Small Businesses Benefit from AI and Automation, but Challenges Remain

Constant Contact has released its Small Business Now: An AI Awakening report, which explores how small businesses (SMBs) can leverage technology to their advantage. The report is based on a survey conducted by Ascend2, polling over 480 SMB decision-makers in the U.S. The research aims to understand SMBs’ perspectives on the future of artificial intelligence (AI) and marketing automation and where they believe these technologies will have the greatest impact.

According to the report, SMBs that have adopted AI are experiencing immediate value. In fact, 91% of current AI users believe AI has made their business more successful. Additionally, 28% of respondents expect to save at least $5,000 in the next year thanks to AI. Cutting costs and improving efficiency are also notable achievements, with 33% of surveyed SMBs estimating that they save 40 minutes a week on marketing tasks using AI or automation.

Despite the growing interest and potential benefits, some challenges remain. SMBs identified data security, perceived cost, and a steep learning curve as top concerns associated with AI and automation. Although 55% of SMBs reported increased interest in AI in the past five months, 46% admitted to having only basic knowledge of the technology and its benefits.

SMBs highlighted customer acquisition as their biggest challenge. Many struggle with marketing, lacking the necessary skills and talent to succeed. Other areas that require attention include hiring and retaining staff and converting leads to sales. Small businesses are recognizing the power of AI and combining it with marketing automation to attract customers, save time, and create personalized experiences.

Constant Contact, the small-business-focused digital marketing and automation platform, has been proactive in offering AI and marketing automation tools to its customers. The company aims to help SMBs leverage these technologies to save time, drive impact, and become better marketers.