Over the past year, the internet has been filled with articles talking about the new predictions, and the promises and potential of artificial intelligence (AI) for businesses. Accompanied by a wave of consumer AI products like Alexa, Siri, Cortana, and Google’s language translation services, it’s hard to miss all the rage these days, even if you’re living under a rock.
AI for small business
What makes AI so robust is the innumerable data points supported by powerful algorithms that help machines sift through this ocean of data, like customer demographics, buying patterns, intent, search history and so much more. All of this is meant to improve and simplify the complexities that come with large sales, marketing and customer service programs. However, do small businesses need AI?
Can AI Really Benefit Small Businesses?
A recent survey commissioned by Salesforce found 61 percent of small business owners felt they weren’t ready to adopt it because they felt AI was too complicated for what they needed. However, this misconception couldn’t be further from the truth. AI offers both sales and marketing teams answers to some of their toughest questions, like:
- How can I sort through leads faster and know which are best to follow up on?
- How can I reduce the administrative tasks I have to manage so I can just focus on closing more deals?
- How do I know if my ads are driving actual sales?
- Why are customers leaving items in their shopping carts on my website?
- How can I personalize every marketing campaign we launch?
- How can I improve customer service and experiences with my brand?
The right AI software can help answers these questions and more – and do it at the scale and speed that the largest of sales and marketing team could never do on their own. AI allows small businesses the opportunity to play with the big brands, helping them maximize resources and prioritize their time on what really matters – growing their business.
The Benefits Of AI For Small Businesses In Any Industry
AI works to scale, which can benefit a business with limited time and resources. By implementing AI into your sales and marketing strategy, small businesses can push the easy button on the following elements of an effective sales and marketing campaign.
Allows For Personalization At Scale
It doesn’t matter if you sell to consumers or businesses – you need to deliver personalized and relevant content to your target market segments. This is especially important as people’s resistance to mainstream advertising grows higher and tools are much more sophisticated. This is where artificial intelligence can really help small businesses. Because AI allows you to automate valuable insights, like behavioral and predictive analytics, small teams can launch highly-personalized customer and user experiences automatically. Chatbots also play a role in personalization, especially when partnered with these kinds of insights. AI can evaluate the behavior and interactions each customer has with your brand and will use that data to engage with your customers using the most relevant offer, content or action.
Automates Mundane Sales And Marketing Tasks
For small businesses, time and resources are usually limited. According to a recent report by ServiceNow, managers spend 2 days a week on administrative tasks, preventing them from being more strategic. For marketers, a recent survey by Hubspot shows the average marketer spends almost a third of their time completing repetitive tasks. While much repetitive work is unavoidable, that doesn’t mean it can’t be reduced, and AI can shine in this area. With Artificial Intelligence at its core, AI incorporates predictive analytics, machine-learning and other proprietary algorithms to deploy and optimize marketing campaigns at the speed and scale required to give customers unique, individualized experiences with your brand.
As AI learns and grows with your business, it can become more intelligent and creates digital marketing interactions unassisted, using the results of multivariate tests and deep-level analysis to make better decisions moving forward. That means that the campaigning process is handled automatically on every channel and device, every step of the way. For many small businesses, this would free up the time to focus on more strategic sales and marketing initiatives to move ahead of the competition.
Optimizes Your Campaigns And Content
Because AI’s mission is to hit your KPIs in the most effective and efficient way possible – across all digital channels – it can be programmed to A/B test, optimize budgets, targeting, personalization and so much more – on the fly. With AI, you can get a more accurate and holistic view of where you should be making marketing investments – and make adjustments automatically. Similarly, AI can be set up to trigger automated, predictive journeys. AI tools using machine learning can help you optimize your campaigns with the right message, on the right channel, at the right time by leveraging customer data to create more relevant experiences. With the ability to adjust quickly to messaging and products, marketers can better tailor their messages and let fewer leads slip away.
Engages With Every Lead To Amplify The Customer Experience
You can amplify engagement with sales assistants and chatbots that communicate with your prospects and customers on the channels they use daily online. You can enable multi-channel workflows using email, text and Messenger to increase conversions and foster loyalty. Most importantly, you can improve customer loyalty by collecting online payments, run loyalty or coupon programs, answer questions, share a video and so much more with AI powering your sales and marketing campaigns. Small businesses don’t have time to touch every lead with meaningful conversations. AI makes this easy and allows them to leave an impression that leads to loyalty.
Manages Your Advertising Spend
AI-driven advertising platforms can make it really easy for small businesses to optimize advertising campaigns on Facebook. SalesboxAI, for example, delivers optimizations and insights beyond the capability of any team of human experts. By using machine learning to detect patterns and trends across hundreds of data points, it can test ad creatives and audience segments at scale. With AI powering your Facebook advertising campaigns, you can launch hyper-targeted ads to a different combination of targeting parameters, engage in real conversations by driving customers to Facebook Messenger from your ads, monitor and optimize ad spend based on ads performance in real time and A/B test and automatically optimize ad spend towards the highest performing ads. Also, by having an AI-Avatar, you can target ad spend towards the most engaged segments based on hundreds of data points. AI can autonomously update your bids throughout the duration of the campaign to ensure your budget is driving real results at the lowest cost possible.