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What is AI and Why Does your Business Need It to Grow?



AI, otherwise known as Artificial Intelligence in simple terms, is a computer program which has the ability to think and learn, and in the last few years, AI has gained momentum in every industry across the globe.


A recent survey shows that up to 65% of small business either don’t know what AI is or they think it’s too complicated for their business to adapt. We want to let you know that it doesn’t need to be complicated, adapting AI into your business strategy can have mammoths of potential and here is why we think AI can make your business smarter.


Email Marketing

Have you ever received an email from a business with a subject line that reads something like “John you still have items in your basket” or “Come back John, we miss you,” implying that you haven’t visited their store in a while? If you have encountered either of these email types, this is artificial intelligence, and it’s actively working in the background of your browser.


Email marketing has one of the highest ROI’s, so if you’re not using email marketing, then you should be. And if you are using it, then now might be the time you fine-tune it with artificial intelligence. Email marketing platforms like MailChimp allow you to sync your physical and online customer lists so that you can create segmented email lists by dividing it up into smaller groups, for instance, by location. If you’re an events company that run events across the UK you’ll probably have a big database of customers located miles apart, and they may not be interested in attending events in Manchester if they’re based in London so segmenting your email lists into locations will help you create customised email campaigns that better serve these customers.


AI technology also allows you to take your email marketing one step further (and you should) by using automation. Email automation allows you to create emails that automatically send when triggered by a subscriber’s activity, inactivity, or a specific date like a birthday. The triggers are essentially AI at work in the background. If a subscriber takes a specific action, a programmed response is triggered, and so on down the line until the customer (hopefully) converts to a sale.


Analytics

The data that we hold is powerful, from a business perspective, data analytics can be used to increase revenue, track emerging trends, improve operational efficiency and optimise marketing. So does AI play a role in analytics? AI has allowed CRM’s such as Salesforce to build the world’s smartest CRM system. Einstein (a program built into Salesforce) can deliver predictions and recommendations based on your business processes and your customer data.


This means that these valuable insights can help you create a more personalised experience for your customers and with 80% of marketers saying that customised/personalised content is more effective using AI business intelligence can really help you to boost your business. AI also allows you to track your user’s journey as they navigate through your website and analyse their behaviour using AI tools.


Team Growth

Wondering how to expand your team without employing anyone? Sounds ridiculous, doesn’t it! In a recent article, we spoke about why customer support is, but we didn’t talk about how AI can help you to implement it. If you’re a small business that doesn’t have a dedicated sales team, don’t worry, AI tools can help you in the form of chatbots, you know those pop-up windows that appear when you first land on a webpage?


If you have a website, incorporating a chatbot is an excellent idea—it’s like having an employee working 24/7. In 2018 a survey showed that 53% of customers prefer to use online chat before calling a company, which is why chatbots have become a growing trend and are set to get bigger this year.


Still not convinced? Think about this; a customer goes online to submit their query in the form of a support ticket, this could take up to 48 hours for them to get a response and the customer becomes dissatisfied with their experience. AI tools can help you provide prompt customer service in a variety of ways. For example, AI tools can collect data from your website, allowing users to have interactive conversations and get answers to frequently asked questions from chatbots. When a user can get their questions answered in an instant, they’re more likely to sign up, subscribe and buy.


Lead Generation

Earlier I mentioned how AI tools can help your email marketing campaigns, but what else can they do to help enhance your marketing? When designing your adverts, the end goal is always to reach as many new leads as possible in your target market. Facebook has one of the best ad platforms out there. You can hand-pick the demographics of the users you want to see the ad, like their age, location, profession, etc. But AI tools can take you one step further.


Facebook ads are now more powerful than ever, combined with AI. You’re now able to target your Ad’s to a Lookalike Audience, and you can do this by connecting your Instagram feed to your facebook, and you can also upload information about your current customers from your CRM, MailChimp & website! Facebook’s AI tools are able to build similar audiences for your ad based on this data which means you’re more likely to reach an abundance of new target users who are interested in what you have to say because they’re almost identical to your best existing customers.


AI isn’t all about Amazon Alexa, Switching your lights on and off when you’re not home and self-driving cars. Businesses of any size can use AI tools to transform their business goals without spending a fortune. AI is the future of business, so now is the time to embrace it!

*This blog was written for my client Piccadilly Mailbox. A leading provider in office space and virtual office solutions.*

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