Bredin Report: Why Some SMBs Don’t Want AI

For some SMBs — especially the smallest, with fewer than 20 employees — AI holds little appeal.

Of the 250 very small businesses (VSBs, with fewer than 20 employees) we surveyed in our recent SMB Pulse, 91 said they aren’t interested in AI, as did 18 of the 150 small businesses (SBs, with 20 to 99 employees). Almost all SMBs with 100 to 500 employees are interested in AI.

The primary reason these VSBs and SBs aren’t interested in AI? They don’t see a benefit. Roughly three in five uninterested VSBs and SBs simply don’t understand how their business will be better off with AI.

In addition, many uninterested VSBs and SBs don’t see a specific application for AI in their business — almost 50% of VSBs, and fully two-thirds of SBs, report that they don’t see how to put AI to work in their company.

SMBs Not Interested in AI: Rationale

SMBs Not Interested in AI - Rationale VSBs vs. SBs

This data suggests a huge knowledge gap among smaller SMBs about AI’s potential – and as a result, a huge opportunity for AI marketers to educate smaller SMBs on AI benefits and applications.

Our research also shows a slight uptick in concern among VSBs and SBs since our April AI survey about a lack of in-house skills to assess and implement AI. This highlights a need for support and customer service if you want to convince smaller SMBs to deploy AI.

Given that the satisfaction rate among SMBs currently using AI is very high, and SMBs are articulate about its benefits, customer testimonials and data are great tools to sell smaller SMBs on AI.

Want insight into your SMB target? 
Bredin’s global research capabilities can help you gain valuable insights to improve your go-to-market and product strategies. We can conduct research in any market to develop in-depth, actionable custom insights to optimize your go-to-market, product, pricing, UX and other strategies.

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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.