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New Analysis, Local Biz Interview & Vertical Slides

We recently published a range of new content pieces with more coming this week.
New Analysis, Local Biz Interview & Vertical Slides

If you haven't visited the Dialog site recently, there are several new items: analysis from Neal, vertical slides and a new local business interview with "a diesel repair guy" about AI.

Analysis: Build, Buy or AI?

The traditional "build versus buy" dilemma in the enterprise now faces a new challenge with the rise of AI. The SaaS market is projected to grow significantly in the coming years, but AI may impact this growth via shifting corporate budgets. Evidence suggests that AI might be slowing SaaS revenues, as seen in the declining growth rates of new SaaS companies and recent revenue drops in companies like Salesforce.

For local businesses, AI presents new opportunities and cost-saving alternatives. Instead of using traditional marketing tools or agencies, business owners might use AI to automate tasks, potentially reducing costs and creating leverage with existing vendors. However, the adoption of AI tools may also face resistance due to SaaS user inertia.

Read the article.

The businesses in this consolidated vertical are smaller and more recently established than the overall sample. They’re more often run by solos, less than five years old and generate annual revenue below $500K. They have lower levels of technology expertise and are somewhat more inclined to turn to marketing agencies for help. Like their peers they overwhelmingly favor social media as a primary marketing channel but they’re more likely to utilize email marketing, SEO and review management vs the larger data set. 

Fewer are actively using AI tools compared to the broader sample. And while they recognize benefits from AI adoption, they’re less upbeat about the impact of AI on their respective industries.

Get the slides.

Local Business Interview: Bill Wallace, West Coast Diesels

Bill Wallace runs West Coast Diesels, a diesel engine repair business based in Santa Rosa, CA. He began using ChatGPT in mid-2023, and uses it primarily to help generate marketing content. He also creates procedures manuals and related documentation, such as employee handbooks. Wallace sees significant potential for AI to help streamline technician documentation, reducing the time spent on paperwork.

Wallace hopes AI will evolve into a true personal assistant capable of handling a wider range of tasks. He has also utilized AI for data analysis and creating forms in his construction consulting related work.

Watch the video.

ICYMI: Google Workspace: SaaS Disruptor?

Despite potential antitrust issues, Google still wants to buy Hubspot, which offers a range of marketing, sales, content and CRM tools that Google currently doesn't possess. The objective would obviously be to expand its portfolio, offer new products and capabilities to local businesses (and existing customers) and, most importantly, grow revenue. All of this would then be integrated with Gemini and probably Google Workspace.

Regardless of whether the Hubspot deal actually happens, it's instructive because it points out Google's ambitions and potential product roadmap. We also saw some hints of that at Google I/O in the discussion of Gemini integration into Google Workspace, the company's productivity suite.

Read the post.

Agency Survey Update

Our agency survey is now in-market and we're awaiting the results. Thanks to all those who suggested questions, provided input and feedback.

Upcoming Analysis

  • How Real Is the AI Threat to Google?
  • AI Adoption by the Numbers: SMBs vs. Enterprises vs. Agencies

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