How AI can power your startup

Future-proof your startup with AI. We show you how
6 minute read
Edward Kost @EdwardKost
Technical Co-pilot
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How can your startup benefit from AI?

We're at the cusp of a 5th industrial revolution pioneered by artificial intelligence. The business value of AI is forecast to be worth $3.9T in 2022. 84% of businesses agree that AI will give them a competitive advantage, and are already embracing the technology. 80% of emerging technologies are predicted to adopt A.I. technology by 2021. 

In other words, AI is a big deal. Ask yourself, is your startup missing out by not integrating artificial intelligence technology? Let's look at some of the ways you can make it work for your business.

AI chatbots for startups

A chatbot instantly responds to customers to guide them to the best possible solution in the shortest amount of time.

Emirates Vacations used chatbots in a marketing campaign to give visitors personalized travel tips and answer general questions. Whenever a customer clicked on an Emirates' display ad, a chatbot window opened.

ai chatbot emirates

Each chatbot was configured to only suggest vacation packages that were available on its landing page.

The headline of each chatbot window was, "Explore the world without leaving the page," to reinforce to visitors that they could get all their answers from a single source. 

This unconventional marketing tactic proved that it was possible for customers to find the precise solutions to their problems with zero navigation and zero clicks. 

This is a huge breakthrough in internet marketing. Prospective customers leave a web page when they can't find what they were looking for. Chatbots solve this problem by offering a laser-targeted solution tailored to each individual, every time. And all without any human intervention.

So, how can you apply chatbots to your startup?

Install a chatbot on your website

Let's look at how chatbots can answer the two most common customer queries:

  • Requesting more information 

  • Ordering a product/service

Requesting more information 

Instead of manually forwarding specific information to interested parties, a chatbot can completely take care of this.

E-bot7 Agent+AI is an example of an AI chatbot that can be trained to effectively inform visitors of the specific details of your startup. This chatbot can direct customers to the best solution, either by sending them to the right person for their query, or by sending them information for further reading.

chatbots startup website

This is also a great way of qualifying each visitor so that only the most valuable conversations are directed to the founder of a startup.

What makes AI chatbots particularly fascinating is that they're continuously learning and improving. The technology reads the context of all conversations to understand whether a query was successfully resolved. Over time, chatbots get better and better at understanding queries, and their solutions get more efficient. No human customer service representative could ever match this level of discipline.

The e-bot7 Agent+AI can also handle questions from potential investors. Investors are usually looking for specific answers to help them decide if a startup is worth their time and money.

Some typical investor questions are:

  • What does your startup do?

  • Are you accepting investors?

  • What's unique about your offering?

  • Where are you headquartered?

  • How big is your market opportunity?

  • Who are your biggest competitors?

As you can see from the screenshot below, chatbots like e-bot7 Agent+AI can answer targeted questions ,and lead the conversation to its intended resolution.

ai chatbot conversation

Source: e-bot7.de/en

A chatbot on your startup's website could be programmed to answer each of the above questions and then suggest booking a meeting with the startup founder for further discussion

Here's an example of the booking capabilities of the chatbot, Instabot. Whenever a meeting is booked, it's automatically synced with Google Calendar. 

ai chatbot calendar booking

Source: www.instabot.io

With a chatbot answering visitor questions, qualifying appointments and then scheduling them, a startup founder is free to focus on more important duties.

Ordering a product or service

Chatbots like e-bot7 Agent+AI can lead customers through tailored workflows. By linking to a CRM through an API, a customer can place an order directly with the chatbot without navigating to a different part of the site. Placing orders through a chatbot is much quicker and more direct, which means customers don't have as much time to second guess their purchase and leave.

ai chatbot product ordering service

Source: e-bot7.de/en

How much do AI Chatbots cost?

Subscription-based cloud solutions start at around $50 per month. These AI bots aren't very customizable, but they can answer questions, schedule appointments and complete purchases.

Here are a couple of options:

If you want a completely custom designed bot, prices start at around $30,000 for a standard capability chatbot, and can climb up to $150,000 for a top of the range design.

This pricing may seem too steep, but keep in mind that you'll be replacing teams of customer service representatives and office rent, so it's much cheaper in the long run.

There are free, open-source chat bot solutions available such as E.D.D.I; however, you need some serious tech skills to set them up correctly. If you're not as technically inclined, you can hire a freelance programmer to set this up for you and save yourself a ton of money.

AI marketing for startups

With the ever-changing algorithms of popular advertising channels like Google Ads and Facebook, it 's getting harder to keep advertising campaigns both highly targeted and cost-effective.

The combination of Artificial Intelligence with marketing engines is changing that by finally tipping the scales in favor of the advertiser.

Upmarket gym Orangetheory decreased its cost per lead by an astonishing 40% after it added AI to its marketing efforts.

Prior to the insights of AI, Orangetheory classified its target audience into two groups:

Women

Age: Around 35 years

Income: $80,000 - $100,000.

Men

Age: Around 36 years

Income: $80,000 - $100,000

After using AI, the company was surprised to learn that its target audience was actually  younger (between 18–25).

How does AI marketing work?

AI-powered marketing is a highly complex polydirectional process. Here's a brief overview of how its ecommerce solutions operate:

Data is pulled from campaigns to learn specific user activity and identify profitable characteristics. This data is continuously compared against updated CRM data to identify the highest converting customers.

 

Using this ever-evolving algorithm, the AI system is capable of adjusting advertising campaigns to ensure it only targets the audience segments with the highest potential of conversion.

But AI marketing goes beyond just customer identification. Thanks to its powerful predictive capabilities, the technology can suggest specific products each visitor is most likely to purchase and communicate with them via in-app messaging to close the sale.

ai chatbot product recommendation

AI powered product suggestions catered to the individual - Source: emarsys.com

Outsourcing some of these administrative marketing tasks to AI means startup founders can get the highest value from their human marketing staff.  

How much do AI marketing solutions cost?

Many of the solutions need to be custom built for each specific business. To arrange a quote, you'll need to book a demo.

You can find a list of AI marketing providers here.

AI business analytics for startups

AI business analytics can help startup founders take emotion out of their decision making, and focus on hard data to help guide their strategy.

Predictive modeling

Predictive modeling uses existing datasets to predict future outcomes. Not only does this help startup founders make profitable decisions, it also helps identify financial leaks to minimize loses.

For example, Datarobot helps fintechs remain profitable by:

  • Predicting and blocking fraudulent transactions

  • Predicting the likelihood of loan applicants paying off their loan

  • Automating the management of multiple investment portfolios without losing efficiency

But the real power of predictive modeling solutions lies in the ability to create custom models.

If you're a software startup, you could predict the likelihood of a specific feature increasing sales. Simply upload your dataset, select the target variable and you're done.

ai business analytics

Predictive modelling software - Source: datarobot.com

Free predictive modeling software 

Predictive modeling software is not cheap, and the pricing inflates in proportion to a business' complexity. But it might surprise you to learn there are free open-source alternatives. 

Because they're open source, you'll need some coding help to set them up. That means you may want to hire a freelance programmer to help you out.

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Here are some great open-source options:

GraphLab Create

GraphLab Create uses machine learning to build intelligent predictive models. It can handle fraud detection, user-case recommendations, sentiment analysis, churn prediction and more.

This is an incredibly powerful platform with multiple predictive capabilities. If you want the competitive advantage of predictive modeling software, but you're on a tight budget, GraphLab Create is a great choice.

graphlab create software screenshot

Orange Data Mining

Orange displays statistical predictions through stunning data visualizations. You can even create decision trees, hierarchical clusters and heatmaps to aid your decision making. 

orange data mining screenshot

R Software

WIth R Software you can build a variety of powerful statistical models, such as linear/non-linear modeling, classical statistical tests, cassiciations, clustering, time-series and more.

r software screenshot

Conclusion 

To futureproof your startup, you have to prepare for the 5th and most powerful industrial revolution to date. Harnessing artificial intelligence will not only establish a foundation you can build on with technologies in the future; it provides a powerful competitive advantage today by helping you to focus more on the strategic growth of your startup.

 

 

 

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