Artificial Intelligence Tools for Your Small Business

Last month, we talked about how marketing has evolved into artificial intelligence. From billboards and ads talking at a customer to engaging experiences that learn from a customer. This month, we are diving a bit deeper in the tools and methods we’re already seeing, using AI to engage in real-time with customers. We will also talk a bit about how you can start to think about incorporating this new way of marketing into your own small business.

All About the Customer

The first thing to remember when we’re talking about Artificial Intelligence and Marketing Technology is that it isn’t about the marketing or the technology – it’s all about the customer. As opposed to the marketing of days gone by, we now take a bottom-up approach, letting the customer’s interests, lifestyle, etc. drive how we engage with them.

Artificial intelligence, or machine learning, as its often called in our business circles, is about learning those things from the customers in real-time – and presenting them with relevant, custom information when and where (and how) they want it.

All About the Experience

Engaging with customers means using tools to reach them where they are. Let’s talk about some of those tools.

  • Voice Technology – Everyday more people are using their voices, instead of their fingers to search what they are interested in. Does your content align with this growing demand? Snippets of valuable, relevant information are increasingly in demand. Here’s an example. Purina jumped into the voice game early by setting up an Amazon Echo “skill” called “Ask Purina Alexa.” This service makes them the pet expert for customers using Alexa and lets Purina employ their wealth of content in a new way.
  • Blockchain – Cryptocurrency has brought blockchain technology into everyday use. The marketing and sales benefit of blockchain is the ability to cut out the middleman. Think about renting a space, using the authentication process of blockchain, without requiring the assistance of AirBnB or other middlemen fees. Another interesting use for blockchain is in monetizing content and created products, such as stock photos etc. Imagine being able to charge micro cryptocurrency for use of your content. The options there are nearly limitless.
  • Augmented Reality – This is often the flashiest technology that we think of when we consider Artificial Intelligence in marketing technologies. One of the coolest things marketers can do is let customers try out or experience their products, in a virtual setting. Content, such as owners manuals, availability, or comparisons, could be viewed in real-time on a customer’s phone. Customers can envision products in their own space with apps like Ikea’s Ikea Place.
  • Deep Learning – A factor of artificial intelligence that will play out in so many technologies is deep learning – the ability to use algorithms to mimic the human brain through neural networks learning specific tasks – and ultimately “learning” a customers habits, desires, needs, wants, etc. Here’s a great graphic from Hubspot about how this could play out in car sales.

Ultimately, all these aspects of artificial intelligence will start to come together in a sales as a service platform. We will be building technologies to better serve our customer base. A great example of that is Honda’s HANA (Honda Automated Network Assistance).

We are excited about the technology that lies that ahead, letting us connect better with customers and in turn make sales faster and with a more engaged customer base. We hope you will start to explore some of these concepts in your own small business and learn ways you can use AI to serve your customers. If you have any questions, or want to throw some new ideas our way, contact us anytime!

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