Artificial Intelligence has been at the top of the agenda at almost every major B2B marketing conference this year. This comes as no surprise to the team here at DMA Partners, as what was once viewed as a futuristic fantasy when we set up the business 15 years ago is fast becoming the new norm today.
As savvy B2B brands clamour to capitalise on the benefits of AI and the potential of the technology becomes more apparent, it’s clear that AI is here to stay.
Let's explore three significant ways that AI is already shaking up the B2B marketing landscape.
1. Better Personalisation
While the brightest marketing minds of the past few decades have extolled the virtues of customer segmentation, forward-thinking marketers have already identified that we’re in the midst of a shift from mere customer segmentation to full customer personalisation.
With AI technologies that are currently on the market, marketers can turn raw data into behavioural insights that can be applied to communicate with prospects on a much deeper, individualised level.
So how does this work in practice? In this scenario, a B2B brand is looking to sell software to HR Managers. Before AI, they were only able to segment their customers by seniority. However, with AI, instead of HR Manager Jenny simply being categorised as an HR Manager, an infinite number of layers could be added to further categorise her and impact upon how the business communicates with her.
Using AI, the business could send Jenny a more personalised email which draws upon the fact that she’s a recently promoted HR Manager based in Edinburgh who works at a law firm with 50-100 employees. Consider how different this email should be from the email that is sent to Colin, an HR manager based in London who has been with a 5000+ employee FTSE 100 brand for 17 years, and you can truly start to appreciate the power of AI.
With this in mind, generalised, mass-market style messaging will very soon become a thing of the past. Today’s customers will quickly come to expect AI-powered marketing that has the right message, delivered at the right moment, through the right medium.
This more sophisticated, personalised and relevant method of B2B communication is likely to resonate with customers on a much more profound level and lead to better results for businesses.
2. More Efficiency
Heard the prophets of doom preaching that AI will soon make marketers redundant? Don’t believe the hype. The majority of B2B AI technologies have been designed to improve human capacity, not to replace it. One major area where this can already be witnessed is when it comes to increasing the efficiency of B2B marketing.
Perhaps the most popular use of AI in the B2B sphere so far has been that of ‘lead scoring’. This is when AI is used to sort through a CRM to pinpoint and predict the best leads. For example, AI could be used to determine that 80% of your previously closed leads all shared the same job title, suggesting that in future your sales team should focus on closing new leads who share this job title. While it would take a human being many days of data-crunching to create and execute a sophisticated lead scoring method like this, AI could achieve it within minutes.
With AI making marketing processes like this more efficient, marketers can make more informed decisions at scale and at speed. This means that they can put their time to better use in areas such as relationship building or collaborating on creative campaigns - the exact areas where a human touch is vital.
3. Greater Accuracy
Just as AI can improve B2B marketing’s efficiency, it can also lead to greater accuracy when it comes to analytics and attribution.
Firstly, AI empowers marketers to rely on data to make decisions, rather than guesswork and gut feelings. Paired with the removal of human error, the elimination of bias in the interpretation of data can make campaigns more objective and outcome-driven.
More sophisticated B2B AI solutions also deliver predictive analytics and projections. This means marketers can discover in advance which campaigns are likely to perform better, saving them the time and money they would have previously had to spend finding this out.
There is one small caveat to keep in mind with this final point - “garbage in, garbage out” as they say! The data that an AI is fed must be strong, up to date, accurate data in order to produce a positive outcome.
Have you explored how AI could improve your B2B marketing efforts? Get in touch with our Managing Partner, Philip Martin, at firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss how we can help you integrate artificial intelligence into your marketing strategy.