You must have heard the saying making rounds lately “data is the new gold”, and with fast-developing technologies like AI, this seems a truism. Artificial intelligence can analyze vast amounts of data in the blink of an eye – a task that would take hours or even weeks of arduous human labor.
Year on year, AI is slowly passing into everyday business use.
One of the latest perks of cloud computing is that it opens up opportunities for businesses to benefit from artificial intelligence (AI). This rapidly developing technology offers huge prospects for growth which many businesses have already been smart enough to exploit.
AI apply to computer systems that are programmed to mimic human intelligence and perform tasks such as image recognition, speech or patterns, and decision making. AI can perform these tasks more quickly and accurately than humans
AI is already widely used in business applications, including automation, data analytics, and natural language processing. Though there is the argument that Artificial Intelligence is just for companies with billion-dollar budgets, but that’s far from being true. Small entrepreneurs are leveraging on AI and ML to increase efficiency and maximize profits. Many innovative SMEs are significantly cutting costs and delivering excellent customer experiences with AI-powered applications.
Artificial intelligence can analyze vast amounts of data in a blink of an eye – a task that would take hours of arduous human labor.
If optimally applied, AI tools can transform the MSME space enabling small businesses, and startups to create highly successful operations across a range of business functions including product development, sales, customer service, and marketing.
In this post, we’re going to look at the benefits of AI in business as well as its prospects and applications in the future. We’ll focus on MSMEs and cloud-based AI in particular.
1. Improving personalized shopping experiences
Providing consumers with tailored ads increases engagement, helps create customer loyalty, and boosts revenue. And that’s why cooperations are putting so much effort into it. One of the advantages of using AI is that it can identify patterns in the browsing habits and purchasing behavior of consumers. AI can deliver highly accurate deals to individual customers using the data from millions of transactions stored and analyzed in the cloud.
2. Automating customer interactions
Most customer interactions via mediums such as emails, online chat, social media conversations, and phone calls require human interaction. Nevertheless, AI makes it possible for businesses to automate such communications. By analyzing the data obtained from previous interactions, machines can be programmed to respond correctly to customers and deal with their inquiries. What is more, as AI is paired with machine learning, the more the AI platforms interact, the better they become.
One example is AI Chatbots which, unlike humans, can interact concurrently with unlimited customers and can both react and even initiate communication – whether on a website or an app.
It is estimated that by 2020, smart machines capable of replicating human functions will take care of 85 percent of all customer interactions. It looks like the days of using a call center are coming to an end.
3. Real-time Assistance
AI is also useful for organizations that need to communicate daily to high volumes of customers. For example, companies in the transportation industry, (bus, train, and airlines) that deal with millions of passengers a day, can use AI to interact in real-time to send personalized travel information, such as flight reschedules and delay notice. With the use of AI, some bus companies are already tracking the locations of their buses and using AI to provide real-time updates to travelers as to where the bus is along its route and its estimated arrival time. Customers can get access to this informations on the bus company’s app.
4. Data mining
One of the greatest benefits of using cloud-based AI is that artificial intelligence apps can quickly discover important and relevant findings during the processing of big data. This can provide businesses with previously undiscovered perspectives that can help give it a competitive advantage.
AI is capable of operating other technologies that automate business systems thereby increasing business efficiency. For example, AI can be used to monitor robots in factories that maintain ideal temperatures through intelligent heating.
In Japan, human-like robots are now working as receptionists at some of the country’s hotels automating check-ins, booking services, and dealing with customer inquiries (in four languages).
In general merchandise, AI is also linked to RFID and cloud technology to track inventory. In China, AI is used by the police to apprehend criminals. The country has a vast CCTV network and AI uses facial recognition to detect and track suspects.
Another benefit of AI is its ability to analyze data patterns and predict outcomes. For instance, it can trace patterns in customer data, that can show if the products currently on sale are likely to be sold and in what volumes. AI also has the potential to predict when demand is going to drop off or rise. Companies use these predictions to know the right products to stock and in what volumes. Pundits have forecasted that within ten years, the days of seasonal sales will be over as AI will mean there is too little leftover stock to sell-off.
This predictive ability is not only useful in the retail sector. AI is also being used in many other areas, for example, in banking where it can predict currency and stock price fluctuations or in healthcare where, remarkably, it can predict outbreaks of infections by analyzing social media posts.
Top AI Trends Marketers Should Watch For In 2020 And Beyond
Generally, artificial intelligence is gradually transforming nearly all aspects of human life. Homes, businesses, health, governments and security agencies presently rely immensely on the use of AI. However, the business sector – marketing to be precise stands to benefit the most and many marketers are already exploiting the new trend.
But as we usher into a new decade, the AI hysteria is beginning to wane. This prompted us to scour the web, speak with experts, and carry out our research to keep you updated on the best AI developments for the coming year.
Here are some of the trends that marketers need to watch for in 2020 and beyond.
Real-time Customer Interactions Across Channels
A 2017 research showed that 26 percent of marketers are planning to implement RTM more than 12 months ahead– that’s right now. Hence, you wouldn’t be way off to look for real-time marketing, enabled by AI, as we move into 2020.
Improved Customer Engagement And Loyalty
As an overwhelming advantage, we also found that both business decision-makers and consumers said AI marketing facilitates better customer retention. As we head into 2020, look for use cases for AI to improve and span the latter stages of the customer lifecycle. First-time to active, defecting customer win-back, and other vital campaigns will all use AI.
Target New Audiences For Acquisition
Artificial intelligence can already predict how possible individuals (especially people already in your database) are to migrate to certain deals. When knowledge grows from self-learning algorithms, they will grow to be able to proactively recognize and target new audiences through social media.
Use Of Advanced And Predictive Analytics
Predictive analytics leverages data mining, data modeling, and statistical models to make predictions about future outcomes. Historical/behavioral data sets rules that algorithms can then use to assess likely user responses even before they occur.
Coupled with AI, predictive analytics identifies trends and launches campaigns likely to inspire action. Proactive marketing depends on predictive analytics – and predictive analytics has arguably the most utility and potential among any AI-related technologies today.
Personalize Content, Recommendations, And Offers
Aside from its ability to scale and automate almost everything you’re doing, the bread and butter of AI is its ability to personalize content at the right time for every individual. More than half of marketers using AI are using it for this purpose, so look for this number to a spike in 2020.
Message Send Time Optimization
Send Time Optimization is a dynamic technology that uses a Bayesian Bandit model to identify the optimal time for emails to be sent for each contact – not segments, not groups, but individuals.
Timing will become a more central pillar to customer engagement in 2020.
Increase Efficiency Of Marketing Teams
Efficiency gains are the #1 “internal” benefit for marketing organizations.
Our research shows that 96% of AI “experts” (those brands which are already implementing and performing with AI) and 90% of both “opportunists” and “novices” (those ramping up with AI) say AI makes their team more efficient. AI saves time, automates menial tasks, and performs data-intensive work better than humans can, anyway.
Voice Assisted Search
Thirty percent of web browsing will require voice-assisted search and searches will be performed without a screen in 2020 (Gartner). Auditory systems such as Amazon Echo, Siri, and others are capable of recognizing ‘spoken language and syntax’, deriving meaning, as well as not only producing but also personalizing results. By 2020, there will be 7 billion smartphones with voice-powered assistants. And these assistants seem to be getting better every day. According to Gartner, the voice-first movement will gain prominence in no time.
Enhanced Selling Processes
By 2020, 30% of global companies will be using AI in at least one sales process.
As an added benefit, AI algorithms are getting better at predicting revenue for the next quarter, along with CLV and a host of other sales-related metrics. This is the future of AI.
Within an end-to-end platform, AI predicts and drives sales throughout the enterprise. Through 2020, companies could make $1.2 trillion more than their comparatively less well-informed peers by using AI to drive consumer insights!
In the year 2020 and beyond, AI will continue to grow as we are close to a tipping point where the majority of marketers will simply no longer be able to condone delays. In a highly competitive market where brands that lead in customer experience reign supreme, those who apply AI across marketing use cases will distinctly stand out from the rest.