Then and Now AI: Artificial Intelligence (AI) Advantages for Small Business
Artificial Intelligence (AI): Is it a dream or does it bring you dread? AI is is a big category. So, when I hear people say "AI" my next thought is, "what kind?"
I can't help but think that while new versions of AI are continuing to roll out, there are AI tools that are so embedded in our lives already that we don't even think of them as "AI" anymore. And perhaps recognizing this would dispel some of the fear some people have about it. Plus, I simply refuse to be an old fuddy duddy stuck in fear of new tech!
So, my goal in this article is to note some traditional versions of AI, point out some of what's new and outline how using some AI in marketing can be effective as well as issue some warnings in which to be aware.
When you stay ahead of the curve you can gain a competitive edge and these days we all need that!
Traditional Uses of AI, Now Unnoticed:
1. PERSONALIZED SUGGESTIONS
Long before we associated it with AI, recommendation systems were at play. Think about Netflix suggesting movies or Amazon recommending products. These systems analyze user behavior, preferences and historical data to make personalized suggestions. That's AI!
2. AUTO CORRECT
Spell check and autocorrect features are now just a given. They have been quietly using AI algorithms to understand context, correct spelling errors and even predict the next word in a sentence for years now.
3. BANKING AI
Banks have employed AI for years to detect unusual patterns and anomalies in transactions, identifying potential fraudulent activities.
4. SPAM FILTERS
Spam filters in email services have been using AI techniques to identify and filter out unwanted emails based on patterns, content analysis and user behavior.
Voice recognition systems, such as those used in customer service or phone-based assistance, have roots in AI. They interpret spoken language, convert it into text and execute commands.
The AI Advantage in Marketing for Small Businesses
When I speak to small business owners almost everyone wants support with social media. AI tools can simplify social media management by automating content scheduling, analyzing engagement metrics and even suggesting optimal posting times. This helps you maintain a consistent online presence without the need for constant manual intervention.
How would you like to have a digital virtual assistant? With AI, you can! Using a chatbot, can enhance customer interactions on websites and social media platforms. These automated assistants can answer frequently asked questions, guide customers through the sales process and provide instant support, improving overall customer satisfaction.
Have an email newsletter? AI can enhance email marketing campaigns by personalizing content based on individual preferences, analyzing open and click-through rates and optimizing send times. This ensures that email campaigns are not only more engaging but also more likely to convert.
These are just a few ways AI can support you in your marketing efforts, helping you gain a competitive advantage.
AI Tools for Small Businesses:
There are more and more platforms every day but here are a few I think might be most helpful for small business owners.
Automated Content Creation:
Writesonic: Writesonic employs AI to assist with content creation, generating blog posts, ad copy, and other written content. It can be a valuable resource for small businesses looking to streamline their content creation process.
Chatbots and Customer Service:
Chatbot.com: This platform allows small businesses to create and deploy AI-powered chatbots for websites and messaging apps without the need for extensive coding. It's great for enhancing customer service and engagement.
Email Marketing Optimization:
Phrasee: Utilizing natural language processing, Phrasee optimizes email subject lines and copy to maximize engagement and conversion rates. It's a valuable tool for small businesses looking to enhance their email marketing efforts.
Social Media Management:
Hootsuite: While not exclusively an AI platform, Hootsuite integrates AI to suggest optimal posting times, track social media engagement, and analyze performance metrics. It's a comprehensive solution for small businesses managing multiple social media channels.
Nosto: Nosto is designed to provide personalized product recommendations for e-commerce businesses. Using AI, it analyzes customer behavior and tailors product suggestions to increase conversion rates.
Survey and Feedback Analysis:
MonkeyLearn: MonkeyLearn is a text analysis platform that utilizes machine learning to process and analyze customer feedback, reviews, and survey responses. It's valuable for small businesses aiming to understand customer sentiments.
WARNINGS with AI in Marketing
1. STAY HUMAN:
While AI can significantly enhance marketing efforts, it's essential not to rely on it exclusively. Maintain a human touch in your interactions with customers and use AI as a support tool rather than a replacement for genuine engagement.
2. PRIVACY IS KEY
As you collect and analyze customer data, prioritize data privacy and compliance. Ensure that your AI applications adhere to relevant regulations and industry standards to build and maintain trust with your audience.
3. BE TRANSPARENT
If your AI tools are making decisions that impact customers, ensure that these decisions are explainable. This transparency builds trust and helps customers understand the value AI brings to their experience.
AI is a powerful tool, but it lacks the inherent creativity and intuition of humans. Don't neglect the importance of human-driven creativity in crafting compelling marketing messages and campaigns.
5. STILL ASK THOUGH
Customer feedback is a valuable resource in refining your marketing strategies. Don't disregard customer opinions and preferences when optimizing AI applications. Regularly solicit feedback and use it to make continuous improvements.
THE SUM OF IT: AI in Marketing for Small Businesses
AI presents an exciting new development for marketing and business. However, it's important to use it while considering the balance of good and bad. AI implementation without a human element will likely eliminate any advantage and have detrimental effects for your brand and business.
As technology continues to change, consider appointing a committee who can stay on top of new developments in AI. That's one advantage of working with a marketing agency, since they have their hand on the pulse of new tech developments.
Got questions about how AI can help you in your marketing, reach out! Contact us today.