Article
How AI can add value to SMEs?
31 Mar 2021
2 Min Read

While large-scale enterprises have long begun using new technologies like machine learning and Artificial Intelligence (AI) to streamline their business processes, SMEs (Small and Medium Enterprises) are still trying to understand if the AI technology holds any solution for them.

 

The main scope of AI is to gain a competitive benefit within e-commerce, manufacturing, human resources, accounting, customer relations, marketing, etc. The processes of AI tend to enhance company’s performance, raise sales, lower costs, automate customer management, save time, limit flaws and advance data collection & processing. 

Various Artificial Intelligence techniques can be employed in enterprise performance like fuzzy logic, artificial neural networks, expert systems, genetic algorithms, machine-learning techniques, swarm intelligence-based algorithms, deep learning, etc. Despite various techniques approached, the core aim of AI service remains straightforward - provide more flexible, adaptive and interactive solutions as per the customers’ interests and requirements. 

‍As with most new tech trends, there are two important steps that must be taken. Firstly, the technology must be affordable and accessible enough for mass use. Secondly, there must be suitable awareness and education of the technology so individuals or businesses can fully understand how and why they should use it. 

‍In its challenge to enter the mainstream, AI has only taken one of these two steps. Today, the proliferation of innovative AI tools means that there are now cost-effective tools that enable even microbusinesses to benefit from this technological advancement.  Rapid enhancement of machine learning and artificial intelligence produces the technology more applicable and accessible to small and medium-scaled businesses. Some ways that AI can support you are as follows:  

 

Marketing

The most significant one among the benefits of Artificial Intelligence is a marketing automation system that may execute machine learning to enhance customer targeting, construct communications that are more precise and build conclusions as per their behaviours. The AI-based marketing stimulates marketing efficiency by targeting, particularly towards the right client. AI-powered apps support marketing activities across various channels like Facebooks, Google AdWords, and Bing. Furthermore, it automates tracking marketing spend and campaigns, freeing up resources to generate sales and focus on business operations. 

Chatbots 

When it comes to the benefits of Artificial Intelligence, chatbots are the first thing that comes to our mind. Bots are now used by numerous businesses to communicate with customers and make enterprises available 24/7. Bots provide valuable details and ensure that the customer is engaged. AI technologies include an option to design and deploy the chatbots. The conversational Artificial Intelligence can be developed for return policies, conversational commerce, company information and more. The AI chatbots create a feeling for a customer that they are interacting with a human support, not a machine. SMEs can employ AI chatbots  such as MobileMonkey, Flow XO, Aivo, Botsify, Amazon Lex, Chatfuel and Manychat to enhance delivering business details on their official sites, social media and via mobile apps. 

Competitive Intelligence

When the competitors produce an abundant amount of contents and updates each day, it could be difficult to track their strategies. However, knowing the competitors well is vital to react to the ever-changing market trends and remain competitive. There are AI-powered competitive analysis tools like Crunchbase, Owler, Talkwalker, Visualping, SimilarWeb and Google Alerts that support businesses address this challenge. This software can track the business competitors on various channels like social media, websites and web applications to determine price updates and subtle changes in messaging as well as PR activities. When combined with powerful business metrics and natural language processing, this feature can offer SMEs a better insight into the ongoing evolution in their competitors’ strategy. 

Furthermore, these tools also possess powerful analytical ability that support for instant detection of product gaps, strength and weakness of the competitors. With these insights, the business owners can modify their own business strategy. 

 Cybersecurity

Over the past decades, businesses regardless of size have come across several cyber exploits that affect both the operation and reputation of the companies. That is why both large and small enterprises are using AI tools like Cognito by Vectra, DefPloreX and StringSifter to protect their data and battle threats to ensure their data security. With AI and machine learning, companies can detect any strange behaviours, create a concentration on new threats and spot the security vulnerabilities. 

SMEs that are keen on leveraging Artificial Intelligence early will be powerful enough to attain the benefits of a range of operational competencies and achieve a competitive edge. Implementing AI will be vital for SMEs, but business owners will require being future targeted and ready to touch the next edge with the latest technology. 

 

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