Google can help SMEs unlock the potential of AI

Google can help SMEs unlock the potential of AI

Small & medium enterprises (SMEs) are the heart and soul of our communities and the driving-force behind the Canadian economy. Although they’ve been through a tough couple of years, I’m so inspired by the way Canadian SMEs are leaning into digital to adapt and grow. And what’s very exciting to see is how new artificial intelligence (AI) technologies are helping level the playing field.

There’s no doubt that AI can feel like a daunting endeavor, but it’s an amazing tool that’s empowering Canadian business owners to find new growth opportunities, adapt to changing consumer behaviours and drive profit. AI is the single most powerful tool in the Canadian SME business toolkit to drive growth. This is why our product teams have been integrating AI in our ad products for years. In fact, 80% of our customers are already using AI-powered Search ads products and more than 25% of all YouTube video advertisers have an automatically generated video asset in their campaigns. 

We’ve seen how AI-powered tools like Performance Max are helping SMEs drive ROI, find new customers and capture sales. Businesses are also using imagery-focused AI developments to help save time and money on creative. Lastly, SMEs are tapping into AI-modeled data that delivers powerful, predictive insights – like how to optimize their advertising spend or their pricing strategy. Tools like Audience insights, Google Trends, Market Finder and Demand forecasts are helping businesses understand and adapt to market change.

This year, I’m excited to see more Canadian SMEs embracing a culture of experimentation and think about AI as a competitive advantage. As you look to experiment and take advantage of AI tools and insights to drive your business, remember that you’re not alone. Lean on your partners, including media and creative agencies, to evolve your ways of working for the AI-first future. Finally, stay agile. Staying nimble allows you to follow consumer demand, however and whenever it comes, so you can capture these opportunities.

It’s important to remember that you’re not competing against AI, you’re competing with other businesses (and marketers) that are using AI. Canadian businesses are beautifully positioned to compete not just in Canada but globally given the incredible talent, products & services our businesses have to offer.


Natasha Walji

Managing Director, Google Canada for Google Customer Solutions, Google Canada

Natasha Walji is the Managing Director at Google Canada for Google Customer Solutions focused on helping small & medium businesses grow & thrive. Previously she was a McKinsey consultant and a software developer. Natasha has actively served the community for 20+ years focused on disaster relief, poverty alleviation, public health and co-founded an organization for children with disabilities. She is an angel investor and is an Investment Committee member for Blue Ivy Ventures. Natasha holds a BSc., Computer Science (University of Victoria), MBA (Yale University) and MSt. Sustainability Leadership (University of Cambridge). Natasha is recognized as one of Canada’s Top 100 Most Powerful Women (WXN). 

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