Artificial intelligence has grown leaps and bounds from the once a far-away pipe dream to a staple in millions of small-to-medium businesses across the globe. Large-scale international companies do not go a day without it. As small business owners, AI may still seem like that distant possibility – but now, more than ever – it’s affordable, accessible, and necessary for small businesses to inject into their operations.
In today’s market, you don’t need sufficient knowledge of artificial intelligence to realize the savings and growth potential of using AI for your business. The worst mistake is believing that AI is no more than just a few chatbots installed on a company’s website or a few auto-generated images to upload to your Facebook page. AI is skyrocketing business growth, and it’s best not to get left behind.
So how are small businesses leveraging AI?
Identify gaps in the market for new products
The small Marketing firm Dialog (http://dialog.com) uses AI data collection tools from Tensor Flow (https://www.tensorflow.com) to gather data on hot products in their clients’ markets. They scan across the internet and collect all the conversations about the products in their client’s database. This information helps Dialog identify opportunities for their clients to innovate on their product lines, using Tensor Flow’s AI data harvesting tool to beat the competition.
The tools are free, so Mark had no problem introducing this solution to his team to serve his clients.
Brands & companies in the coming decade will be able to seamlessly develop and launch products that genuinely resonate with their audience because mass data collection takes the guesswork away from ‘what the customer wants. Dialog is using these tools to serve their marketing clients but consider what help this would be to large-scale commerce brands like Nike or Gucci.
Get help writing fantastic content
Syed Balkhi, the founder of small online education business WPBeginner, has begun exploring artificial intelligence as a means of churning out high-quality, high-value content for his company website without the hassle of hiring external writers, editors, and copywriters.
AI-generated copy has hardly reached terminal velocity yet: for most solutions available in this space, the tools can often result in hilariously poor and robotic outcomes, rendering the content near useless. Syed’s team doesn’t use it for a raw, unedited, and perfect copy.
“While it’s not at a stage where you can just plug in keywords and get a beneficial article, it has reached a point where it can assist your current writing efforts in powerful ways,” he told FastCompany in July. If your business lives & breathes online content in written form. It’s time to consider AI-generated copywriting software – be aware of the current quality of the AI work (which is constantly improving!)
Take strain away from your team with Customer Support AI
If your small business thrives on powerful and meaningful customer support, you should explore the possibility of implementing a customer support AI into your operation. Mainly if you’re dealing with a large sum of clients or a product that requires a great deal of hand-holding (advertising campaigns, complex software, marketing), you need to make efforts to alleviate the stress on your support team, which may be just one person.
The mindset-shift small businesses need to make regarding their support is that not all customer touches, Q&A’s or queries need to be answered by a human. OneIMS (https://www.oneims.com) uses AI-generated responses to customer support questions to reduce the workload of their teams, so they can focus on the product the queries that do require a human touch and growth.
Larger Businesses leveraging AI to Stomp Out Competition
This platform is a minefield for misinformation, scaremongering falsities, and fake news. The team at Facebook knows this and uses artificial intelligence in the form of DeepText, a text understanding engine, to understand and interpret the content and emotional sentiment of the millions of status updates and posts that Facebook users submit every day.
Further and perhaps more creepily, Deface allows the team to automatically identify you in a photo that is shared on their platform. The company also uses artificial intelligence to automatically catch and remove images posted on its site of an explicit or vengeful nature.
Chinese company Alibaba is the world’s largest e-commerce platform that sells more than Amazon and eBay combined. Artificial intelligence is crucial to the company’s daily operations. It uses similar technology as Dialog to predict what products customers want now and what they might want in the near future.
With natural language processing, the company automatically generates product descriptions for the site, so they don’t have to worry about hiring writers. On a more futuristic, worldwide scale – Alibaba uses artificial intelligence to create ‘smart cities.’ Smart cities use AI algorithms to help reduce traffic jams by monitoring every vehicle in the city. Further than that, Alibaba even assists farmers in monitoring their crops to improve yield, cut costs, and provide their customers with better produce.
Artificial intelligence supports businesses, both small and large, by helping reduce manual work and enhancing productivity, on top of keeping labor costs down and production up.
Ultimately, it is becoming increasingly necessary for small businesses too, at the very least, consider researching how AI can help them grow their business. From a small firm like Dialog to a commerce giant like Alibaba, the companies staying ahead of the curve are leveraging this fascinating new tech for rocket-ship growth.
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