Artificial intelligence will change how businesses operate. At this point, that statement won't surprise you.
In fact, AI's impact on the workplace is already happening.
62% of business leaders have already invested in AI and automation tools for their employees, according to our State of Artificial Intelligence survey.
What's more, 65% of survey respondents believe AI innovations will be comparable to the industrial revolution.
At its core, this means one big thing for the future of business: Marketing, sales, and service professionals now have more time to work on complex, higher-impact work. AI enables creativity and innovation to supersede tedious and redundant tasks.
Hours spent drafting professional emails, creating marketing reports, coding, and much more will be replaced by time spent on deeper work: work that better enables you to learn about your email readers, strategize based on pre-synthesized data, and plan stronger web or product experiences for your customers.
But how, specifically, will you see AI impact businesses in 2023? Here are just a few ways AI's already changing the workplace, according to our State of AI survey of 1,350 U.S. professionals.
How AI Will Revolutionize the Future of Business, According to HubSpot's CMO
1. AI will enable you to obsess over your customers.
At Inbound 2022, we discussed the crisis of disconnection facing businesses today. Many SMBs are trying to find new ways to connect with customers in a hybrid world and rely on cobbled-point solutions that don't reliably connect their customer data in an efficient, streamlined way.
AI is one of the most compelling solutions to the crisis of disconnection when it comes to understanding our customers.
Business leaders agree. Our research found a whopping 63% of business professionals feel that AI already helps their employees understand their customers better.
AI can help you pull data from disparate sources into one single source of truth and glean unique insights about your customers that you otherwise might've missed.
But most importantly, it gives you the time to obsess over your customers again.
It gives your sales team time to genuinely connect with customers and work with them to identify how your products can solve for their unique needs.
It gives your support team the ability to focus on complex customer challenges rather than being bogged down by tickets that could be answered by a chatbot.
And it gives your leaders the insights they need to make more high-impact, powerful decisions that align with what matters most to your customers.
2. AI will automate data analysis for better decision-making.
One of the most time-consuming aspects of any leader's job is wrangling the right data. It can take hours for a business leader, analyst, or marketer to analyze customer data and uncover meaningful insights, leaving less time to actually use it to make critical decisions. Not to mention, a manual data analysis process is inherently prone to human error.
Fortunately, predictive analytics — which uses machine learning algorithms, data mining, and statistical techniques to analyze large amounts of data and make powerful predictions about future trends or behaviors — can help streamline and supercharge your analytics processes.
There are three main benefits to leveraging AI for data analysis:
- AI algorithms can discover patterns that might not be obvious to humans.
- AI can learn from your data and improve its predictions over time.
- You don't have to do it yourself.
Smarter data ultimately means a more personalized customer experience. Truly understanding your customer data helps you improve how you engage with each individual prospect.
Additionally, predictive analytics can help each organization expand its reach. Sales leaders, for instance, can leverage AI-based insights to formulate reports, develop key account strategies, and build more powerful forecasts on their pipelines.
Among the leaders we surveyed, one-fourth reported the biggest benefit of AI is its ability to enable their employees to make better data-driven decisions.
My bet? The best leaders of the near future will see AI as an indispensable part of their reporting and analytics processes.
3. AI will reduce business costs and improve efficiency.
In today's difficult economic climate, business leaders need to do more with less.
There are innumerable ways AI can help your business save money – 28% of business leaders have already found that AI helps their company cut costs.
For one, it will help automate time-consuming, manual tasks. For instance, many customer support reps need to spend extensive time responding to recurring questions from customers. By leveraging AI, you can automate responses to commonly asked questions, which frees up your support reps for more complex issues.
A full 91% of customer support reps who use AI say that chatbots already effectively respond to customer service requests.
Additionally, you can leverage AI for predictive maintenance. Run or work at a business that uses lots of equipment or machinery? AI can help businesses predict equipment failures so you can schedule maintenance before a breakdown, minimizing repair costs. Dealing with inventory issues? AI could help predict when or if inventory is running high or low to help prevent excess storage costs or other business waste.
Ultimately, AI will improve efficiencies across the business – all while enhancing the customer experience. On average, AI already saves the average employee 2.5 hours per day.
With all that extra time, your business and employees can scale a stronger human connection.
4. Business leaders will invest in new hires specifically trained in AI.
So the question on everyone's mind is: Is AI going to steal my job?
The short answer: no. AI is more likely to optimize the impact of existing roles and create room for additional hiring opportunities.
On Google Trends, the term "prompt engineer" — which was practically non-existent at the start of 2023 — has risen rapidly, hitting peak popularity in early April.
And our AI survey found that 66% of business leaders have already hired a new employee specifically to help with leveraging and implementing AI.
This number will only increase.
At HubSpot, we've created dedicated task forces across departments with the specific purpose of identifying how we should implement AI into our current processes across the organization.
Other businesses will do the same — either identifying internal employees who can focus on AI for their business, or hiring new AI experts or consultants to fill that need.
5. AI can help businesses detect fraud.
Another benefit of AI? It will make fraud detection easier for businesses of all sizes.
In 2022, 65% of businesses were victims of fraudulent attacks or attempts.
Fraud can be detrimental financially and legally for any business. Fraud is also increasingly challenging to detect as it becomes more sophisticated.
In 2023, businesses will increasingly leverage AI tools to detect and deter fraudulent activity. AI can point out anomalies in data, such as unusual spending behavior, which helps your employees identify potential fraudsters.
Additionally, AI can use data to make predictions on the likelihood that a particular transaction is fraudulent. Over time, AI algorithms will become better at detecting fraudulent activity, such as suspicious logins, odd transactions based on consumer behavior, or identity theft.
6. AI will help businesses build better products.
In the future, we'll also begin to see business leaders leverage AI to uncover new product opportunities.
For instance, software engineers can use AI tools to sift through feedback, engagement, or other product usage data to determine which features they should improve on an existing product, or discover new product ideas based on gaps in their offerings.
But it goes beyond that. AI algorithms can also help you design your product.
Yep – you heard that right. AI will be able to analyze data on customer usage patterns, feedback, and preferences to provide you with invaluable insights necessary to create more user-friendly, engaging, effective products for your customers.
It will also help you speed up the product development process start-to-finish with rapid prototyping. AI algorithms can seamlessly and instantly provide different design options, so your team can quickly identify the most promising option and iterate in real-time.
Preparing for an Era of AI Disruption
AI is poised to disrupt virtually every industry. But it's not something we need to fear.
The key to long-term growth and success is to evolve quickly with AI and accept it's here to stay.
In the early stages of AI, you'll want to remain focused on your highest priorities, and how your business can get the most out of AI. If you're interested in learning more about how you can use AI on a tactical level, or get more original data in our State of AI Series, dive into our AI learning path, or download the offer below.