Over the last several months, artificial intelligence (AI) has taken the business world by storm. From industry events, to blog posts, B2B professionals can’t stop talking about this trending topic and its potential to revolutionize marketing. But, does AI live up to all the hype? Or is it just another martech fad?
In today’s post, we’ll take a further look into the concept of AI and see how this new technology can have a real impact on your marketing strategy.
What is Artificial Intelligence?
Sometimes referred to as machine learning or deep learning, artificial intelligence is defined as the ability of technology to learn and perform human tasks. In short, AI simplifies and streamlines tasks that typically need human effort to be carried out. At the foundation of AI is data; a machine analyzes a human input to uncover and follow patterns, allowing it to learn.
AI often has a futuristic connotation – i.e. AI will allow us to do this one day, AI will make this process easier – and if you’ve seen this statistic lately, you’d probably agree: 80% of B2B marketers say AI will revolutionize marketing by 2020 (source). But, the truth is, AI is here and now.
Whether we realize it or not, AI has made its way into many of our daily lives. Not convinced? When’s the last time you asked Siri for a favor, placed an order through Amazon’s Alexa, or chosen to watch a movie title recommended by Netflix? That’s right; you were aided by AI.
While B2C organizations such as Apple and Amazon have been quick to climb aboard the AI train, businesses in the B2B realm have been a bit more hesitant; as of 2017, only 10% of B2B companies are incorporating AI into their marketing technology stack (source).
So, what’s the problem? While many recognize the potential of AI, they don’t truly understand the impact it will have on their B2B marketing strategy. But, fear not, we’re here to help. Keep reading to learn how AI can transform your marketing.
As modern marketers, we know data can be used to improve almost every aspect of a marketing campaign. However, the data we rely on often comes from CRM and marketing automation platforms. Although valuable, this data only provides insight into interactions within your company.
Unsurprisingly, this provides a very limited view of a company’s target audience. The internet is full of valuable information relating to your ideal audience – from their social profiles, to the blogs and articles they read, and even their Google searches. However, many marketing teams lack the bandwidth to compile and analyze this data. Enter, AI.
AI software streamlines research efforts, easily filling the missing holes in your database. But, its usefulness doesn’t stop there. In turn, AI can also make sense of the data it obtains, allowing marketing teams to develop a better, and more comprehensive understanding of their prospects.
For B2B organizations, buying decisions are often made by multi-member purchasing committees, instead of sole individuals. In fact, according to one recent report, an average of six individuals are included in the corporate decision making process (source). Marketing initiatives rely on your ability to identify these key players.
By analyzing the data surrounding your current prospects, AI is able to easily create an Ideal Customer Profile (ICP) – a guide for identifying accounts and contacts that resemble your best buyers. This allows your team to act more efficiently, focusing their energy on the most promising accounts.
Improved Personalization Efforts
Today’s consumers expect content that is personalized to their organizational and individual pain points. If your organization isn’t prioritizing personalized content, your messaging will fall short. Consider these statistics:
- 74% of customers feel frustrated when website content is not personalized (source)
- 59% of customers say that personalization influences their shopping decision (source)
- 77% of consumers have chosen, recommended, or paid more for a brand that provided a personalized service or experience (source)
- Over 78% of consumers will only engage offers if they have been personalized to their previous engagements with the brand (source)
While it may seem like a no-brainer, personalization is time consuming and tedious; many B2B marketing teams just don’t have the bandwidth to analyze their prospect and customer data to develop effective content.
AI technology has the ability to learn what a customer wants when a certain action or event takes place within the buyer’s journey. This information streamlines the personalization process so your prospect receives the right message, in the best format, at the most opportune time.
An example of this is a chat-bot that analyzes prospect or customer questions and communication to return the most relevant content. From each interaction, the bot is able to learn and compile data allowing it to upsell, troubleshoot, and facilitate real, human interaction.
Unfortunately, as with most technology, there’s a real fear that AI could potentially do more harm than good, or replace marketing altogether. But, we say, embrace AI and let it transform your B2B marketing strategy.
Contact ZoomInfo today to learn about the other ways we can improve your B2B marketing campaigns.