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  • venkata19

SMB AI services

Updated: Apr 26, 2023

SMBs are a neglected segment in AI. Siriusmindshare addresses this need in email marketing space. We help SMB evolve from word of mouth to AI driven email marketing. The company is based on a solid MLOps foundation framework which help churning ML models for SMBs easily & efficiently.

SMBs like salons, restaurants, law firms etc. have marketing needs. The customers are few and sparse. So the scale of enterprise software is immaterial. But the issues of privacy, data security, efficiency & business integration is needed. SMBs are run by families or solopreneurs. They have limited time span to look into improving the marketing process or business efficiencies. Some of them have little to no automation. Thus, they stand to benefit from AI automation if this can be provided at a price point that’s compelling to the value delivered.

Typically, the marketing activities are batch and blast. Data capture is limited. So the front end processes need to be augmented. Secondly, the backend needs to be efficient and automated to run the operation with limited resources. Siriusmindshare has offering both in the front strategy & service as well as backend AI automation.

Typically the tools used are off the shelf free email automation tools like constant contact, mailchimp etc. These tools offer operational benefits but not AI efficiencies and benefits. Thus, the AI solution we built integrates into these solutions and help accelerate marketing. Typical offerings in our plans include segmentation, content driven marketing & predictive analytics on campaigns. This helps with planning, execution and more ROI.

A typical lifecycle of a SMB operation includes managing the front counters, sourcing raw materials, customer onboarding, offering & executing services, consolidating daily revenue & addressing monthly expenses. The systems are checkout kiosks, phone payment apps & a tad of email marketing. There is scope to expand to marketing automation, AI optimization & customer personalization.

The marketing typically involves signage, strategic location, billboards and word of mouth. Digital transformation can help bring more visibility, efficiencies and revenue to SMBs. Marketing automation tools can help solopreneurs to raise their presence, generate more foot traffic, increase awareness and promote key products. This space is nascent and ignored by Enterprise software that typically serve customers with troves of revenue.

AI technologies in operation here are ML modeling to predict campaign performance, ML frameworks that operate on premise, data import and export integration with SMB operational software & strategic execution to personalize the offerings to connect 1-1 with customers. This journey cannot be served with off the shelf software at the moment.

The limitations of the current enterprise AI software ­are that they need SMBs to move their data to a cloud or central system, expensive to fit in the budget of a family run business, limited AI optimizers, limited integration with typical SMB software & finally no market presence in this sector.

A typical AI offering that can help to optimize marketing is RFM segmentation. The billing or campaign behavioral data can serve as inputs to an AI model to identify the most loyal, prospects, churned or about to be churned customers. SMBs bank on relationship with their customer. Such segmentation can help build the equity and stickiness with these customers. Customers can be targeted based on their cohorts to receive promotions or referral requests or refunds. This was a realm only for the Macys of the world and now there is a need to democratize this to the smaller players at the right price point.

Sharing data is a major concern with the SMBs so as not to lose trust. Thus a solution that operates on premise will be a major boon to alleviate such concerns. Typical off the self software are cloud based and need these SMBs to export the data to a cloud. This brings myriad of questions and skepticism in the mind of the solopreneur. They do not have the cycles or technical acumen to alleviate their concerns. They are typically more comfortable having the solution sit right in front of their location. Customers will also feel relieved and they will not lose trust.

Another major concern is the ethics of manipulating the customer based on AI. This is typically seen in big social media players where in the AI optimizer learn to prop up shady content which is typically more conspicuous and outrageous to bring more engagement. While, such concerns do exist, the choice lies with the SMB. Our solution offer them a choice to pick and chose the AI models or apps they want to instantiate. This helps the SMBs make informed decisions. As well being a participant of BBB we are motivated to practice ethical solutions.

AI existed for 50 years but recently with the advent of compute and better algorithms it can reach the masses. The democratization of AI is the next wave of offerings. There is limited monetization capability so its not super attractive to big players. Nice players are point solutions and not vertically integrated with services like front end capture or integrations. So our company taps into this nascent space. There is competition but we geo isolate to penetrate local markets first. Secondly, our solutions can run on premise which may larger providers are moving away due to scale limitations. Finally, we offer personalized integrations at a SMB level to help address the myriad of legacy software they operate.

Last but not the least pricing is a major concern. A solution that charges 10’s and 100’s of thousands is simply not affordable to SMBs. They need to run their business efficiently to make a living. They need automation to not add resources to manage an unknown technology. They need guarantees that they resonate with privacy concerns of their customers. They need the capability to talk to their customers 1-1. Finally, they need to be able to have a personal interaction with their vendor to resolve issues and build trust.

Siriusmindshare’s contAIn AI offering check all of this. The plans help SMBs chose the level of hand holding based on the maturity of their business. The vertically integrated services offer complete solution to alleviate multiple touch points. Finally, the price point and SaaS subscription model helps them choose a payment model that removes the fear and risks.

-Venkata Duvvuri (Founder)

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