If you’ve heard about artificial intelligence (AI) at all, you’ve likely come across another heavily used term, machine learning. What’s the difference between the two?
- Artificial intelligence is a term that denotes a machine that can make decisions on its own, while
- Machine learning is a term that denotes a machine that can correlate, analyze, and learn things from your data.
It all boils down to this: true AI, a machine that thinks like a human, does not exist today. Instead, machine learning is the version of AI we’ve got and, while more limited than true AI, it opens up a whole range of possibilities to your small business.
Ways Cloud Based Machine Learning Can Boost Small Business Productivity
Since machine learning is fed with data, it knows a lot of things about your company, your products and services, and your customers. Armed with that knowledge, a cloud-based machine learning solution can boost your productivity by:
- Identifying trends and providing insights into your business’ processes, finances, offerings and customers; and
- Automating some parts of your day-to-day activities such as marketing and customer service.
Here are some specific ways you can use machine learning solutions, to be more productive:
Small businesses have been using marketing automation to boost their productivity for some years now. While these tools automated many marketing tasks, they still needed to be configured manually by people.
Adding machine learning to the mix adds even greater automation to marketing processes, increasing the level of productivity even more. Here are some cloud based machine learning solutions that will boost your marketing productivity:
Curating comments on social media for your website just got much easier. Twizoo uses machine learning to discover positive mentions of your brand on both Twitter and Instagram and then places those “testimonials” on the most relevant pages of your website automatically.
If you want your email marketing efforts to be as effective as possible, Phrasee will help you come up with the words that will lead to the results you want.
Crayon uses machine learning to help you filter through heaps of outside signals for a clear view of what your competitors are up to.
Marketing automation tool Act-On uses machine learning to create adaptive journeys that nurture your leads into customers.
Ever have trouble coming up with social media marketing content ideas? Rocco learns the ins-and-outs of your business and brand voice and then suggests fresh content that your followers are likely to engage with.
Using machine learning algorithms, Insightpool is an influencer marketing search system that will help your small business find the right influencer marketer and more.
You know you need a website, but building a small business website can be a pain, slowing your productivity to a crawl while you try to figure the whole thing out. Why not let the two machine learning solutions below build it for you?
Wix’s new “Artificial Design Intelligence” offering will build you a site that’s, in its words, “stunning” and “complete.”
Getting on The Grid means having a virtual website builder on staff, one that enables you to, “just add content, it designs itself.”
Data analytics is one area where machine learning truly shines. The solutions below will provide insights, automatically, that can help propel your small business, and your productivity, forward.
The easy-to-use machine learning solution PaveAI enables you to connect Google Analytics, as well as Adwords, Facebook Ads, and Twitter Ads, so it can analyze your data to show what’s working and how to improve what’s not.
Upload your data and the Qlick Sense Associative engine will find connections and insights that you didn’t even think of looking for.
Customer Relationship Management
A CRM system is simply a pile of data about your customers. Aiming machine learning at that data will help you use what’s there much more productively.
There’s only one player in this category, but it’s a biggie: Salesforce Einstein. This platform not only tells you what you need to know about your customers and processes, it also helps you implement solutions based on that data.
AI and machine learning have impacted the sales process in positive ways. The tools below can help you figure out which customers are ready to buy and when, both of which make you a more productive salesperson.
Created to help you sell more, InsideSales will help you know: who to sell to and what actions to take; which opportunities to focus on and which ones to forecast; and know which clients are most likely to leave and which clients will grow.
Base will help your sales team be more productive with all-in-one-place tools and predictive insights.
Retail sales are dependent on so many factors including weather, time of year and location, that it’s very difficult to cover all the bases when trying to maximize sales. Once again, machine learning has positively impacted the situation as demonstrated by the two solutions below.
A predictive analytics tool, Sales Temperature uses your past sales results, weather forecasts, upcoming holidays and more to predict the actions you should take to maximize your revenue.
Percolata uses your store traffic data, employee schedule, marketing insights and more to help you optimize staffing to match your needs.
Tailoring your marketing campaigns to an individual customer was a fantasy before machine learning made the scene, but today, the solutions below can collect data about each of your customers and then personalize their experiences.
Set a goal like click-through rate, conversion and engagement and LiftIgniter will get to work displaying personalized content and recommendations for each of your customers.
BrightInfo is a “real-time personalization engine” designed with one goal in mind: increase your website conversions.
Recruiting and Hiring
Need some help to manage the recruiting and hiring tasks at your small business? Machine learning can help you be more productive here, too.
Ideal enables you to automate tedious, time-consuming tasks including manual resume screening and candidate sourcing.
Your very own AI assistant, Arya uses machine learning to determine the best qualities for your positions and then reaches out to prospective candidates for you.
As we’ve already seen above, machine learning can be used to automate some of your most tedious business tasks. Need to boost your productivity? Try this solution on for size:
CrowdFlower combines machine learning and humans-in-the-loop for content moderation, data categorization, data collection, sentiment analysis, transcription and more.
Great customer service is a true business differentiator these days and machine learning can make your customer service team more responsive and productive. Here’s a couple of solutions to get you started.
Idiomatic continuously analyzes the conversations that your support team is having with your customers — whether by email, chat or social media — and analyzes the data to help you improve your support efforts.
AnswerIQ uses AI to boost customer support agent productivity and reduce handling time.
It’s hard to know when a customer is about to leave you, but machine learning can keep an eye on trends so you know who’s ready to jump ship. These three solutions will boost your productivity by keeping an eye out so you don’t have to.
Natero helps your business maximize customer lifetime value while reducing churn and accelerating growth.
Designed to help you forecast the future behavior of your clients, ABM can help you keep your customers longer.
Urban Airship’s Predictive Churn Solution engages app users based on churn risk.
Fraudulent activities are an ever-annoying part of doing business. As the solution below demonstrates, using machine learning to keep an eye out for fraud helps protect everyone involved.
Sift Science’s Digital Trust Platform protects both you and your customers from many types of fraudulent activities.
Wondering How To Get Started?
Before you start investing in any of the artificial intelligence and machine learning related strategies, we suggest you start with learning about the technologies that can help you generate your business outcomes. Most of the AI and machine learning solutions currently require customer development to achieve your results. This requires you to start with assessing your current business needs and mapping it to your business outcomes to realize the right potential. To secure a free assessment, please reach out to our partner Meylah to get started.
Photo via Shutterstock
Really interesting to see that we have all of these cloud based softwares that has a variety of functions. I will look into each one to see which is useful for me.
“Small businesses have been using marketing automation to boost their productivity for some years now. While these tools automated many marketing tasks, they still needed to be configured manually by people.” — which email automation services you use remail, outreach, persistIQ, close?