8 Simple Ways to Apply AI Technology to Your B2B Marketing
It can be difficult to keep up with new technology – no matter what industry or profession you’re in. Advancements continue at a rapid pace, and those quick to adopt and implement the latest and greatest tools often reap the biggest benefits – and this is almost always the largest organizations with the deepest pockets and most skilled IT teams.
For small and medium-sized business owners, investing and implementing new technology comes with apprehension and uncertainty. There are enough acronyms and terms to make your head spin – and as a small or medium-sized business owner, you don’t have the time to focus on the latest and greatest B2B technology and tools. BUT we’re here to tell you that there’s one term you shouldn’t be so afraid of: artificial intelligence (AI).
AI marketing is only a method of leveraging technology to collect data and insights that will help to anticipate customers’ moves, and it also usually involves automated decision-making to improve marketing efforts. In other words – AI marketing allows you greater insight into your customer’s habits so you can improve their customer journey.
Have you ever encountered a chatbot on a website? Or perhaps your email provider has prompted you to use an autofill or Smart Compose feature? That’s AI marketing. Not so scary, right?
On a grander scale, AI marketing involves big data analytics, content generation, PPC ads, web design, and even assistance with video marketing. However, we’re going to focus on the low-hanging fruit that small and medium-sized business owners can actually put to use in their B2B marketing campaigns.
For starters, let’s briefly explain why and how AI marketing can benefit you.
- Automation: Data is translated into decisions. The best example is email marketing automation, which may seem like an old technology, but AI provides a powerful boost to email marketing campaigns by optimizing subject lines and send times, all while monitoring performance.
- Cost savings: AI works continuously, so while you’re focusing on high-level tasks, AI can complete mundane tasks such as A/B testing while you find and hire talented employees.
- Higher ROI: AI brings higher ROI because it helps you to understand your audience at a deeper level. By deeply analyzing customer insights and understanding what they actually want, marketers can maximize ROI without wasting budgets on efforts with no effects.
- Personalization: Businesses that know how to personalize messages and recommend products to customers have a big advantage. AI allows you to offer products before your customers know that they need them.
- Smarter, faster decision-making: With AI, data analysis becomes more accurate and secure, but it can also occur in real-time while you focus on strategic initiatives. AI can also determine what to do next based on the data-driven reports so that the decisions will be smarter and more objective.
Practical Ways to Use AI in B2B Marketing
Put simply, using AI in your marketing efforts can help you keep a lean and mean marketing team and scale your business higher and faster.
- Content delivery – not content creation – can be aided by AI. Amazing content – at least in our humble opinion – can’t be made by AI right now. AI can make mediocre content, but the web is overflowing with mediocre content that won’t help your business stand out. However, AI technology can help to deliver your unique content to the right customers in the right places, at the right times. Predictive marketing software can scan your entire website and/or content library, categorize and organize the content you create, and deliver the right offers, pages, emails, social media posts, and more, to each buyer at every interaction.
- Chatbots receive mixed reviews, but they’re likely here to stay for some time. We don’t believe that chatbots are the most engaging way to interact with B2B prospects, especially when used as a standalone technology. Using them as a lead-in to a live chat service or salesperson is far more effective, but a lot of prospects are turned off by chatbots. Depending on your business, it may or may not be for you, so contact us.
- Sales forecasting with tools such as Pega can help marketers and sales teams predict what customers will buy and in what quantities. This helps you define what product to promote and promote to whom to drive higher sales. This way of creating business intelligence also enables you to avoid overselling or selling out-of-stock products by balancing your inventory.
- Social media presents a huge opportunity to leverage AI technology. Facebook’s Lookalike Audience is a great product that uses your first-party data to help you find more people who look like your current customers. With Lookalike, you can create custom audiences and massively expand the impact of your marketing—all based on behavioral data. However, similar technology is available for B2B marketers that scan digital signals from all over the web.
- Speech recognition and AI have become intertwined. Ever heard of Siri, Google Maps, or Alexa? These are just some of the most popular virtual assistants that use speech recognition. Smart speakers have proliferated in the last few years and voice recognition technology will become more and more commonplace.
- Retargeting with AI can vastly improve your digital marketing. Instead of guessing what’s likely to bring visitors back to your site and cause them to re-engage with your products, why not leave all that head-scratching stuff to a machine? AI-driven retargeting is more personal and more effective. Learn more about our B2B retargeting strategies here.
- AI also ensures better data quality and data security. For AI to perform at its best, your data needs to be of high quality and in a place where it’s suitable for AI to perform its task. If you’re not already using a modern data warehouse, it can be hugely beneficial to your overall digital marketing efforts whether or not you want to implement AI technologies.
- Don’t forget about Google and SEO. Google’s RankBrain works behind the scenes using AI to sort results in a way that most benefits the searcher. So, a top-ranking result for one person might not be on Page 1 for another person. However, we can help your business understand how Google and RankBrain work so that you can implement more effective strategies in your SEO campaigns.
Just like other major tech-driven innovations, AI has been met with some distrust and even fear. However, AI is only solving problems that you were already having: like maintaining personalized interactions at scale and gaining better insights into buyer journeys.
Please contact us to learn more about how to leverage your current systems and tools with an AI B2B marketing strategy!