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AI: The Next Big Business Idea in 2018

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According to one recent study, data volumes are growing at a faster rate than ever before. By as soon as 2020, there will be about 1.7 megabytes of new data created for every person on Earth every second. Another study estimates that even a modest 10 percent increase in data accessibility can help generate more than $65 million in additional net income for the average Fortune 1000 company.

This is because data is more than just 1s and 0s – it’s the key to understanding consumers in a better and more meaningful way. It’s the key to learning what people like and dislike, what they want and what they need. More importantly, it’s a way to identify what YOU can do for THEM in real-time.

But you don’t have to be a massive corporation to uncover the insight hidden inside these massive amounts of data. Thanks to advancements in Artificial Intelligence (AI), small businesses in particular are in a better position than ever to capitalize on this trend and business idea in 2018, 2019 and beyond.

Artificial Intelligence Creates Smarter Business Processes

One of the major ways that Artificial Intelligence can impact small businesses in particular involves the many ways in which it allows people to work smarter, not harder. Customers are already generating a massive amount of data based on their likes, their dislikes, their purchasing habits and more. All of this can be used to your advantage to predict whether or not someone is ready to make a purchase, what type of purchase they’re interested in and how much they’re willing to spend.

The insight generated by this data can also identify small problems for customers before they have a chance to become much bigger and more expensive ones down the road, thus giving you a proactive opportunity to fix them while they’re still in their early stages. All of this information can be used to rebuild, reshape and truly optimize your sales funnels to create stronger, more forward-facing customer interactions at every opportunity.

Artificial Intelligence and Marketing

Perhaps the most significant way that Artificial Intelligence will help you to more efficiently grow your small business in 2018 comes down to a single word: Marketing. AI-powered marketing tools make it easier and more affordable than ever for even small businesses to transition from basic marketing techniques into the realm of helpful information. Instead of making educated guesses about what your customers are looking for and trying to steer your campaigns in those directions, you can now leverage the data those customers are already creating to actually anticipate their needs in real-time.

At that point, you can offer recommendations and solutions on their behalf in an active way instead of one that has been historically passive. This creates opportunities for not only better outcomes, but more meaningful steps in the right direction. More than that, many of these processes can be fully automated – allowing you to free up the valuable time of your own employees to focus on things that do still require that “human” touch.

These are just a few of the reasons why Artificial Intelligence is truly the next big business idea not just in 2018, but probably over the course of the next ten years. The most successful brands are the ones that will be able to take advantage of these emerging technologies while they are still in their infancy. Those that don’t will run the risk of being left behind.

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