A guide to AI Marketing tools for SMEs and start-ups

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      The worlds of advertising and marketing have never had it so good, with fresh ideas and innovations being developed every day, every minute. Every day offers a fresh challenge, whether it is in the fields of robotics, virtual reality, or artificial intelligence.

      These technologies are even more crucial for small firms and startups since they may utilize them to gain notoriety and reach a wider audience than their rivals. Nevertheless, are they making the most of it? We polled several authorities.

      Small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) in India are only slowly adopting technology, according to Shashank Rathore, Vice President, of E-Commerce, Interactive Avenues, and many are still using conventional advertising techniques.

      “A major portion of SMEs in India continue to rely on conventional marketing strategies owing to a lack of understanding, even if many are adopting a very dynamic, aggressive, and brave attitude towards digital. Many small businesses are aggressively embracing digital marketing techniques because of the success of modern, digital-first companies like Mamaearth, Plum Goodness, and Wow Skin Science.

      According to McKinsey, 70% of small firms use their own websites to reach customers, compared to 82% of large corporations, in one of its papers titled Digital India: technology to change a connected nation.

      Small businesses outperform large firms in terms of consumer engagement on social media and search engine optimization, but they are less likely than large businesses to purchase display advertisements online (37% vs. 66%). There is a discrepancy, so to speak, but there are also certain areas where smaller enterprises are paying closer attention.

      According to Rajat Ojha, CEO of Gamitronics and Partynite Metaverse, “there is a heavy dependency on social media and platforms like WhatsApp to push out offers and promotions but there is little effort put into content” in order for some businesses to scale up their digital marketing skills and maintain revenue.

      Moreover, digital marketing is seldom ever used by B2B businesses. They use a more conventional and antiquated method of marketing. Every business and brand has to develop its image, and marketing isn’t only about making money; this will need to alter if they want to grow and attract a wider audience. If the correct noise is created, ultimately the money will come in.

      During the past several years, startups in India have grown significantly as more funding has helped entrepreneurs expand their businesses. On the other hand, small firms experienced two challenging pandemic years, but awareness and government support seem to have shaped them for a stronger recovery.

      But, these organizations must employ technology to improve their marketing abilities immediately. Better technology utilization is only possible given the abundance of readily available technology in terms of recognition, leadership, and business.

      Also Read: The Scope of Business and Investment Opportunities for Indian SMEs and Manufacturers

      Use of technology: Quantity or quality?

      According to Rajat Ojha, how you utilize technology is more important than the technology itself. “In this instance, in my opinion, using technology is not as important as how they are using it. The way brands and businesses use social media will need to be more purposeful and not just mindless publishing with little interaction.

      More imaginatively told stories must be available. Just as an illustration, Netfilx’s Instagram feed is delightful. Even if they are marketing their own material, each post has a particular theme, message, meme, joke, or takeaway.

      These sites might be a resource for SMEs and smaller brands. The testing of various platforms and channels as well as the search for novel approaches are further aspects of digital marketing. Are banners effective? Can you send a WhatsApp burst? The statistics will come through AI and programmatic advertising, but the creative side has to be developed. Both an art and a science, marketing requires on-the-job training.

      According to Hareesh Tibrewala, a company’s size is not as important to them as how they use its digital services. “I observe a significant discrepancy in how digital marketing is used in the MSME sector. I’ve witnessed small, 20-person organizations do admirably.

      And I’ve seen bigger, 100-crore companies that have no idea what digital technology is capable of. Hence, there does not appear to be a “size” issue… I believe that an organization’s digital maturity is determined by the management’s vision.

      The founder of Foodism, Vyom Shah, claims that because everything is now accessible online, pricing is not a concern in this situation. They don’t have to worry about whether they can afford the internet since it is available to them. Businesses and startups may gain a lot from the development of technology and the introduction of AI-powered solutions.

      Startups and SMEs typically have a little marketing budget. SMEs may simplify their marketing processes, attract new clients, and comprehend the effects of their marketing initiatives by investing in reasonably priced AI products.

      Neeraj Bassi, Chief Growth Officer of Cheil India, stated on ChatGPT that how you use the product is more crucial than the technology itself. “New tools and solutions are continually being developed. For instance, links on how to utilize ChatGPT, a product that is just three months old, for marketing are all over Twitter right now! I have no doubt that using ChatGPT soon will be covered in a course’s curriculum.

      Hence, the number of tools is endless. Several start-ups would benefit from my recommendation to concentrate on the study of the inputs provided by the tool and develop a market strategy.

      Also Read: The Santander SME platform leverages Salesforce

      Technology to be Incorporated into Marketing by SMEs

      The founder of BabyG, Birma Ram, provides a list of tools that SMEs should employ to expand their businesses and they’re personal. There are various marketing technology solutions available to assist SMEs in better promoting themselves. Here are a few illustrations: By scheduling posts, tracking interaction, and doing data analysis, social media management platforms like Hootsuite, Buffer, and Sprout Social may assist SMEs in managing their social media presence more successfully.

      Businesses may benefit from the creation and distribution of focused email campaigns thanks to email marketing tools like Mailchimp, Constant Contact, and Campaign Monitor. SMEs may benefit from the planning, production, and distribution of high-quality content using content marketing solutions like HubSpot, CoSchedule, and ClearVoice. SMEs can benefit from search engine optimization (SEO) tools like SEMrush, Ahrefs, and Moz to improve their website’s search engine optimization. CRM software from companies like Salesforce, Zoho, and HubSpot may assist SMEs in managing their client interactions more successfully.

      SMEs may benefit from the automation of their marketing workflows, tracking of consumer behavior, and personalization offered by systems like Marketo, Pardot, and Act-On.

      The preceding list is supplemented by Shashank Rathore, Vice President, E-Commerce, Interactive Avenues. “I personally adhere to a Think, Plan, and Act mindset, in which technology may enhance output quality and aid in time and money savings at every turn. Businesses may promote themselves more effectively by using a variety of marketing technology solutions.

      Some of the most well-liked ones are Landing Page and Form Builders: SMEs may design successful landing pages and forms that promote conversion and e-commerce with the use of programs like Unbounce, Leadpages, and Gravity Forms: SMEs may successfully offer their goods and services online with the aid of platforms like Shopify, Magento, and WooCommerce.

      Rajat Ojha paints a clear picture of the fears that SMEs have and what they should do in their place. The SME sector is concerned about costs, but there are a variety of options to consider, and new use cases are developing every day that have the potential to be highly cost-effective. They need to create a taste for it, see the wider implications, and consider it as an investment rather than a cost.

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