The State Of AI In B2B Marketing And Sales
Artificial Intelligence, for good reason, is getting a lot of attention in marketing circles.
It is transforming marketing at every phase. In fact, a huge percentage of B2B marketers are in the early stages of learning about the state of AI in marketing technology. They may not be very confident about it at this stage but they are definitely working to get more knowledge around it.
Since the state of AI in marketing is still at a nascent stage, marketers are doing their research to figure out the scope and potential of AI in their work. They want to completely understand it to realise the kind of impact AI will have on their marketing strategy and overall business performance.
Additionally, it doesn’t end at AI. There is much more to learn about machine learning as well, along with predictive modeling for smart lead generation.
Apart from acing the process of generating leads through AI, another crucial element of B2B marketing is lead scoring. Of all the leads generated in a month, how many actually translate to sales? AI and machine learning will help marketers tap on this side of marketing as well.
No doubt, artificial intelligence is one of the most hyped terms in marketing technology today. It, indeed, has a lot to offer with a variety of ideas and perspectives.
Let’s learn more about the state of AI to fully understand the existing as well as future offerings.
The State Of AI In B2B Marketing
AI will help consolidate marketing channels
From ABM marketing companies to technology-based marketing companies, every marketing department wants a consolidated marketing channel for tracking all data in one place. Every now and then we hear the news about one technology company taking over another marketing company. Of course, it is done with the idea and intention to bring the best of both worlds on one platform. But at the same time start-ups are beginning to bet on their in-house technical solutions to become long-term viable businesses.
Having said that, we will still witness mergers and joint ventures. It will further boost the need of having a consolidated platform for efficient tracking and growth.
We will see more ABM capabilities across various platforms
Recently, Bing and LinkedIn came into partnership terms in order to provide advertisers the ability to target specific companies, industries, and job titles. This new collaboration will help B2B marketers get useful insights about what companies are searching for. As a result, it will expand the scale of audience for B2B marketers.
Once this plan comes to full-fledged action, we will definitely expect more platforms to start gaining similar ABM targeting capabilities. This will allow companies to realise the value of AI in B2B marketing and invest more in it.
There will be more personalisation
Personalisation plays a key role in improving customer experience. It is now more important than ever before but creating this personalized experience is not entirely an easy task. Customers interact with multiple brands on multiple platforms, thanks to social media. Tracking these conversations requires diligence, persistence and consistency, and AI will ensure all of the three.
Moreover, marketers today rely on various CRM tools that interpret personal data such as age, gender, location, etc. Adding AI to the equation, therefore, brings a new level of personalization that is easy to achieve with the help of real-time capabilities of machine learning.
AI brings in its unique and intuitive abilities that can improve the process of personalization.
The role of marketers will expand throughout the funnel
Gone are the days when the sole job of a marketer was to engage customers with branding. It is now crucial to educate potential customers about your brand and eventually get them into your CRM as a lead. Sending these leads a couple of emails and following up on these emails is pretty old school now. Marketers can now make use of data through AI and create personalised journeys through their .
Marketers must carry on with their tasks through planning entire campaigns beforehand. They should work around influencing companies in opportunity stages. The responsibility is no longer on the sales teams to persist and bring closures. Marketing teams have equal responsibilities to bring in high quality leads through appropriate strategies.
AI will introduce smarketing
The business world complies with the law of nature and that is the survival of the fittest. Therefore smart companies, in order to survive the thriving competition, are embracing smarketing. It is helping them-
- Achieve marketing goals, and
- Initiate collaboration across the sales and marketing teams.
Smarketers will merge their planning, goals, communication, meetings, and feedback to achieve the best results from their campaigns. This may seem like a fluffy philosophy to some marketing professionals, however many teams have started to find the value in this process.
And of course, it is working out really well for them. Smarketers are making intelligent use of data to keep up with AI technology and integrate the same with their marketing strategies for improved sales and business output.
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Marketers will use data to improve decision-making
In all business aspects, especially in marketing, data analysis is the King. Through new technologies and platforms we now have access to measurements that help assess performance data. It is now more robust than ever before in the past few years.
Also, we have more data than ever before and it is becoming increasingly compatible to share and deploy across a plethora of channels. Therefore, marketers can apply omnichannel strategies to cut costs and increase efficiency.
On top of that AI vastly simplifies the data collection and analysis process. It does this mainly by funneling information through algorithms to organise it in ways that are accessible and intuitive. Moreover, marketers can get access to real-time data and perform actions that promise immediate value. They can use this data to improve marketing strategies and measure the kind of impact they create on user experience. And with the current state of AI, of course, conversions too.
AI will make tech a norm in the field of marketing
By now you must be mostly using AI in your marketing strategies and planning via multiple automation channels. Dynamic content and predictive applications are fueling our insights to achieve more accurate understandings into customer needs. Most other companies are already using AI in the required fields and others are rapidly catching up with the emerging trend.
Additionally, the use of artificial intelligence and machine learning is expanding across the industry. It is bringing increased productivity and cost savings. Therefore, we can expect the marketing tech stack to benefit exponentially as AI technologies become more sophisticated. Chatbots are next in line! In fact they are already here and marketing agencies are making good use of them. We have discussed this further in our next section below.
Chatbots will facilitate marketing automation
Chatbots are a specific form of AI designed to carry a virtual conversation with users and customers. You can take the example of Siri that also serves as a voice assistant.
Chatbots are widely used for customer service reasons, but their major potential value is much more than that. B2B marketers have already been using chatbot technologies to help with increasing website engagement, lead generation, and lead qualification.
Other than that marketers are using chatbots to segregate leads. This is helping them in recognizing the target accounts every time a user visits the company’s website. The ability to utilise chatbots in marketing is going to grow even further in the near future. It will collect leads, hook them, nurture them and engage them better for faster conversions.
Marketing strategies will fail fast and enhance with AI
Being in the field of marketing we are well aware of what the turtle process is. It consistently keeps us hanging to execute the perfect marketing campaign because of lack of planning and effort. There is no doubt that the turtle process will help marketers learn from their competitor’s learnings and mistakes.
However, the hares of the race will already have experienced what works and will continue to improve. In fact, they will have a lot more data to leverage and strategise rather than not implementing anything at all.
This way the companies that are actually taking initiatives will fail fast, if they have to, and improve for better growth. With more, better, data they will be able to outperform the competition and gain a competitive edge.
Predictive analytics and data will rule
One of the greatest benefits of using AI is the use of predictive analysis in marketing. When we say predictive analysis we mean execution that goes up and beyond data.
This system can look at all the leads and compare them against financial and marketing data. It can even draw in information from social media campaigns. From this, the AI can predict future trends for lead generation, potential spend, and which campaigns or products would attract their attention.
If your business has been running for years, you’re perhaps using a massive Excel sheet or an overstuffed customer relations management (CRM). Probably, any smart piece of software to keep track of all your leads. However, there are times when teams overlook minute details and this leads to a cluster of data that is useful only when you sort it with intelligence.
To take a step forward, your company will need to take a step backward. In a way, both the sales and marketing teams will need to filter the list and throw out those that just don’t fit your criteria or are useless. It’s going to be a huge undertaking, but the AI will pull value from that data and indicate potential quality leads that you might yet think about.
The state of AI in B2B marketing has reached quite far and we still have a lot of scope where we can dig in and find out more.
The marketing and sales team will still look out for more data to reach out to and work on. AI is going to be that tool that can benefit your company and teams. As already discussed above, the technology is still at a nascent stage and continuous developments will improve the system further.
While AI can improve marketing and lead generation, it is also set to transform our personal lives. And we would want to incorporate the same set of expectations for our customers as well. They must soon realise the power of AI while making a purchase or looking for a service. AI has shown great promise and scope and as a result, marketers are all in to leverage the technology.
If you would like to know more about the state of AI in B2B marketing, please visit Engati
Originally published at https://blog.engati.com on January 8, 2020.