AI Peps Up Startups: Personalization Is A Top Goal

Logic suggests that only established firms are able to use AI. But it isn’t so, judging by How AI is Redefining Startup GTM Strategy, a study from HubSpot.  

On the contrary, startups are “adopting AI across the entire business development process — from writing emails to staff, to ideation, product development, go-to-market, ongoing operations, and customer service.” 

Specifically, they are using AI to achieve these goals: 

  • Customer targeting and segmentation — 51%
  • Personalization of marketing content — 46%
  • Better understanding customer journey — 39% 
  • Improving customer experience/success — 39%
  • Predictive analytics for sales forecasting — 38% 
  • Product development and/or production — 36% 
  • Pricing strategy and optimization — 34%
  • Supply chain and/or logistics optimization — 22% 
And it seems to be working, for startups with high growth rates. But there are challenges:
  • Cost of external hiring for those with AI experience — 47% 
  • Integration issues between AI and existing systems — 46% 
  • Lack of existing employees’ AI expertise — 44% 
  • Overall cost of AI tools — 39%



Moreover, founders share these concerns: 

  • Data privacy — 29% 
  • Ethical implications — 24% 
  • Uncertainty with reliability/accuracy — 16%
  • No specific concerns — 14% 
  • Integration with existing systems/processes — 14%

HubSpot worked with CXD Studio via Pollfish to survey 1,000+ early-stage startup founders (seed to Series B) across industries in January 2024.

It found that usage varies by industry. The widest use is in the information technology/Software vertical (85%). Next are Professional and business services (77%), Manufacturing (72%), Leisure and Hospitality (70%) and Financial activities and/or FinTech (69%). Retail has a 67% startup usage rate. 

Are you new to AI (and business)? The study recommends these best practices:  

  • Segment contacts more strategically for marketing, sales and services.
  • Personalize everything from email, to web content to SMS messaging.
  • Empower employees to experiment with AI however they feel comfortable, and support them with tools and resources approved by the company. 
  • Train and invest in employees. 

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