With Artificial Intelligence (AI) already revolutionizing various aspects of our lives, there is no doubt that its progress will not be slowing down in 2019.
According to a survey conducted by Brightedge, 25.69% of respondents believed that after consumer personalization, AI will impact businesses in a huge way.
It doesn’t come as a surprise, since from home appliances to children’s toys, AI has already successfully made its way in our day to day lives.
On the other hand, the advancement of AI in redefining the process of B2B marketing in the past couple of years has been noteworthy. Not only has AI helped marketers succeed in different segments such as engaging website visitors through chatbots, it has also been effectively useful in predictive analytics campaigns.
There are many more ways that AI can boost business processes in the near future. In this blog post, I’ll highlight the exciting and distinctive ways in which AI will transform B2B marketing in 2019.
1. Source more and better quality leads
In order to prosper in the B2B marketing sphere, it is essential for marketers to address and meet the needs of its end customers. Thus, companies are always looking for thorough customer data.
This means that marketers are also looking for leads, which they usually find by going through customer data manually.
However, these traditional ways of data generation require a huge amount of time from marketers as they need to obtain, review and classify data before targeting the potential leads.
Although marketers are able to generate leads based on data obtained from several websites, CRM and marketing campaigns, certain loopholes exist where marketers fail to understand the spending nature and interests of their leads.
If not corrected in time, these loopholes might adversely affect the marketing campaigns of the companies and are likely to bring little to no return on the invested time and resources.
Due to the vast coverage of AI, it can easily capture a larger set of data from various platforms such as websites, social media channels and contact databases. With its intense potential for identifying the best B2B targets for inward and outward marketing initiatives, AI can bridge the gap between the sales team and the potential consumers.
Once AI is actively integrated into a sales process, it can help increase both the quantity as well as the quality of the leads generated along with reducing the unnecessary man-hours invested on mundane and repetitive tasks.
This will allow marketers to focus on more productive tasks which include higher responsibilities. They can efficiently manage the increase in sales based on the forecast received with the help of AI.
2. Simplify the process of account selection
Everyday, salespeople spend a lot of time in doing monotonous tasks in order to find potential leads. This includes cold-calling, answering emails and creating lists.
Reports suggest that 80% of the time of sales representatives is spent on emails and phone calls for nurturing and qualifying leads with repetitive activities – giving them merely 20% of the time for the closing of the lead.
Instead, most of the sales personnel should be focusing more on preserving the business relationships with the existing clients rather than searching in the deep pool for new targets. Here is where AI can come to their rescue by simplifying this entire process in an effective way.
With the embedding of AI in CRM databases, Salesforce automation software, and other B2B applications the day to day tasks can be easily automated – giving the sales personnel a lot of time to take their ideas to new heights.
The introduction of AI in these applications will also help identify accounts of existing and new customers based on the predefined attributes, giving access to a large number of ideal prospects.
As AI works more on data-driven facts and less on intuition, it will help salespeople make more accurate choices when prospecting which will lead to better results and conversions.
Additionally, once AI becomes more normalized, it will also lead to numerous other benefits to the organisation without consuming more of the office space.
What’s more, as more and more active accounts need more dedicated account managers, AI can replace the additional workforce required and reduce the overhead costs, as well as the time spent in training and hiring of the new employees. Although this might result in a decrease in the job opportunities for less-skilled employees, one thing is clear that AI will not completely replace the human workforce in the near future.
3.Personalising B2B Marketing
One of the most promising benefits of AI in B2B marketing will be the hyper-personalisation of the marketing campaigns.
As most consumer tend to avoid spam emails and messages, AI-driven marketing will help eliminate this issue altogether. Because consumers are becoming more selective with different brands, they expect brands to closely understand their preferences.
AI will help boost a brand’s capability to offer accurate and swift bespoke consumer experiences as brands will be easily able to initiate personalised conversations with millions of relevant buyers.
These highly personalised messages will be based more on a thorough knowledge of the behaviour of the potential customers, allowing brands to anticipate the desires and the needs of their customers.
Instead of targeting a specific sector, AI will help brands target customers on a one-to-one basis. By customising the products and services offered according to the client’s interests, brands will be able to get more favourable responses to their marketing messages.
The hyperpersonalised messages generated by AI are not only limited to email or text messages but also include pop-up messages and adverts which show up on various websites and landing pages.
From sending modified emails, to dynamic ad newsletters and adapting the website content based on its visitors, AI will independently craft and resonate messages to upscale the buyer’s interests.
Also, as AI can collect vast historical data and analyse the correct time of sending the right content to the right person it works better than the traditional marketing methods in accomplishing a more effective content strategy.
4. Broader Online Shopping Experiences
The introduction of Siri, Alexa and Cortana have transformed the way in which consumers interact with various brands.
As most of the consumers are dependant on voice search and smart speakers instead of the usual text and visual searches, marketers are already finding ways to provide a new and broad range of experiences to their clients through AI devices.
As AI began to have better understanding of the spoken words and recognising the voices, this has triggered most of the e-commerce retailers to re-optimise their pages to efficiently handle the voice-based searches.
An example is the recent introduction of Amazon’s voice-controlled home automation speaker, Echo which allows users in making online purchases through voice search technology. This has raised consumer expectations from their preferred brands and existing voice-search applications.
Apart from voice-based searches, AI is also likely to offer a broader personalised shopping experience in the upcoming year. With Shoptagr and Mona already making their mark as online personal shoppers, several companies are prepping up to offer virtual personal shoppers to their clients.
With the help of AI, these personal shoppers will endorse and curate items for customers by learning about their personal taste and shopping habits.
It would be interesting to see, how brands will integrate these new online shopping trends to offer comprehensive voice-based and personalised virtual shopping experiences to its customers.
5. Simplified SEO
Although creating highly engaging content is one skill which AI cannot do, we can expect AI to competently optimise this content for major search engines in the coming year.
A majority of marketing strategies require a lot of time and manual efforts. This includes identifying keywords for SEO, creating backlinks, summarising and tagging keywords, enterprising systems to discover existing content, analysing market trends, and generating competitor insights.
AI can improve these processes and interpret data patterns more efficiently compared to human search strategists – delivering high-quality information free from any disruptions.
With the evolution of AI, the time-consuming and tedious SEO tasks will become more automated and efficient – while generating marketing content.
The ability of AI to break down complex tasks into simpler tasks makes it proficient in handling tasks and reducing the overall time spent by marketers.
As a result, this will further help marketers focus more on the user experience and increase their engagement rates with using automated alerts and speed monitoring.
This will not only maximise the brand’s returns on previously invested efforts on content creation but also help in engaging more online customers.
Considering the wider scope of AI, it will be soon possible for B2B marketers to generate specific content for every customer based on existing information through various sources across their business giving them an exceptional online service experience.
Is AI for you?
With the development of AI, a majority of marketers have already started reaping its benefits.
While many AI systems remain invisible at the moment, its significance is not hidden from the outside world. As these expected AI marketing trends try to make a buzz in 2019, it will be exciting to witness how efficiently AI delivers an unparalleled B2B experience to both customers and the marketers.