Operating a small business is no small matter. Starting a business isn’t just the big risk you take—it’s also the blood, sweat, and tears that go into keeping things running smoothly and attracting more of your target customers. and with things like looming financial crisis, great resignation And post pandemic pressureIt’s no wonder that small businesses are feeling the heat. (Let’s not bring climate change into this, huh?)
We wanted to know how these guys are surviving (even thriving) in these weird, wild economic times — so we asked them. In Break Free: The State of AI Marketing for Small Business, We polled 400 people in the United States and Canada facing the most pressing challenges marketing their small businesses and learned how they’re using technology to bounce back.
but what Huh These challenges, right? And can you and other small businesses break free of them once and for all?
New solutions to old small business problems
With everything that’s happened in the world over the past few years, it’s hard to find a small business Not there There were some serious challenges to face. Everyone we spoke to said they were being crushed by inflation, supply chain issues and high taxes. They are having trouble finding labourers. they They are intimidated by their big-name competitors and feel they don’t have the resources to keep up.
But small businesses are no strangers to change. They’ve been navigating budget and staffing challenges as long as they’ve been around. And today, technology—and AI in particular—is helping them turn the tables, addressing key issues that (in the past) could be the difference between closing shop or opening another.
Problem: Small budget holding back businesses
We’re not surprised to learn that budget is a big concern for many small businesses. More than half of our respondents (51%) said they do not have the necessary funding to effectively market themselves. really, Budget is the most pressing issue most small businesses face in marketing, Only a third said they didn’t have the staff (39%) or time (34%) to properly advertise their business.
Obviously, a consideration for the budget All marketersNot only those working in small companies. But these businesses may not have the option to “reduce our PPC spend this week” or “scale back this campaign”. Instead, digital marketing is completely dropped when it should be the main focus of their development. So, how can small businesses find ways to run lean marketing campaigns that still get them results?
Solution: Maximize your marketing budget with AI
Our research shows that roughly one-third (31%) of small businesses in North America are adopting AI today. If you’re new to AI as a whole, this is what it means: marketers combine their hard-earned marketing knowledge with artificial intelligence that can analyze and act on massive amounts of data instantly.
(No, it wouldn’t make a great buddy cop movie – but It happens Meaning these marketers can improve their results without increasing their costs.)
Nearly all of the businesses we spoke to (92%) say AI-powered tools reduce marketing costs. And this is also supported by the numbers. Of companies that spend less than $1000 a year on their marketing, nearly a third (32%) are using AI while only a tenth (12%) are not.
Small businesses are able to stretch their marketing budgets thanks to AI – and as a result, the myth of AI-powered tools being unaffordable is going out the window.
Problem: Retaining talent is harder than ever
It’s hard to find the right talent—and these days, keeping it Even more difficult. Between the great resignations and the “quiet quits,” companies struggle to attract and retain good marketers. Nearly half of small businesses (49%) say current employment trends are holding them back,
Finding niche expertise is even more difficult, especially for small businesses. Nearly two-thirds of respondents (60%) said a lack of expertise in either digital marketing techniques or tools was their biggest marketing challenge.
As a result, small businesses often turn to marketing generalists – people who can perform a wide range of marketing activities but do not necessarily have the expertise to help these businesses maximize their budgets. Marketing generalists are usually a more cost-effective option for small businesses, saving them the time and energy of finding more specialized talent.
But marketing generalists come with a cost of their own. Lack of marketing expertise can prevent small businesses from growing at a healthy pace,
Solution: Use AI-powered tools to fill knowledge gaps
Our research shows that many small companies are using AI tools to fill gaps in their marketing expertise. Businesses that have adopted AI perform a wider range of marketing activities than their counterparts that have not. SEO, PPC, email—across the board, AI seems to be giving small businesses an edge.
the reason? AI-powered tools are easing these marketing tasks, They take less time, cost less money, and require less expertise. As a result, small businesses can expand their marketing coverage and run the types of campaigns you typically see from their larger competitors.
Another area where lack of expertise can be a problem is analytics and data. (Always a point of contention for marketers). Our respondents said AI-powered tools often do a lot of the heavy number crunching, making it easier for small businesses to interpret and act on the data. Two-thirds (63%) of AI adopters say they always use data insights to inform their marketing decisions.
Today, small businesses are closing gaps in knowledge and expertise by using AI-powered marketing tools—yes, including landing page builders—to get the job done. They are cutting down on additional workforce, cost and time, while providing the simplified, actionable insights AI tools can provide.
Small businesses win when they adapt first
Life Small business, uh, finds a way. Jeff Goldblum Jurassic Park
We said it before: Small businesses are no strangers to change. But even with what we’ve lived through in the last few years, there’s a lot of uncertainty ahead—and if we’ve learned anything, it’s that businesses need to be ready to adapt at a moment’s notice. Is. The difference between thriving and surviving in times of change is not just in being able to adapt—but To customize first,
AI adoption is helping small businesses make the most of their budgets, freeing them up more time in their day and filling gaps in their expertise. Using AI-powered tools to grow your business is no longer just a futuristic move — it’s a necessary step to overcome the trials and tribulations in your small business and get through victorious part already.
Whether you are still recovering from the pandemic years or are already on your way to a business recovery, you need to be prepared for what lies ahead. check out Break Free: The State of AI Marketing for Small Business To better prepare for the unique challenges small businesses like yours face.