AI, artificial intelligence, machine learning


14th September, 2023

How is AI going to affect marketing and small business?

Artificial intelligence is already having a significant impact on marketing and small businesses.

AI tools like ChatGPT – an AI chatbot with the ability to assist with tasks ranging from simple copywriting to highly technical coding – catapulted itself to over 100 million users in its first two months of launching.

By the end of June, a staggering 1 billion users were reported to be using the website.

For context, it took TikTok, the short-form video hosting social media app, over 9 months to reach the same 100 million user mark and 4+ years to hit 1 billion total users. 

Digital marketing is set to gain massively from the use of artificial intelligence, thanks to several applications that can assist with an array of creative aspects like curating copy, designing logos and even assist with the development of ad production, like this ‘Masterpiece’ advert by Coke.

Automation and efficiency

AI systems can automate those annoying repetitive tasks and streamline marketing processes that involve ad targeting and segmentation, predictive analytics, conversational marketing, augmented reality and virtual reality experiences, among many others.

This can save a huge amount of time and resources for small business processes.

  • Positive aspects: Increased efficiency, reduced human errors, enhanced workflow productivity, cost savings, and improved scalability.
  • Negative aspects: Small business owners may face challenges in acquiring the necessary resources and expertise to fully leverage AI automation.
Data protection policy, AI

Data-driven decision making

Artificial intelligence enables small businesses to collect and analyse vast amounts of data from various sources, such as customer behaviour, preferences, and market trends.

This data analysis approach allows for more marketers to accurately target and personalise their marketing campaigns thanks to better decision making based on actionable insights.

  • Positive aspects: Improved marketing ROI, increased customer satisfaction, streamlined data collection, enhanced competitiveness plus better resource allocation inputs based on data-driven insights.
  • Negative aspects: Privacy concerns may arise when collecting and analysing large amounts of consumer data. Marketers and small businesses need to ensure that they are complying with data protection regulations.

Customer personalisation

AI-powered algorithms will have the ability to analyse customer data and behaviours to deliver personalised experiences, recommendations, and targeted marketing messages.

This can help businesses create targeted marketing campaigns that are more likely to resonate with their audience.

Research has shown that 80% of customers are more likely to engage with a brand that provides personalised customer experiences. 

  • Positive aspects: Improves customer relationships, engagement, conversion rates, increases customer loyalty, and creates better CRM due to tailored experiences.
  • Negative aspects: An over-reliance of AI-generated recommendations may lead to a lack of human touch or misinterpretation of customer preferences.

Content creation and curation

Artificial intelligence marketing tools can assist marketers in generating content, optimising ad campaigns, and curating personalised recommendations.

This is likely to only get better as machine learning evolves which will help cut down on time-consuming content marketing tasks.

  • Positive aspects: Streamlined content creation processes, improved SEO & content quality, better ad targeting, and increased efficiency in content curation.
  • Negative aspects: AI-generated content may lack the creativity and human touch required for certain marketing strategies.
Cyber crime reduced by tech adoption and data analysis.

Fraud detection

AI-powered fraud detection and cybersecurity tools should become a common feature as they can detect and prevent fraud in e-commerce transactions, protecting both businesses and customers.

Findings by Juniper Research expect AI-powered fraud detection tools will save retailers some $12 billion in 2023.

  • ‍Positive aspects: Improved accuracy, real-time detection and scalability offer retailers instant fraud detection at varying levels of volume.
  • Negative aspects: AI-powered fraud detection may uncover false positives where genuine transactions are flagged as fraudulent

Concerns and shortcomings of AI and how that will be managed

With its numerous benefits, AI also comes with several concerns that need to be addressed. Some of these concerns include:

Bias and fairness

Being a ‘learning machine’ AI systems can inherit biases in their training data, leading to unfair and discriminatory results.

Efforts must be made to ensure AI technologies are trained on diverse datasets to mitigate bias and promote fairness.


Deep learning AI models operate as black boxes, which make it difficult to understand how they arrive at their decisions.

By providing transparency and developing methods for explaining AI decisions, trust and the alleviation of concern, especially in high-stakes applications like healthcare and finance, can be achieved.

Job displacement and economic impact

The economic potential of AI is no secret and could lead to huge job displacements in certain sectors.

This may indeed contribute to growing unemployment rates with retraining and reskilling of workforces being a crucial factor.

Security, privacy and regulation

Concerns over data security and personal privacy will be on ongoing worry as AI becomes more integrated.

AI systems can also be exploited by cyberattacks, and the use of AI in surveillance raises concerns about privacy infringement.

Focusing attention on policy and regulation will be pivotal if privacy rights are to be protected.

AI is likely to have a transformative effect on future marketing and business needs by improving efficiency, personalising marketing efforts, and providing insights.

While the power of AI can bring numerous benefits, it’s crucial to strike a balance between automation and maintaining a personalised, human-centric approach to ensure the best outcomes for both the business and its customers.

Simon Dell is the founder of Cemoh, a Brisbane based company that delivers marketing consultants and services on-demand. Simon has consulted for hundreds of businesses from new start-ups to large ASX-listed organisations, across a broad selection of industries.