AI Tech Entrepreneur, C-Suite Executive and Advisor. CEO, Co-Founder of Morphio.
Artificial intelligence is changing business. Everything from marketing and advertising to finance has been transformed. It’s nothing new, either. AI was first developed in the 1950s.
Nowadays, 37% of the organizations surveyed by Gartner are using some form of AI. They’re using it to automate processes, find lucrative opportunities and detect threats before humans can.
Drawing on my experience as co-founder of a company that developed AI-powered software for digital marketers, here are six things that I think every business owner should know about AI.
1. It can give you a competitive advantage.
According to a study by the Boston Consulting Group and MIT Sloan Management Review, “84% of respondents say AI will enable them to obtain or sustain a competitive advantage,” and 75% say that it will help them “move into new businesses and ventures.”
By adopting AI, you can automate, forecast and generate deeper insights that help you make better decisions. This can instantly put you ahead of the competition. You can further leverage findings to pursue untapped marketing channels. Use an AI solution to forecast the performance of channels and find anomalies. Focus on the ones that generate the most ROI, especially if the competition isn’t using them.
AI also can discover which segments of customers have the highest rates of conversion and engagement. Reshape your buyer personas with this information and target a niche audience that other companies aren’t.
2. It can help you move faster.
AI is capable of identifying opportunities much faster than humans can. To illustrate, it’s been estimated that the human brain has a processing capacity of 120 bits per second, while one of the fastest supercomputers on the planet can perform 10.5 trillion calculations per second. So by using AI, you can speed up your decision-making process, which in turn can increase how fast you achieve your performance goals.
Use the insights you collect from AI software to help you develop new products, expand into other markets or completely reshape your branding. For example, you may be able to discover product categories that are overperforming and driving more sales than expected. Promote these categories to further increase revenue, and develop similar products.
3. It can allow you to focus on meaningful work and boost productivity.
Think about all of the little tasks that take up your time every day. How much time would you save by automating those? Minutes? Hours? More?
AI is capable of handling many small tasks, such as reviewing website analytics and fixing bugs, so humans can focus on more meaningful work and be more productive. A study by the Economist Intelligence Unit found that “79% of executives believe AI will make their job easier and more efficient.”
Determine what processes take up your and your team’s time by asking:
• What tasks do we repeat every day?
• What takes up most of our time?
• What interruptions do we experience during the workday?
Once you have answered these questions, look into how AI can help you automate as many of these duties as possible. Then, use your new free time to nurture client relationships, develop marketing strategies and implement other higher-ROI processes.
4. It’s being used for voice searches.
A survey by Adobe found that 48% of consumers are using voice technology to conduct web searches. While it appears that the majority are using their smartphones (85% vs. 39% using smart speakers), the use of voice technology for search is likely to increase as more people start using digital voice assistants. The number of such devices in use is predicted to reach 8 billion by 2023.
To capitalize on the rising use of voice technology, target natural and full keywords when performing SEO. These are full sentences and questions that users are actually asking their devices versus the choppy phrases marketers have traditionally targeted. Enter a search term into a keyword research tool like Ubersuggest or SEMrush to get rich keyword ideas.
Since most people conducting voice searches are on smartphones, you also may want to ensure that your website is mobile-friendly. Increase your page speed and improve user experience by identifying any website issues using Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test.
5. It can support your marketing and sales efforts.
Marketing and sales have massive potential to grow and prosper with AI. According to a study by Dresner Advisory Services, “40% of marketing and sales teams say data science encompassing AI and machine learning is critical to their success as a department.”
AI software can optimize marketing campaigns and channels by helping you target your audience. Sales teams can use it to find the hottest leads and pipeline opportunities, and predict which prospects are the most likely to buy.
The first step is to choose AI software that has an emphasis on improving marketing or sales. Be on the lookout for free demos, integrations with other tools you use and intuitive dashboards.
6. It can help you provide a better customer experience.
Consumers want personalized experiences, and using AI can help you tailor content and product recommendations based on user behavior and predictions. Consider how Netflix suggests shows to viewers based on their preferences and what they’ve already watched.
Businesses should first use AI to predict what products customers would be interested in based on their previous purchases and where they might drop off in the marketing funnel. Offer related products to customers as upsells and cross-sells to improve shopping experiences while increasing revenue. Optimize where customers are predicted to leave, like the checkout or cart pages. You can do this by shortening forms, increasing page speed and presenting more information so they can make informed purchasing decisions.
AI has the potential to completely revolutionize your business. The first step is adopting software that matches your goals. Marketo, Adobe and IBM offer some of the leading solutions.
Then, automate everyday tasks to reallocate energy to higher-return activities. Forecast your performance to make better decisions and change your company’s trajectory. Finally, use AI to turn data into actionable next steps.
Forbes Agency Council is an invitation-only community for executives in successful public relations, media strategy, creative and advertising agencies. Do I qualify?