How Artificial Intelligence Can Transform B2B Marketing
Artificial intelligence (AI) is enriching the B2B marketing landscape with dynamic capabilities. Marketers can use AI technologies like machine learning and algorithms to automate their marketing processes and inject increased intelligence into their marketing strategies. As a result, B2B marketers can optimize and personalize their customer experiences.
For some, the term “artificial intelligence” conjures up dystopian, Hollywood-fueled images of evil robots destroying the human race. For others, it evokes a quieter (but no less terrifying) vision of robots replacing humans in the workplace. However, as more and more businesses embrace AI, it’s becoming universally clear that rather than replace human intelligence, AI serves to complement it.
As integrity and hyper-personalization permeate customer expectations, marketers in every industry are leveraging AI to create better customer experiences. Here are eight ways that AI is transforming B2B marketing.
1. Improves Lead Generation and Scoring
Generating high-quality leads, followed by generating a high number of leads, are the two biggest challenges faced by marketers today.
Part of the problem lies in the labor intensity of data collection, management, and analysis. To solve this issue, data collection and analysis can be automated by integrating AI into lead generation processes. This, in turn, will increase the quantity and quality of generated leads.
AI can bury deep into sales funnels to capture hyper-accurate, real-time dynamic data across channels and databases that may be inaccessible to, or overlooked by, human marketers. Armed with this improved visibility and data accuracy, marketers can identify more leads, create nuanced target personas, and implement lead scoring systems that are more comprehensive.
With lead generation being such a time-consuming manual task, automation in this area is a powerful business process optimizer and IT business strategy. AI allows marketers to spend less time manually collecting data and more time actually using the data to implement strategic practices.
2. Creates Better Customer Insights
For businesses aiming to execute personalized targeting from the second a customer enters the sales funnel, creating accurate buyer personas and ideal customer profiles (ICP) is critical.
Combined with AI, social listening, and analysis tools can help businesses achieve these goals. For example, you might gain insight into your customers’ pain points, buying behaviors, or who your businesses’ competitors are targeting. All of this can be used to strengthen buyer personas and create customized environments.
With accurate buyer personas and ICPs, businesses are positioned to approach potential and existing customers with the right content at the right time.
3. Enhances Customer Experiences
At a consumer level, smart technology is where AI truly shines. Digital assistants like Alexa and Siri paved the way for voice-based technology. Now, consumers aren’t just using voice searches to merely browse the internet, they’re buying things, too.
AI digital assistants are continuously learning, growing more intuitive to their users’ speech patterns and browsing habits to tailor search results to their users’ preferences. Businesses are taking advantage of this by optimizing their website for voice searches.
Not only does this put their website in front of more potential customers, but it also plays into inclusive website design strategies that make websites more accessible to everyone.
4. Personalizes B2B Marketing
If you’re worried that using AI might dehumanize your brand’s content marketing strategy, then worry no more. AI is actually a personalization power tool that you should be using to your advantage.
Customers want businesses to understand their unique needs and preferences, and they’re prepared to boycott a brand entirely if it doesn't meet their expectations. This means that general pitches are unanimously redundant, but personalization can be hard work.
According to Salesforce's State of the Connected Customer report, the vast majority (66%) of customers expect companies to fully understand their unique needs and expectations.
AI-driven marketing simplifies the process by helping businesses gather buyer behavior insights and create accurate buyer personas. This information can be used to curate hyper-targeted marketing material like landing pages, blog content, emails, digital advertisements, etc.
From there, B2B marketers have the power to initiate timely, personalized conversations with customers, appealing to their pain points and anticipating their desires. Even better is that with AI, these conversations can be scaled through marketing automation.
5. Optimizes Website/App Performance
How often do you scrutinize your website’s performance data to identify any issues or areas for improvement?
Website analytics can be so convoluted that interpreting them strategically on a consistent basis is a grueling task. AI-powered tools (like Google Analytics Intelligence) use machine intelligence to condense complex data into easily digestible and actionable insights.
One of the best things about AI in this respect is that marketers can be immediately notified of any sudden or undesirable data shifts. If there was a sudden spike in a critical metric like a website’s bounce rate, or the percentage of people who leave your website after a single-page session, AI tools would send real-time alerts alongside any other relevant data.
These spikes can point to business-damaging technical errors, so this is a metric that you want to keep a close eye on.
The same considerations should be made for mobile apps, too. Widely considered to be the leading future platform for B2B marketing, 65% of B2B companies have a mobile app in response to rising B2B mobile usage.
However, whether due to lack of value or a poor UX, mobile apps are also deleted at an alarmingly high rate. According to Statista, 43% of users uninstall a mobile app within 30 days of downloading it.
Just like website analytics, app analytics alert marketers to any potential issues, ensuring that they perform a timely mobile usability test and rectify problems ASAP.
6. Simplifies SEO
AI-powered SEO tools do more than simply save you time by sourcing relevant keywords. They can heavily inform new content by identifying trending topics, making keyword predictions, and uncovering competitive gaps for forward-thinking targeting. They can also optimize old content for SERP by performing dynamic keyword and linking updates. Basically, AI keeps your old content fresh and your new content ahead of the curve.
When it comes to actually crafting content, AI can’t quite master the nuances of emotive, engaging copywriting. However, there are a bunch of AI-powered marketing tools that writers can use to enhance their writing. Take the popular AI-based writing assistant Grammarly, a tool that combines grammar rules and patterns with machine learning, deep learning, and natural language processing to help writers create professional, error-free content.
7. Increases Customer Engagement
So your content is optimized and ready to be published, but if you publish it at the wrong time, all of that effort might just go to waste. This is where AI steps in once again, driving maximum customer engagement by ensuring that content is posted at exactly the right time.
As a baseline, the best time to publish a blog and social media content is in the afternoon/evening. The best time to send marketing emails is in the morning. AI monitors a business’ unique website data and customer behaviors to pinpoint optimal publishing times to the minute.
AI-powered scheduling tools can automatically publish content, inadvertently increasing globalization potential.
Time isn’t the only thing that marketers need to consider when publishing content. The platform they publish to and the devices they optimize for are also important factors. This is what makes AI so useful; rather than relying on guesswork, analysis tools can be used to discover exactly which platforms and devices targeted customers are using.
8. Improves Customer Service and Customer Relationships
Nurturing positive customer relationships through high-quality customer service is a number one priority. But how do you provide personalized, omnichannel customer service to the hundreds of accounts within your sales funnel?
Customer service automation is the leading use of AI for businesses today. AI applications like chatbots and interactive voice response (IVR) systems exist at both pre-and post-sale customer service touchpoints, capable of performing transactional requests, order tracking, account updates, and so much more.
By letting AI handle the simpler tasks, agents are free to focus on customer inquiries and services that require more problem-solving and empathy. As a result, these customers receive more attentive service which goes a long way in nurturing positive customer experiences.
There’s another reason why 39% of B2B companies want self-service options. AI applications allow businesses to deliver quick and convenient 24/7 customer service across multiple channels. This has established AI implementation as one of the fundamental best practices for companies with enterprise ambitions.
Are You Ready to Embrace AI?
Artificial intelligence isn’t just changing the marketing space—it’s revolutionizing the business world as we know it. Marketing remains one of AI’s strongest uses, with its impact felt not just by businesses but customers too. By providing businesses with the tools and insights to deliver value at every touchpoint, B2B customers can enjoy better brand relationships and experiences.