Making Time: AI, Automation, And How SMBs Can Prioritize (And Optimize) Marketing Efforts

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If I took a poll, I’d bet exactly 100% of us would say we don’t have enough hours in the day. 

The opinions and strategies may vary on what we’d do with any additional bonus hours, but I’m sure we’d all welcome the gift.

Small businesses in particular feel the crunch of workday-hour limitations, and a new survey by Constant Contact and Ascend2 found that most SMBs (56%) spend less than an hour of each day on marketing. Combined with the almost three-quarters of SMBs (73%) that lack confidence in their marketing strategies, it’s a formula that can snowball into bad habits, bad practice, and bad business very quickly.

“Most small businesses aren’t confident in their current marketing efforts and outcomes,” the report, titled The Current State of SMB Marketing, says. “This signals that many SMBs need help determining what they should do to reach their customers and stand out from their competitors. However, keeping up with marketing technology and trends can be difficult, especially when faced with an endless list of other daily responsibilities.”

48% of those surveyed spend 1-5 hours a week on marketing tasks, with 10% not spending any time at all on marketing their business. The report says this “demonstrates a need for more efficiency in the marketing process,” and with 52% regularly delaying or postponing their marketing efforts, efficiency tools can be a big help in seizing the opportunities that are there.

“It’s crucial that SMBs either find more time or take advantage of technology that can help them amplify their messages and engage customers,” the report says.

(Source: Constant Contact)

Creating content was the most time-consuming marketing task for 51% of respondents, followed by creating a strategy (40%), measuring performance (35%), and posting on social media (34%). And while time as a limited resource wasn’t what respondents said was their biggest marketing challenge — a lack of resources like time, budget, and skills was the top challenge for 32%, behind finding new customers (60%) and performance metrics (33%) — most were challenges that marketing software such as those from Mirabel Technologies can assist in addressing and overcoming.

(Source: Constant Contact)

“Technology like AI and automation can help SMBs speed up the process for determining which tactics, channels, and campaigns deliver the best results,” the report says. “When used effectively, that enables [small businesses] to make better use of their time by focusing on what is going to work.”

Mirabel Technologies has provided automation tools to marketers and publishers alike for decades, but in terms of advanced AI assistance, we just announced the launch of the Media Mate suite of AI tools, integrated into our CRM platforms and designed to maximize productivity, optimize workflows, and streamline operations overall. From creating content from a devoted Content Library of marketing materials to gathering deeper insights into sales data, Media Mate truly is that tool that not only saves time, but seemingly adds hours of efficiency to each day.

And that’s something 100% of us can benefit from.


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