Bredin Report: AI Usage and Plans by SMB Size and Industry

Our most recent Bredin SMB Pulse reveals which SMBs are using or assessing AI, along with those that have no plans to adopt it.

Nearly 40% of midsized businesses (MBs, with 100 to 500 employees) and just over 25% of small businesses (SBs, with 20 to 99 employees) are actively using AI. SB use of AI is up significantly from the AI research we conducted in April, while MB utilization is holding steady. These numbers are in sharp contrast to AI use by very small businesses (VSBs, with fewer than 20 employees), which is in the single digits now — as it was earlier this year.

Not surprisingly, SBs and MBs are also both significantly more likely to be piloting AI than their very small peers. The incidence of MBs piloting AI increased from 18% in April to 28% now. In both Bredin AI surveys, four in 10 VSBs report no interest in using AI.

AI Use and Intention – Company Size

AI Use and Intention - Company Size

AI use varies by industry as well. Specifically, the manufacturing sector has dramatically increased its use of AI since earlier this year. And many fewer SMBs — down 8% in retail/wholesale and 9% in manufacturing — are not interested in using AI.

AI Use and Intention – Industry

AI Use and Intention – Industry

The low adoption of AI in particular by VSBs highlights an opportunity by AI marketers to educate SMBs on the applications and benefits of this fast-evolving technology.

Want to better understand your U.S. or international SMB target? Bredin’s global research capabilities can help you gain valuable insights to improve your go-to-market and product strategies. We can research in the U.S. and in any English or foreign language market to develop in-depth, actionable custom research. Our agile omnibus covers the U.S. and U.K. markets.

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About Bredin

Bredin was founded in 1991 by America's foremost small business expert, author and syndicated columnist Alice Bredin. From its beginning, Bredin was designed to be a breed apart: 50% research consultancy, 50% creative agency, 100% focused on SMB. Based in Somerville, Mass., Bredin helps Fortune 500 companies understand, reach and retain SMB customers through timely, targeted research and award-winning marketing programs.