Marketing among top AI applications for small businesses

Forty-one percent of small businesses are considering using AI to help make business decisions, according to a new study conducted by American Express. And customer service and marketing use cases are the top applications for using AI technology.

AI use cases. Small businesses said they are considering AI for a wide range of use cases. For instance 39% of those considering AI plan to use tools to help them save time. 

Additionally, 21% would use AI tools to improve security, and 20% said they’d use AI to provide more efficient customer service.

Customer service (19%) and marketing (14%) are the top primary use cases for businesses to use AI.

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Company size matters. Larger companies are more bullish about experimenting with AI. Larger small businesses (101-500 employees) were more than four-times more likely than the smallest businesses (10 employees and under) to be open to using AI tools — that’s 75% compared to 16%.

Generation gap. Younger business owners and entrepreneurs are also more likely than older owners to use AI tools in their organization.

Fifty-six percent of Millennial and Gen Z small businesses, regardless of size, said they are prioritizing AI, versus 24% among older businesses.

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Larger businesses more confident overall. Over half (54%) of small businesses said they are confident in making sound growth decisions.

Only 29% of the smallest small businesses said they were confident, while 64% of the largest small businesses said so, the study reported.

Why we care. Businesses of all sizes are paying close attention to the growth potential and efficiency that AI tools can bring. And they are targeting marketing and customer service as leading areas where their businesses can use them.

As the American Express study suggests, larger organizations have the flexibility to experiment, while many smaller small businesses lack confidence. This is to be expected with any disruptive technology and after all the disruption many small businesses have faced in recent years.

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