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How AI Can Save Your Small Business Time and Money

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This post will discuss how to apply artificial intelligence for small business with limited time and resources. The good news is that you don’t have to be a computer scientist to do so.

These insights came from AI for Small Business, an AI Academy for Marketers course presented by Mike Kaput (@MikeKaput) of Marketing Artificial Intelligence Institute.

Watch the video below for course highlights, or keep reading!



Defining AI

If you ask 10 different experts for a definition of AI, you will get 10 different answers. At the Marketing AI Institute, our favorite definition is from Demis Hassabis, founder of DeepMind. He states that AI is “the science of making machines smart.” 

There is a key difference between AI and non-AI machines. Non-AI machines follow instructions programmed by a human to the letter, while AI machines can create their own set of instructions based on what they learn.

Three types of AI:

  1. Language: This includes technologies such as speaker identification, text analysis, text to speech, and voice recognition.
  2. Vision: This includes emotional detection, image analysis, image recognition, facial recognition, movement detection, and video recognition.
  3. Prediction: This includes forecasting, pattern recognition, personalization, and recommendations.

How Can AI Benefit Your Small Business

Think about that mundane, repetitive task you dread doing every week for your company that waste time and energy. This is where AI can benefit you. If the task you dread is repetitive or data-driven, there is a good chance that AI tools can help you. 

Challenges Small Businesses Face

Smaller companies face challenges that larger companies may not, but rest assured that small businesses can still successfully deploy artificial intelligence.

Challenges faced may include: 

  1. Lack of data: Smaller businesses have less data. This is a disadvantage because many AI tools require a certain amount of data to function properly.
  2. Lack a cohesive strategy: Many small businesses lack the resources to form a comprehensive AI strategy.
  3. Lack of resources: Think money, time and talent. 

Identify AI Use Cases

The best way to approach AI as a small business is to identify quick-win pilots based on narrowly defined use cases for AI technology with high probabilities of success. If you do not clearly define the use case you are trying to solve, you will have a difficult time understanding what success will look like. 

Here is how to identify a use case:

  • Identify your daily tasks. Flag ones that are data-driven, repetitive and/or that require you to make a prediction. 
  • Group tasks into use cases. Pay particular attention to use cases that take the longest, are completed frequently, or that you pay the most to accomplish. 

Pick Your AI Vendors

Picking your vendors does not have to be expensive nor time consuming. Below are some examples of quick, easy-to-use tools that require little data to function.

  • MarketMuse: This is an AI-powered content strategy platform that saves time and money, with limited resources needed. This tool analyzes all posts you have published on your site and offers search optimization recommendations. Based on these recommendations, you can prioritize which posts rank better. All you need to get started is a URL for your website.
  • rasa.io: This tool will scan multiple websites and learn to create actual content (such as newsletters) by picking out important pieces of information. This feature will help you save time by creating initial drafts with little resources.
  • Pattern89: This AI tool helps you create better Facebook advertisements. This is done through machine learning with a proprietary database, which tells you which images and creatives work the best. Eventually, you will receive recommendations on what posts to create.
  • Grammarly: This tool uses sophisticated machine learning to correct your writing. Grammarly is extremely affordable for small businesses, costing less than $100 per month.

Bringing It All Together

We identified your needs, challenges, use cases, and tools to integrate AI into your small business. How do you pick what is right for you?

  • Research AI tools. There are hundreds of AI tools available that perform hundreds of different tasks. A quick Google search will reveal which ones are most beneficial for your business.
  • Assess the tools you already have. There may be AI integrated into software you already have, and you may not even know it. Talk to your existing vendors to better understand their AI capabilities and roadmaps.
  • Read through G2. This site compiles technology reviews, allowing you to see how credible your vendor choices are.
  • Directly ask vendors of interest if they can solve your problem. This way, you don’t have to waste time researching if they offer the services you need.

Want To Learn More About What AI Can Do For You?

These insights came from AI for Small Business, an AI Academy for Marketers course presented by Mike Kaput (@MikeKaput) of Marketing Artificial Intelligence Institute. 

AI Academy for Marketers is our members-only online education platform and community. The Academy features dozens of on-demand courses and certifications taught by leading AI and marketing experts.

The courses are complemented by additional exclusive content, including:

  • Live monthly Ask Me Anything sessions with instructors. 
  • The Answering AI series of quick-take videos that provides simple answers to common AI questions.
  • Keynote presentations from the Marketing AI Conference (MAICON).
  • AI Tech Showcase product demos from leading AI-powered vendors.

Individual and team licenses are available. Discounts are offered for students, educators and nonprofits.

Ready to discover these and other important AI concepts? Sign up for the AI Academy below.

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