5 ways startups can leverage AI tools for success

5 ways startups can leverage AI tools for success

It’s the 21st century we are living in. And Artificial Intelligence is more than just a buzzword. It’s ‘the’ technology that all businesses are clamouring for – startups, SMBs, enterprises – everyone wants a piece of the AI pie. And while startups and AI tools and software have an uncanny business connection, they play a pivotal role in causing dramatic transformations in the global AI ecosystem. Not surprisingly some of the most promising AI innovation has been brought about by start-ups.

Though not often discussed or even celebrated, it is a lesser known fact that the implementation of AI tools in startups have actually helped them to scale leaps and bounds. Some of the startups of yesterday have reached the Unicorn status of today – thanks to the timely adoption of Artificial intelligence into their organizations. The coveted AI Unicorn Club of today boasts of brands like Avant (personal lending using Machine Learning algorithms), Butterfly Network (ultrasound machine using Computer Vision), Cloudwalk (Facial Recognition Tech), Preferred Networks (Deep Learning for manufacturing and healthcare) etc. And they all started as startups. The list of AI use cases in sectors across banking and finance, edtech, healthcare, etc. is on the rise and with it is the identification of new opportunities for digital transformation with AI.

Here’s taking a quick look at how startups are opening up and adopting AI and bringing in AI innovations into their processes to cut costs, optimize resources and in short, have a better day!

Artificial Intelligence for Startups: Adoption and scaling using AI Tools  

Using Artificial Intelligence for customer service:

Customers lie at the heart of every business, big and small. Taking a cue from Fortune companies like Amazon that places customers as its No.1 priority, more and more organizations are investigating smarter solutions for better customer support and service. Not surprisingly, AI tools for small businesses like chatbots are being used to bridge the gap. And to establish the truth in that, a recent report by Microsoft, reported that globally, 54% of all consumers say they have higher expectations of customer service than they did a year ago. 

Small businesses are gradually relying more and more on AI powered chatbots for quick and effective customer service. Turnaround time with these bots is usually low, efficiency high, and costs minimal, making it the ideal tool for ensuring customer satisfaction and in turn brand loyalty. Chatbots are not only useful for quick responses but also help with lead generation, identifying common customer issues, acquiring customer data, providing customized offers, and discounts and for guiding customers through blogs. 

Ubisend, UK’s leading chatbot company uses AI for helping organizations have conversations with their audiences either via text or via voice. With the help of AI, Ubisend can develop conversational personas for their clients. This makes the conversations with their audiences more engaging and provides for a  great consumer experience.  

Influencing decision making with AI implementation: 

The presence of AI in daily lives is perhaps magnified by how deeply it affects decision making. Take the example of product recommendation systems in e-Commerce. A simple purchase decision involving a couple of dollars is influenced by AI. If this is true, imagine the influence AI has on business decision making!

Implementation of AI tools can help provide insights into the behavior of their competitors. Advanced computing tools, machine learning algorithms, predictive analysis, and other business intelligence tools can analyze written, video, and social media posts and provide insights on what competitors are offering to the customers helping a business stay competitive. AI can also help businesses by providing real-time insights into customer needs and wants so products and services can be developed accordingly. 

For instance, Crayon, a competitor analysis tool tracks behaviors of competitors across different digital channels including websites, social media. Even the slightest adjustments in pricing, marketing language, offers are covered. Fuze, a unified communications as a service company (UcaaS) has been using Crayon to monitor, categorize and prioritize updates about competitors, ensuring they are always updated. Crayon also helps Fuze stay ahead of competitors as they do not have to scrutinize each and every update and can focus on analysis and action. 

Accelerating marketing using AI software: 

Marketers have an immense amount of information to deal with on a regular basis. Data from social media channels, website traffic, email channels, and other data points often creates a vicious circle with no terminal or strategy in place.                       

Startups and small businesses can use AI for marketing to help them use data intelligently. AI technology can help to provide real-time insights and updates on where the customers are, suggestions on intelligent allocation of resources, cost optimization strategies, identify new promotional opportunities and more.

Content marketing involves intelligent creation and strategic distribution. AI tools can help in discovering content ideas and even in optimizing content for different audiences. AI-powered tools like Curata help in discovering topics that are proven to drive results and removing the guesswork. Platforms like Atomic Reach and Market Muse help in optimizing content by comparing it with top-ranking content and providing recommendations. 

Apart from content marketing, AI service providers and tech startups are developing AI-powered solutions for organizations to manage their marketing campaigns. With the help of these AI tools marketers only have to create ads. The tools manage to handle everything else right from media buying, cross-channel execution, testing, optimization, and even analysis. 

AI for HR processes: 

When we talk about how AI can help small businesses/ startups, another area where AI has made its visible impact is in the Human Resources department, especially talent acquisition. Though there have been the initial sad days of Amazon having a gender-biased AI system affecting their recruitment process, those challenges are being taken care of by newer tools and AI solutions.

The application of Natural Language Processing is gaining pace especially with reference to automatic screening of resumes and finding the right match, verifying and validation credentials etc. in turn saving time and resources. 

Another application of AI tools that have immensely benefited HR professionals is the streamlining of the hiring and onboarding process for new employees. Aside from helping with hiring and onboarding, it can also help by acquiring feedback from the new employees and help them with questions about company policies and benefits. 

Superdry, a branded clothing company was having a rough time finding good candidates for it’s retail wing. The  retail wing was suffering due to high turnover of staff. Psychometric tests were extremely expensive and the store managers did not have the skillset to judge applicants on the basis of psychometric tests. For combating these challenges, Superdry used an AI-powered tool of PredictiveHire. The tool assessed over 60,000 applicants and has provided store managers with over 45,000 suitable candidates. The tool uses artificial intelligence to compare data points suggested by Superdry employees with the data provided by applicants and provides a scoring of the likelihood of the applicant staying with Superdry. With the help of this tool, staff turnover has reduced by 66% with a positive tenure prediction.

AI for enhanced data security: 

With the increased sophistication and number of cyberattacks that have taken place over the past few years, it is clear that probably the most important use of AI tools is to provide enhanced data security. Artificial intelligence can analyze data of previous attacks, learn about any patterns present and predict any potential threats.   

Reinventing Cybersecurity with Artificial Intelligence’, a report published by Capgemini Research Institute, indicates that it is imperative to build-up cybersecurity defenses with AI. 

Startups often use old threat detection models making them increasingly vulnerable.

The integration of AI tools into existing cybersecurity systems can save organizations from huge losses. According to a report by Norton, it takes an organization 196 days to recover from a cybersecurity breach. In such cases, AI-powered tools can work wonders. 

Versive, a machine learning startup based in Seattle,Washington helps organizations identify threats by using machine learning models to identify anomalies in the network. Versive offersVersive Security Engine (VSE) uses machine learning models to help banks and other financial organizations identify crucial threats. It can analyze large amounts of data and identify anomalies by using IP traffic information, DNS data, proxy and other inputs. 

To conclude, startups using AI will have a competitive advantage over other companies and organizations. Startups and global companies are using Machine Learning and AI to save on resources, maximize profits and scale-up with the help of AI. AI tools for small businesses, whether deployed for customer service, HR processes, digital marketing campaigns, talent management or cybersecurity can make every process more efficient and effective, making organizations more competitive and resourceful.

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April 6, 2020 7 months ago

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