Small businesses (SMBs) are a busy bunch. On any given day, they might be fulfilling orders, engaging with customers in-person, managing staff, doing their books — plus dozens of other tasks. Most would relish an opportunity to gain back an extra hour, or save some extra money.
Luckily, those goals (and others) are attainable thanks to artificial intelligence (AI) and marketing automation. These technologies can help small businesses work more efficiently, drive more sales, and improve the ways they are marketing themselves – without making it more of a headache or a time suck.
We recently published a report at Constant Contact called, Small Business Now: An AI Awakening, that outlines how SMBs are thinking about artificial intelligence and automation, and some of the results that early adopters are seeing. With insights from nearly 500 small businesses across the U.S., the study reveals how these technologies can enhance marketing effectiveness and help SMBs save time and money.
If you’re curious about how AI can impact your business, here are the 10 stats about AI that you should know.
- Challenge Accepted: 60% of SMBs say their biggest challenge is attracting new customers, while 39% say it’s marketing to their target audience.
- Peaked Interest: 74% are interested in using artificial intelligence or automation in their business, and 55% reported that their interest in using these technologies grew in the first half of 2023.
- Off to the Races: 26% are already using AI or automation, and the top use cases are social media (52%), generative content creation (44%) and email marketing (41%).
- Proven Success: 91% of the small businesses polled say AI has helped make their businesses more successful.
- Reaping the Benefits: 60% of small businesses that currently use AI or automation in their marketing say they have saved time and are working more efficiently.
- First step, Social Media: SMBs say the easiest places to start leveraging artificial intelligence technology are social media, content creation, and analytics.
- Financial Gains: 28% of SMBs expect AI and/or automation to save them at least $5,000 in the next year.
- Increasing Efficiency: 33% of small businesses estimate they have saved more than 40 minutes per week on marketing by using AI or automation.
- Top Concern: 44% of small businesses noted data security as their top hesitation about using AI.
- Value Recognition: The more SMBs use AI, the more they value it. 70% of SMBs would be willing to pay more to access AI and automation.
So, what do all these stats mean? I’m glad you asked.
AI is here to stay. The small businesses who are currently using tools powered by AI overwhelmingly agree that it is making their businesses more successful. They are working more efficiently, saving money, improving customer experiences, and growing quicker.
So, if you’re an SMB who is either starved for more time in your week, or you want to improve the way you engage with your customers without adding extra marketing work to your plate, don’t write off AI as a passing trend. Give it a try and you might be surprised about the results you see.
Dave Charest is the Director of Small Business Success for Constant Contact, a digital marketing and automation platform that has helped millions of small businesses and nonprofits become better marketers.