Artificial intelligence has been around for decades, but only recently has it started to make its way into the business strategy conversation. The idea that AI is now accessible to Corporate America and startups alike may surprise many. Until recently, it's been a common belief that the utilization of AI was reserved for those multi-billion dollar enterprises like Google and Amazon, with dedicated tech divisions.
However, this just isn't the case anymore. You don't need a big budget or a team of engineers to harness the power of AI. In fact, there are many business AI tools available at low costs with a high rate of return.
So while many may have harped about AI disrupting the market and leading to job loss, the flip side is that it is highly possible that AI will help keep small to medium-sized businesses (SMBs) competitive. Up until recently, small businesses have had to enter into a global market while trying to get creative with a data overload and no way to process the information to make informed business decisions. This has placed them at a huge disadvantage. Oftentimes, it’s been nearly impossible to keep up with the demands of digital marketing under budget and cost constraints.
Thankfully, there is an answer to this dilemma- artificial intelligence. In the past few years, we've seen a rise in many platforms incorporating AI capabilities being developed with the entrepreneur in mind. Meaning, that you don't need to be a data engineer or data scientist to implement this technology in order to see the benefits. It’s no wonder that the number of companies adopting artificial intelligence has increased by over 270% in the last four years.
We're starting to see AI in business sectors that many didn't think would be possible for another decade- from increasing customer engagement with personalized recommendations or conversational chatbots to performing advanced analytics and predictions within your business intelligence.
And in today's economy, with high inflation and talks about a soon-to-come recession, many businesses are at a point where they're looking for ways to tighten their budget.
Here are the three reasons why entrepreneurs should consider AI-based solutions to improve next quarter's bottom line.
Why Companies Should Integrate AI Into Their Business Strategies
1. Cut Costs By Automating Processes
The first and most obvious way that AI can have a positive impact on your business budget is to cut costs. By automating processes that are currently being done manually, you can save your company both time and money.
For example, if you have a customer service team that spends hours on the phone daily with customers, a chatbot could be used to take care of some of the more common questions. This would allow your customer service reps to handle more complex issues or for you to scale back on the number of people that you need for your team.
In addition to customer service, several other business processes can be automated with AI, including but not limited to:
- Social media monitoring and engagement: Instead of paying hundreds of man hours to manually explore reviews and comments across many social media platforms, AI can do this for you in minutes.
- Voice Generators: If you spend thousands on voice artists for your company, you can pivot to a Text-To-Speech platform that will give you a human-like voice at a fraction of the cost.
- Recruitment and hiring: If your HR team receives thousands of applications for a posting, then you can utilize AI platforms to systematize and help you automate this process.
- Content creation: Believe it or not, there are a ton of different platforms that help you develop more engaging content from full copy ads to AI artwork. This allows you to cut costs with certain types of content like educational videos for your enterprise, and increase more spending on other types of content.
All of these areas have the potential to be done more efficiently by implementing AI into your business strategy.
Not only does automating these processes save you money on labor costs, but it can also help improve the accuracy and quality of the work that's being done. When data entry or bookkeeping is done by hand, there is always the potential for human error. However, with AI-based solutions, this becomes much less of a concern.
2. Increase Revenue with AI Tactics
In addition to saving money, AI can also be used to increase revenue for your business thanks to savvy business intelligence features and content marketing enhancement.
For example, if you're running an e-commerce store, you can use predictive analytics to show customers products they're likely to be interested in thanks to AI intelligence on their past behavior. This personalized approach not only leads to increased sales but also helps improve the customer experience by showing them relevant products that they're more likely to be happy with.
This is just the tip of the iceberg on the ways AI integration can increase revenue for SaaS or E-Commerce companies. Here are a few more examples to think about:
- Optimizing Price Strategy: AI can analyze all the pertinent data and predict which price point will be the best balance between the consumer and your profit margins. The beauty of AI is that it continues to learn and increase the probability of accurate predictions as you go.
- Enhance Your Brand Identity: Never underestimate the effect that brand identity has on business revenue. Not only is important to maintain consistent branding across all platforms (which AI can already assist with), but it can help with crisis management as well. For instance, NLP can now detect hateful content so that you can prevent it from spiraling out of control and intervene sooner to make all consumers happy.
- Predictive Analytics: Optimizing your business or marketing intelligence with an AI software will allow you to increase the return on investments by targeting the appropriate audience and discovering a new audience you may have not realized you had.
- SEO Optimization: Search engines still remain a resource where purchasing intent occurs. With AI SEO optimization tools, you can help rank your company's targeted keywords and become a topic authority in your niche.
As you can see, there are many different methods where AI can ultimately increase your sales and conversions. As AI platforms are still in their infancy, we will likely see this expand over the following next years.
3. Free Up Your Employee's Time
Lastly, and maybe most importantly, AI can help your business automate mundane tasks and free up your staff for other tasks that can’t be automated. There are tons of areas that are already automated by SaaS (software as a service) companies, but if you trade these in with those utilizing AI, then you’re sure to stay ahead of the game.
By taking care of these tasks with AI, you can give your employees the opportunity to focus on tasks that require human interaction and creativity. AI is not at a stage where it could automate an entire business model or a human worker, which is why your staff remains indispensable for a business to scale.
But yes, it is a possibility that some of this automation of tasks could allow you to cut your labor costs. However, it's best to think of this more as a "redistributing" process as these expenses could be added to another area that will promote more value to the company.
AI can help entrepreneurs in a number of ways- from automating processes and saving on labor costs to increased revenue with improved marketing campaigns. As machine learning and deep learning become smarter, businesses will need to also become smarter to keep up.
I predict that AI will be incorporated into every business in the near future, so it’s best to start now and get an edge instead of playing catch-up at a later date.