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What once seemed like a futuristic concept, belonging mainly to movie storylines is now no longer conceptual, or a fleeting buzzword. In fact, Artificial intelligence (AI) is transforming businesses – and our everyday lives – of all sizes by automating tasks and providing data-driven insights. 

While some businesses may be hesitant to adopt AI due to uncertainties around how it works, or the concern that it may replace human employees (both of which are valid queries), now is not the time to bury your head in the sand. Whether we like it or not, AI is the future and it’s happening now.

If you don’t start learning about it, you will be left behind.

However, we don’t want to put the fear of peril into you! After all – and, as you’ll come to learn – AI exists to work with us, to help us

That’s why we’ve put together this comprehensive mini-guide, illustrating how AI can in fact empower small business marketing strategies and execution without replacing the creativity and strategic thinking of human marketers. Throughout this article, we will explore the ways in which AI can optimise marketing operations, provide insights into your audience, boost customer experience, and support data-driven decision-making.

By the end of this article, you’ll know exactly how you can work with AI and harness the strengths of both humans and artificial intelligence to revolutionise your marketing.

AI Improves Understanding of Your Target Audience

One of the biggest challenges many small business owners have is truly understanding your target audience and customers. Knowing the answers to the questions below is crucial for marketing success:

  • Who should you be marketing to?
  • What do they want?
  • What motivates them?

Unfortunately, though, gathering those insights can be a sizeable undertaking.

This is one way where implementing AI can make a game-changing difference. Where it would take a human several hours to gather and analyse customer data to extract meaningful insights, it takes AI only minutes. 

For example, AI tools can pull data from your website, online purchases, email lists, social media channels, reviews, and more. Using all of this data, AI can then build comprehensive customer profiles. To create these deep customer insights, AI will look for patterns in the data to identify common demographics like age, gender, location, and income level. Then, it can go into even more depth by segmenting your audience into different personas based on their interests, behaviours, motivations, and needs. 

Knowing these insights will enable you to personalise your marketing material to resonate with your customers. You can create campaigns, messaging, offers and content targeted to the specific persona you want to reach. By using AI, you’re able to approach 1-on-1 marketing at scale.

In this scenario, AI is being used to enhance human understanding and intuition with data. You will still be making the strategic marketing decisions. AI will eliminate the time-consuming grunt work of gathering, organising, and analysing customer data. This means your time is freed up so that you can focus on the high-value aspects of marketing powered by those AI-generate insights.

AI Streamlines Your Marketing Operations

For every business owner, time is of the essence; it’s our most valuable asset. However, when operating a small business, this ‘busyness’ can sometimes be felt tenfold; you don’t have time to be bogged down in manual marketing tasks! Rather, you need to be spending your time on high-level strategy and impactful work that actually moves the needle.

This is where AI can offer a lot of help – AI marketing tools can automate the repetitive, administrative aspects of marketing operations. AI can help to create and format content for social media posts, follow up leads, send nurturing emails and more. 

Not only that, but AI can also help in optimising key marketing functions. When used for paid marketing planning and execution, AI can analyse your campaigns and web traffic to tweak budget allocations for maximum impact. AI identifies high-performing platforms, ad set, and highlights content to double down on.

So, instead of throwing spaghetti at the wall and hoping it sticks, you can leverage AI-powered insights to deploy marketing dollars and content for optimal return. 

RELATED CONTENT: Five Things You Can Do That Will Make Your Marketing Easier

AI Boosts Your Customer Experience

When it comes to standing out in an overcrowded competitor landscape, there’s one thing that all businesses can and should utilise; customer experience. Utilising AI to help with customer experience doesn’t mean replacing customer support with robots. Rather, it entails the use of AI to boost customer satisfaction and loyalty through personalised, seamless interactions.

One common use of AI (which has actually been around for some time now) is chatbots for customer service. Chatbots provide instant responses to customer questions at any time of day. With natural language processing, chatbots can understand complex queries and provide accurate answers. This means that any issues are resolved much faster, as the AI chatbot has become your 24/7 automated assistant.

AI can also be used to enhance customer experiences through the use of recommendation engines. These systems track customer preferences and purchase history to provide personalised product or content suggestions. This simplifies the process of discovering relevant items, whether on a website, app or email.

Beyond chatbots and recommendations, AI can also power customer experiences like virtual try-on clothing apps, predictive lead scoring, next-best offers and more. The overarching benefit is using data to deliver individualised experiences.

RELATED CONTENT: What is data-driven marketing and why is it important for small businesses?

AI Provides Powerful Analytics and Insights

As a small business owner, you make important marketing and operational decisions every day that impact the success of your company. The problem is these decisions often rely on intuition, experience, and basic data. While valuable, this approach has its limitations. 

At its core, artificial intelligence is great at identifying patterns in large volumes of data. AI marketing tools can automatically track and analyse all of your website traffic, sales, customer engagements, operational metrics, and more. Revealing trends and behaviours that would be impossible for humans to manually detect.

Powerful machine learning algorithms take these AI-generated analytics even further. By processing mountains of historical data, machine learning can actually predict future outcomes with high accuracy.

For example, AI sales forecasting tools can anticipate revenue numbers and growth. AI-enabled customer analytics can forecast churn risk so you can proactively retain customers. AI can even optimise marketing budget allocation across channels based on predictive modelling.

The key is being able to leverage real-time data and analysis to minimize guesswork and make smarter decisions. In that sense, you could say that AI equips you with a data-driven crystal ball for your business.

Conclusion

By implementing and working with AI, businesses of all sizes can gain a competitive edge through highly personalised, targeted marketing that delivers results and impacts the bottom line. While AI is powerful, it’s important that it’s viewed as an enhancement to complement human marketers, rather than a complete replacement.

AI handles rote tasks like data gathering and analysis to free up human creativity and strategic thinking. When combined, both human and artificial intelligence can and will will maximise marketing success.

To learn more about how you can implement AI in your marketing, download our FREE guide “How to Use AI to Generate More Leads and Sales“. 

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Don’t let intimidation or uncertainty hold your business back from leveraging artificial intelligence. Our friendly team of {human} experts are also here to guide you every step of the way on your AI journey. Contact us today to get started and propel your marketing to new heights!

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