Generative AI is Revolutionizing SMB Marketing, But Creating New Data Privacy Challenges

Generative AI is Revolutionizing SMB Marketing, But Creating New Data Privacy Challenges

Share this:

The AI revolution has just begun, and small business owners are already reaping the rewards.

Ninety-one percent of SMBs currently using AI say the technology has made their businesses more successful, but Scorpion Chief Data Scientist Matt Bentley believes the greatest benefit to generative AI is below the surface, and not yet realized by many SMBs. By leveling the playing field for local businesses, and giving them access to the same type of technology leveraged by large companies, tools like OpenAI’s ChatGPT and Google’s Bard have the potential to revolutionize not just marketing, but also operations, for hundreds of thousands of small and mid-size businesses.

“SMBs can leverage the power of AI to improve search engine rankings, generating leads and driving more revenue,” Bentley says. “By implementing these capabilities, small businesses can have greater accessibility to the tools and resources they need to thrive in a technologically advanced landscape, ultimately contributing to economic growth and innovation.”

Protecting Data from Generative AI

When AI is integrated effectively, it can shed light on the data necessary for transforming a business’ overall marketing. However, Bentley also cautions that businesses should be actively working to protect their data from platforms like ChatGPT.

A business’ usage of ChatGPT or Bard is subject to the same regulations as other data processors under the CCPA and GDPR, and given the growing focus on data privacy compliance at both the state and federal level, businesses will need to be aware of any potential conflicts related to their use of AI. For example, employees who submit confidential patient or client information into ChatGPT could be putting their companies at risk. According to a report, sensitive data makes up 11% of what employees copy and paste into ChatGPT.

“Anyone using ChatGPT with business information should consider disabling the setting that enables OpenAI to use their ChatGPT conversations for training,” Bentley says. “Even with that setting disabled, it’s probably not a good idea to input PII or other sensitive customer data into ChatGPT or any other cloud software”

Increasing Operational Efficiencies

With a firm handle on the data privacy implications, Bentley believes businesses can continue to leverage generative AI for significant benefits. For those SMBs that are able to use the technology correctly, many are seeing “dramatic increases” in the efficiency of the operational sides of their businesses. Execution of tasks, like handling customer inquiries, launching websites, blogging, advertising, and SEO are all improving, as well.

At Scorpion, Bentley says clients are seeing a two-fold increase in productivity for traditional tasks when they use AI-enabled processes, while also maintaining or improving overall quality. 

“These efficiency improvements enable SMBs to spend more time on core customer-facing work that deepens their customer relationships and improves customer satisfaction,” he says. “Plus, for most local service businesses, they started their business to help customers with their trade skills and not because they love business operations.”

Looking forward, Bentley says it will be even more important for businesses to have an AI SEO strategy in place. On average, the AI SEO strategies used in Ranking.AI generate 2x more organic traffic growth than manual SEO strategies, and the difference between traditional strategies and AI strategies will only grow more pronounced with time.

“AI represents the biggest leap forward for SEO capabilities in at least a decade,” he says. “Companies that quickly adopt AI to improve their search engine rankings will pull ahead of those who don’t.” 

Stephanie Miles is a journalist who covers personal finance, technology, and real estate. As Street Fight’s senior editor, she is particularly interested in how local merchants and national brands are utilizing hyperlocal technology to reach consumers. She has written for FHM, the Daily News, Working World, Gawker, Cityfile, and Recessionwire.
Previous Post

5 Consumer-Permissioned Data Platforms to Watch

Next Post

LOMA Wants to Fund Hyperlocal Marketing