According to IDC, AI is coming into the mainstream since it allows brands to process large amounts of data in real-time. The IDC also predicts that by 2025, AI will be processing up to 175 zettabytes of data.
But besides being able to process data on their own accord, many brands have been investing in AI technology above anything else. A survey published in Forbes highlighted that investment in AI has been higher than any other department across 40% of enterprises.
However, while AI has been a focus for enterprises, what about SMEs? Should they also prioritise in investing in AI technology early on in their business venture?
Why is AI Important for SMEs?
Implementation of AI has been extremely helpful in e-commerce, accounting, marketing and manufacturing. As for SMEs, AI has offered these companies the ability to increase sales, save time, speed up data processing as well as improving business performance.
However, the main aim of SMEs adopting AI in their business applications is to improve the delivery of customer experience.
From a digital marketing perspective, AI is present in nearly every stage of the customer’s journey. Social media networks such as Instagram and Facebook regular review their users’ engagement data to provide them with content they’re more likely to engage with.
E-commerce brands like Amazon are also regularly assessing their customer’s purchase history and how they interact with their site to provide them with personalised recommendations they’re more likely to engage with.
Essentially, AI is all about getting the necessary data and then using that data to lead towards an output. And they do this on their own.
What’s more, AI is handy in improving internal business processes. There are a handful of brands that are using AI chatbots to assist with customer interactions. Accenture is one of them and their staff have welcomed AI technologies.
How AI Technology Benefits SMEs
1. Improve Customer Management
Customer relationship management (CRM) has become an integral part of the modern-day digital business. CRM is heavily involved in email marketing, social media marketing and even personalisation.
For SMEs, they do not have access to many resources for engaging with customers in a dynamic and effective way. But AI-based CRM products can play a huge role here.
AI-based CRMs can quickly go through the entire customer database and segment it based on each customer’s engagement activity and grouping them to categories. This enables you to create campaigns much quicker since you don’t need to manually segment your customer database.
2. Automated Customer Service
You already know that customers are the most valuable stakeholders of business enterprises. Therefore, it is essential for SMEs to enhance the level of customer experience. However, in the digital age, and without the resources, it quite difficult to resolve all the queries of customers that come into your inbox on a daily basis.
For alleviating this issue, AI-based chatbots aide SMEs in providing a 24/7 service by delivering automated responses round the clock.
3. Competitors Analysis
The digital space has lowered the barrier to entry for brands to enter the market. And for that, SMEs are facing an ever-increasing and fierce competition left, right and centre. Marketers are constantly having to keep their figure on the pulse at all times while having to be able to update or come up with new and innovative campaigns.
Thankfully, there is now AI technology available for monitoring your competitors. Tools like Mentionlytics can assist you with monitoring the performance of your competitor’s campaigns and ads and how a brand is perceived on social media.
Over the past year, a number of businesses have become victim to cyberattacks which affect their everyday operation and their revenue. What’s more, a cyberattack can really damage the reputation of the brand as well.
The worrying correlation is that as digital technologies evolve, so do cyber threats. Thankfully, AI technology has been applied to security applications as well. And as Emerj puts it, AI and security were “made for each other”.
AI-based security bots such as ForAllSecure have been used to fend off cyberattacks on smart devices.
For SMEs to find the best candidates for their business takes time since they don’t have a proper HR department.
Once again, this is where AI technology comes into play. AI can automate the recruitment process by identifying the best candidates based on a predetermined job criteria.
The technology can also be used to generate automated responses to candidates.
AI Helps to Level The Playing Field
With AI, SME brands can level the playing field with enterprises by automating a majority of internal and customer-facing processes. This saves on overhead costs and time spent on doing these processes manually. Leaving them with more time to focus on creating innovative campaigns and improving their offering.
The IIEPD provide a diverse range of CPD accredited digital marketing courses. Unlike other digital marketing training programs, IIEPD provides learners with a host of different digital marketing training resources including access to the IIEPD Influencer Affiliate Program, the IIEPD Influencer Network and subsidised digital marketing services from Pie Analysis.
For more information, get in contact with IIEPD today.