Several tech giants like Amazon and Google have associated themselves with Artificial intelligence and its subdivision Machine Learning.
As both AI and ML solutions need vast volumes of data for training, small and medium-sized companies are hesitant to incorporate AI into their business model. Well… I think turning business into an utterly data-driven company might bring wonders than you ever imagined.
AI is nowadays the hot topic as it started to make its worth felt and is predicted to have significant and countless impacts across other industries. Almost 77% of the customers are using AI-powered technology, considering that this technology is expected to add 16 trillion dollars in the world economy by 2030.
To prove our stance, this article will discuss five points that emphasize that SMBs can benefit from AI. But before we get into the main topic, let’s first talk about the importance of AI for SEMs.
Why is AI Essential For SMEs?
It is a misconception that AI technologies and solutions are designed for tech giants and major internet telcos, and are not suitable for startups and small businesses. However, because of the advancement and cost-effectiveness of this technology, AI for SMEs has become a reality.
The fundamental purpose of AI is gaining competitive advantages within accounting, customer relations-commerce, human resources, and marketing. The entire processes of AI aim to enhance enterprise performance, boost sales, reduce costs, automate customer management, save time, restrict flaws, and advance data collection and processing. Several business leaders are considerably incorporating AI in their businesses to eliminate repetitive tasks.
It is found that by the end of this year, about 30% of the businesses will be using AI in one of their sales processes. Case in point, Sydney-based developer Nathan Finch recently implemented AI software to streamline web hosting reviews in Australia, using word processors that rely on NLP (natural language processing) and merkle trees. Gartner also predicted that by 2021, AI would recover 6.2 billion productive hours and generate revenue of $2.9 trillion when combined with human intelligence.
With all these stats and facts, it is evident to say that AI has become the most suitable choice for both large and SMEs. According to a study, about 80% of companies invest in AI-based solutions, while 30% are planning to raise their AI investment in the upcoming years.
Wonders of AI for SMBs
In 2018, Vistage surveyed the role of AI for small scale business and discovered that around 13.6% of SMEs are currently utilizing AI technologies to develop their customer relationships and business operations further. Because of rapid innovation, AI and ML produce technology that is more accessible to SMBs. The following are five ways that show how AI can help full-fledged SMBs to grow their business.
1. Understanding the Marketing Data
The most significant advantage small scale business can get from AI technology relies on marketing automation. When you’ve such technological options, it becomes easy to combine customers’ data like their behavior, demographics, preferences, and anything that might help you to understand the needs of your customers. Having access to such information, analyzing it, and later applying on your business results in a dramatic profit difference for your company.
Like for example, when the food company Dole used AI-based systems to determine their customer data. They successfully discovered that the focused geo-targeting might help them in growing market shares for one of their food categories. After implementing this strategy to their marketing campaign, they witnessed more than ten times the regular social engagements along with an 87% rise in sales for the targeted region.
Moreover, marketing automation technology is easily accessible by companies like HubSpot and Marketo. Both of these companies offer plans according to business needs and size. Thus, the SMEs can also benefit from the technology as much as the large scale enterprises
2. Prepare For The Upcoming Future
Nowadays, digital data is generated through digital processes. It is a crucial step towards the formation of a data-driven organization to grow in this digitalized age. This is also a fact that without process automation, you’re unable to access your proper business data, and without obtaining the data, it is impossible to deploy AI and ML.
There are various platforms for modern process automation. These platforms are much easy to use, cloud-based, and don’t require skillful programmers. They are now also accessible to small businesses that later benefit them significantly.
3. Automation and AI Are Easily Accessible
Now more businesses, regardless of the resources, are investing in the latest AI and automation technology to improve their processes. Today, these technologies have reached a point where individual business owners use automation solutions to achieve various business goals. As AI continues to be part of every aspect of the industry, SMEs can’t ignore both AI-solutions and automation.
Although they reduce costs to provide a competitive edge, but, automating processes and analyzing the data is a must to do a thing to flourish in this age. Anything apart from these two things is short-sighted and can surely destroy your business. Let’s consider the example of Barnes & Noble and Blockbuster becoming failed by funded competitors that have a digital operating model.
4. Competitive Intelligence
Previously, it was difficult for businesses to track the strategies of their counterparts. The AI-powered analysis tool, like Crayon, helps in addressing this tough challenge. The competitive tool tracks your competitors across different channels, such as social media apps, websites, and web applications. Crayon also tracks the price modification in messaging and PR activities.
The AI-powered competitive analysis tool, along with business metrics and natural processing language, offers SMEs a better and improved insight into the ongoing changes in their competitors’ strategy and thus allows businesses to modify their business strategies.
- Enhanced Cybersecurity
In recent years, we’ve witnessed that despite the size, businesses have come across numerous cyber-attacks that affect their working operations and reputation as well. It is mainly for the small scale businesses that don’t have any proper security checks and are more vulnerable to cyber crooks in comparison to large companies. The integration of AI and ML can help SMEs in protecting their data to a significant extent. These technologies can prevent threats to guarantee data security. With these tools, companies can also spot any abnormal behavior, security vulnerabilities, and can concentrate on new risks as well.
The AI market is booming at an unprecedented rate. SMEs have more options to adopt and deploy an AI strategy. Rather than hiring marketing experts and data scientists, small companies can make use of their third-party tools with friendly user interface and useful ML functionality to promote their data and workflow into effective platforms.