Think AI is just for enterprise? Think again.
For many, the term “artificial intelligence” (AI) calls to mind a distant future full of robots performing all the tasks most of us would rather avoid. For others, the term AI means that machines are coming to take over jobs traditionally left to humans. But for the smartest businesses, AI means easier ways to analyze data and deliver relevant, personalized experiences.
According to a recent study by Adobe, 85% of executives believe AI will afford their companies a competitive advantage, but just 15% of organizations are currently using it. That could be because many businesses, especially small-to-medium businesses (SMBs) mistakenly believe that AI is only for the major players, like Amazon. However, that’s simply not the case. AI has plenty of uses for businesses of all sizes. Here are just a few ways AI can make all the difference.
In the Amazon age, personalization is more important than ever. In fact, according to a recent study by Salesforce, 86% of consumers say a personalized experience is a highly important factor in their decision to purchase, and 69% expect all businesses, regardless of size, to deliver an Amazon-like experience.
So what’s an SMB to do in order to offer Amazon-like solutions on a startup budget? The answer could lie with AI. For example, online fashion retailer Thread employs just 10 (human) stylists, yet offers personalized clothing recommendations to 650,000 customers by using a machine learning algorithm called Thimble. With Thimble, the company takes customers’ responses to questions about personal style, such as “Do you wear a suit to work?” and delivers personalized options right to their door.
And if you’re on the fence about how personal your recommendations really need to get, according to Harvard Business Review, personalization delivers between five and eight times ROI on marketing spend and can mean a 10% bump in sales.
Also important for personalization are customer behaviors: likes, clicks, and even purchases. Those insights can give us valuable information about what content is working and what isn’t–with the help of the right AI.
Recently, luxury chocolate retailer Hotel Chocolat used AI to sort through the mountains of of behavioural and engagement data the company had gathered about its customers to automatically create customer segments and tailored email content for its email campaigns. The results, made achievable through the use of marketing automation, were a 20% increase in revenue generated from email, and a 22% in the average order value. Due to more relevant, better targeted emails they also saw an increase in open and click-through rates without any noticeable increase in unsubscribe rates.
Collecting behavioral data isn’t enough without the right tools for sorting through those insights and using them to create valuable content that customers actually want to click.
One common misconception about AI is that it’s prohibitively expensive and thus out of reach of most SMBs. Thanks to new technologies from Google, Adobe, and Salesforce, that’s no longer the case.
The same machine learning technology that drives Google Home is also a feature of Google Cloud, offering easy-to-use text and image recognition as well as automated chatbots. Google Cloud means businesses don’t have to be experts on AI technology to create AI-driven solutions. Additionally, there are accessible AI-centric tools that can make segmentation and automation a snap, like Salesforce’s Pardot and Adobe’s Marketo.
As businesses of all sizes begin to amass huge amounts of data, using that data to create personalized messaging for customers is incredibly important, but the job is just too big for most marketing teams.
To explore more ways AI can help bolster businesses of all sizes, download Adzooma’s white paper, “Artificial intelligence & the evolution of automation in advertising.”
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Original source: https://www.clickz.com/ai-enterprise-smbs-strategy/220633/