Artificial intelligence (AI) has scared small businesses for years. Some small business leaders hear those two letters and envision CEOs being chased away by robots. But if you re-envision AI as another avenue for data-driven marketing for SMBs, the importance of AI to your e-commercebusiness growth becomes more apparent and the notion of AI becomes much more appealing.

But first, what is data-driven marketing? It’s the regular practice of using empirical data to gain insight into how consumers act and then building a marketing strategy accordingly. As you collect these insights, you can modify your engagement strategies to better target and delight consumers. AI takes data-driven marketing to a whole new level, leveraging the same data to build models that not only look at how customers have behaved, but also predict the way they will act in the future.

Data-driven marketing is a long-term investment, one that rounds your business into a form and sets it up to better stand out from the competition. And AI is the cherry on top that enables you to fully utilize your data to get ahead.

Why the Importance of AI in Marketing Can’t Be Ignored

Every day your team postpones using AI-powered solutions out of fear lengthens your competition’s head start.

In the past, it was understandable — even wise — to avoid investing in unknown innovative practices, but AI-based marketing tools are no longer some great unknown. That’s because data is everywhere, and it’s now the fuel that drives almost every marketing insight. Knowing howdata can impact your business and power your AI efforts is an essential lesson for any team.

Why is it time to embrace AI and the data-driven marketing game? Consider these three reasons:

1. It’s already being used by e-commerce giants.

Big digital brands have the scope and resources that smaller shops don’t have. They’ve also had the foresight to take a shot on AI marketing and have experienced the accompanying benefits. You can similarly bridge the gap between your business and bigger retailers by investing in AI as an ally that helps you collect predictive, data-driven marketing insights.

2. It engages the customer.

Customers find it comforting when they feel like their preferred brands and products engage them directly. Not only do 80% of customers expect personalization from retailers, but personalization can raise customer satisfaction by 20% and give sales conversion a 10-15% lift.

AI and creative marketing can work in conjunction to bring those personalized, relevant touchpoints to reality. It can help make your e-commerce platform more efficient, spotlight your audience and its feelings, and drive more targeted marketing efforts that your customers will ultimately appreciate and gravitate toward.

3. It’s versatile.

Data gives brands the confidence to be proactive in all areas of a company.With the insights and prediction AI provides,brands can work to get out in front of initiatives in marketing, supply chain, and elsewhere.

Data-driven marketing, and specifically AI marketing, inspires flexibility. AI can help your company foresee a product shortage days and weeks before it happens, spotlight a demographic or segment that needs more attention, or highlight the segment for which an outreach method will provide higher ROI. The only entry barrier is making the integrity of your data a priority, meaning no more messy Excel sheets!

The good news is that with the right tools, you will be able to extract the most valuable data from the platforms you already use, like Shopify and Klaviyo.

Let Data Guide Your Business

Once you learn how AI helps in marketing, you realize that it’s no longer viable to stay on the fence about adopting AI in your business’s own marketing. Using data and AI to adjust marketing strategies is taking a step closer to your customer, seeing how they’re doing, and making decisions to improve their experience. It sounds like robotics, but AI is inherently here to better serve humans.

Moreover, tools previously available only to enterprise-level companies have become affordable and accessible to SMBs. These companies are now empowered to take a proactive approach to grow their businesses based on AI-based predictions.Is your interest piqued about data-driven marketing? Drop into our Resource page to learn more about how AI can impact your business, or sign up to be a Whatify.AI beta partner.