Leveraging the tech tools available to them can help SMEs cut through the noise, Google UK’s head of SMB marketing reveals
Prior to the internet, marketing to the masses was difficult, expensive and was generally limited to big brands – a significant hurdle for SMEs to overcome when looking for new customers and striving for growth.
The digital age has proved vital in providing small businesses with the opportunity to reach customers in a fast, affordable and flexible manner whilst giving stronger indications of ROI and the effectiveness of an advertising campaign.
As digital advertising has made huge leaps in the quality and quantity of ads available, the playing field has become increasingly complex and it’s no longer as simple as it could be for SMEs to achieve their goals. For small businesses of all types, success means finding new customers. Nearly two-thirds of small businesses turn to online advertising to grow but they often don’t have the time or the resources needed to navigate today’s complex digital ecosystem.
Advancements in machine learning technologies promise to provide assistance to businesses looking to navigate this complicated landscape and keep growing. The latest report by the World Trade Organisation finds that AI will help global trade grow by a third by 2030, with the adoption of digital technologies increasing trade by 2% per year.
An example of this impact comes through Smart Campaigns, which Google has recently launched in the UK. The tool uses machine learning to make advertising as simple as possible for SMEs, giving them the ability to buy and instantly create tailored adverts. Users can select specific goals like driving footfall or increasing sales and the automated tool creates relevant ads by pulling information from the company's website and Google My Business listing, as well as generating suitable keywords, bids and ad placements. Businesses can choose the goals they care about most like incoming phone calls, actions such as sales or enquiries on their website, and store visits. Machine learning then goes to work to deliver results, automatically creating sample ads in minutes that can appear across Google Search and over three million sites and apps on display. Once the ad campaign is set up, the machine learning technology works to automatically optimise the ad campaign to deliver results that work specifically for that business.
For SMEs, understanding the transformative role technology is playing in connecting consumers with businesses is increasingly crucial. Smart Campaigns is an illustration of how machine learning can help boost business to the next level, enabling any SME to create an advertising experience that makes the interaction between business and consumer as seamless as possible. If there’s one lesson from the last two decades of digital it's this: the winners in new age of assistance are the businesses that are ready to embrace the latest technologies in order to get closer to and grow their audience.