do?

While AI tools, like our partner Autogen, can now analyse the buyer documents and consider the requirements that have been explicitly expressed in them, they’re still no replacement for the final polish given by an experienced bid professional. Bid writing is art and science; AI can handle the science part, but finessing a response to be compliant and responsive, to address both spoken and unspoken needs, to mitigate weaknesses, ghost competitors and create a human connection with the evaluator takes a human.

Paste any quality question into ChatGPT right now and it will generate an answer, but it won’t be about you. AI can’t magically understand you company, your business, your USPs and win themes. To develop content that truly reflects your business, you need to feed your AI with a library of past responses. The better those responses, the better the content the AI will be able to generate for you.

We now recommend having two separate bid libraries to our clients, a curated and indexed reference library for bid writers and managers to review, and an AI ready library that contains your best responses, sanitised and organised so that AI can get the best out of it.

Finding the Middle Ground

We believe that the sweet spot for using AI in bidding is found at the intersection of the three things we’ve discussed; a brilliant bid library, the best-in-class AI, and time saved in generating V1 used to tailor the bid to the needs of the client.

Bid Library
Take a well curated bid library that contains your best content, cleansed and ready for use by your choice of AI.

Not all AI is created equal, and there is a world of difference between generic AI that is freely available, and AI that has been developed with bid writing in mind, that includes key features that speed up the bid process.

Generated responses are tailored and finessed by our team of highly qualified and experienced bid professionals, who work to Association of Proposal Management Professionals.

This methodology is so good, we couldn’t keep it to ourselves; and that’s why we launched bid vault. It’s a solution that includes a library of expert-written base responses, that can be combined with your library, Autogen, and if you need it even our people. If you think the middle ground is right for you, get in touch today to arrange a demo.


Blog written by Sarah Dixon – BidVault – Senior Product and Account Director