Hollinden Inbound Marketing for Professional Service Firms

The Impact of Artificial Intelligence

Impact of AI

There’s been a lot of talk in the accounting industry about the impact of artificial intelligence. Artificial intelligence (AI) isn’t just something that may impact the industry, AI is already changing the way firms implement marketing and business development efforts.

What is Artificial Intelligence?

Artificial intelligence is machine learning software. In other words, it is technology that modifies or trains itself based on human behaviors. For example, you receive an email and click on the link that takes you to a landing page. From there, you complete a form to receive additional information. The program notes actions and learns from your behaviors to make predictions about your intentions or interests. It then makes adjustments to enrich your next interaction by personalizing your experience.

With the ability to utilize data and patterns to reproduce and repeat certain tasks, these applications often negate the need for humans to be at the helm every moment of every day. From self-driving cars to chess-playing computers, this phenomenon has moved from the lab to our everyday lives. As you might imagine, AI is also quickly revolutionizing the way firms interact with clients and prospects.

The Benefits of Artificial Intelligence

Artificial intelligence accelerates and simplifies tasks, eliminating the potential for errors, and even enhances client engagement.

  • Enhanced Efficiency and Profitability. AI doesn't work on an 8-to-5 schedule, nor do you need to pay it overtime if tasks occur after hours. It doesn't need breaks, paid vacation time, or sick days. Without a break in workflow, your firm can realize a seamless transfer of tasks that keeps your business flowing. According to Accenture, AI will boost profitability by an average of 38 percentage points by 2035.
  • Increased Accuracy. Errors are bound to happen when people are in the mix. We are “human” after all. Robots do not make mistakes (unless there is a glitch in the code), and mistakes don’t increase because of fatigue, confusion, distractions, or too much to do. Fewer errors means enhanced revenue, no matter what your firm does.
  • Enhanced Engagement. When employees aren't bogged down with data entry and tedious tasks, they're able to give your clients more personalized attention. Think about an accounting firm where the team actually has time to help clients think through strategy versus pushing tons of paperwork, or the added capacity of tax staff to help clients plan for the future instead of being buried in mundane, time-consuming tasks.

Artificial Intelligence in Marketing

Artificial intelligence is everywhere—you just may not realize it yet. There are dozens of ways your firm can utilize artificial intelligence. Here are three key ways:

  • Chatbots. Chatbots can answer your questions quickly. It's a great way to optimize and maintain engagement.
  • Data Mining. How are people interacting with your firm? What's bringing them to your website? What keeps them engaged? We are no longer at a point of just getting a message on a website, it’s about understanding who, where, and how your message is being heard. Artificial intelligence can analyze more data points in less time and identify trends and behaviors before the opportunity is lost.
  • Digital Advertising. Pay-per-click (PPC) advertising and promoted posts are incredibly effective when implemented correctly. Artificial intelligence works to understand prospects’ behaviors and adjusts advertisements accordingly. In fact, there’s even AI-driven software that makes PPC media buying more accurate.
  • Marketing Automation. Implementing software like HubSpot can give every visitor to your site a personalized experience. Marketing automation enables everything from selecting what kind of content to show a particular visitor to automate repetitive tasks like sending follow up emails, and more. With workflows and trigger events, firms can nurture prospects throughout the buying cycle.

If contemplating adding AI to your marketing mix, it's important not to take on too much too soon. If you're completely unfamiliar with AI – or if you only know a little bit about it – take the time to work through an implementation plan. It’s a powerful tool if implemented properly.

The Future is Here

Artificial intelligence is shifting the focus from mundane, repetitive tasks to more strategic, value added roles. In the coming years, expect to see AI make an impact in industries such as agriculture, information and communication, manufacturing, and financial services. If you serve clients in those industries, you should start exploring how AI will impact their businesses. In the meantime, let AI enhance the way you market your firm.