How the Democratization of AI Can Help Grow Your Business, Even During Difficult Times

Article originally appeared here.

The definition of AI, in the most basic term, is getting a computer to think and act like a human.  This article will highlight how AI can be your weapon to drive sustainable growth for your company when businesses are faltering at alarming rates.

Currently we are ALL hunkered down, practicing social distancing protocols during a worldwide pandemic.  It can be argued that its negative economic effects will surpass what happened during 9/11 and the Great Recession in 2008.  We have learned that business leaders who were forward thinkers during those difficult times were able to become wildly successful.

Unprecedented Economic Growth, Until It Wasn’t

Many businesses were experiencing tremendous growth until the pandemic hit in mid-March 2020. Companies that had their digital transformation house in order are surviving, even thriving during this crisis.  Part of this success can be attributed to the adoption of AI technologies.

AI – the Future is Now

According to a March 2nd 2020 study published by Statista, there are currently 1,393 AI-startups in the United States.  Grand View Research indicates that the AI industry is projected to grow to a staggering $390.9 billion by 2025.  Many AI tools are API friendly and can be relatively simple for any organization (big or small) to implement and run data driven campaigns that drive results.

Three Ways AI Can Help with Your Businesses’ Sales and Marketing Efforts

Your business has been successful but has to adapt and overcome during these challenging times.  Staying in touch with your customers will be important now more than ever.  The democratization of AI can help C-level executives and small-mid size business owners alike with:

  • Profitability scoring based on the recency, frequency, and the amount of money your customers spent on past purchases
  • Analyzing trends based on geographic, demographic, psychographic and behavior characteristics
  • Providing ‘Amazon-like’ upsell/cross sell recommendations based on what your customers are predicted to purchase

Whether your business has five hundred, five thousand, or 5 million customers, you can quickly prioritize and execute data driven campaigns based on science.

Why is Being Data Driven Important?

It is critical for businesses to implement a data-driven, targeted approach to re-market to one’s existing customer base.  Three readily apparent outcomes are: improved sales, increased average order value and reduced customer churn.  AI-powered marketing goes deeper than the aformetioned benefits, using psychology to accelerate results.  Benefits include:

  • Improving customer experience
  • Preventing customer indecision
  • Telling your customer what to do next

Two restaurants, both have 2k customers, have been forced to shut down dining service as a result of the pandemic:

  • Restaurant A: Uses the power of AI.  Segments their customers from Champion, Loyal, and all the way down to Sleeping.  They are running text campaigns offering personalized menu recommendations to their top-tier customers.  Doing so helps them save money. They currently have a thriving carry out business nearly surpassing their dining revenue.
  • Restaurant B: Uses outdated technologies.  No focused customer out reach. Restaurant forced to shut down two weeks into pandemic.

AI is helping Restaurant A target the right customer, with the right menu item at the right time.  This is helping them become competitive in a data driven world with marketing precision.

The power of AI in marketing is currently being applied to other verticals. Examples of businesses that are thriving by utilizing scientific based customer outreach:

  • Clothing company has pivoted to selling masks and emailing geographic and gender based product recommendations.
  • Skincare company is automating their post purchase outreach with text reminders to reorder their products every 45 days (average time their products lasts).
  • $10 million shoe company is emailing campaigns based on the specific days one is predicted to purchase their products.

A study conducted by Bain indicates that by merely improving customer retention rates by 5% increases profits by 25%-95%.

The Impact of AI in Business

We live in a data driven world.  Those that do not adjust their mindset to this philosophy will have a tough time succeeding. AI is being used to drive improvements in areas of marketing, sales, and customer experience. Stats to consider:

  • Over 60% of marketers say that AI will be key to their data strategy MEMSQL
  • 84% of enterprise level executives believe that AI will give them significant competitive advantages Forbes
  • Organizations using AI in their sales functions are able to increase lead production by over 50% Harvard Business Review

An old Chinese proverb states: ‘The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago.  The second best time is now.’

We are living in unprecedented times.  Be a forward thinker and consider the adoption of AI driven technologies to grow your business. Prioritize and execute – the cream will rise to the top.

Curious to see the next wave for keeping restaurants safe and profitable?

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