Front-running B2B marketers have been using predictive marketing tools to power their demand generation strategies for quite some time now. With the rise of AI-fueled marketing technology, however, marketers can now benefit from intelligent solutions in more – and in some cases more important – areas of the B2B marketing playing field.
The increased adoption of CRM and marketing automation technology over the last decade has led to companies obtaining more data from their prospective and existing customers. The logical thing for Marketing to do was (and still is) to use those data to predict which leads are likely to convert and which customers are likely to respond to marketing campaigns.
The benefits are obvious. For Marketing, a better offer/customer fit leads to better response and happier customers. For Sales predictive lead scoring improves lead prioritization, resulting in higher win-rates and less time wasted engaging low quality leads.
Now that more intelligent marketing technology solutions become available, the marketing functions they are applied to reach beyond the lead routing and response modeling area. This is good news for B2B, as there is a lot of room for improvement. B2B marketing often relies on models and tools that are not data-driven. Buyer persona interviews, customer journeys and content mapping, to name a few, are tools that can be valuable, but they are from the pre-data era. More important, they cannot offer what companies need to meet today’s buyer’s and customer’s expectations: scaled personalization.
B2B marketers collect significantly more data now than they did before and companies’ analytical capabilities are maturing rapidly, but data still are rarely used to personalize and optimize marketing on the go. AI will change that.
Four Impact Areas
The impact of AI on marketing and communications is expected to be bigger than the impact of social media. When investigating 25 AI-powered marketing technology solutions, four impact areas emerge where AI can already change B2B marketer’s day-to-day jobs. These are:
- Content production
AI-powered marketing tools can create content, design websites, optimize landing pages and help marketers to produce content that leads to higher conversion rates.
- Journey orchestration
AI-powered tools take marketing automation to the next level by automatically adapting and optimizing individual customer journeys.
- Sales automation
Intelligent marketing solutions can help companies to find new leads, they can give recommendations to sales reps concerning the best way to reach out to their clients (or even take over the conversation completely) or they can automatically enrich databases with contact and social profile data.
- Analytics and optimization
AI-powered analytics and optimization solutions provide advanced insights quickly and they can proactively recommend appropriate actions and trigger execution.
In the content production area many point solutions are available that help marketers to optimize content production and distribution. In the journey orchestration and sales management area established MarTech firms are actively deploying AI-fueled functionalities. The analytics and optimization area contains some interesting solutions that automate intelligent reporting.
Now that more AI-powered tools will be used in different B2B marketing areas in the next few years, ROI-minded marketing leaders should reconsider the capabilities they need in their marketing teams. Especially the roles of marketing analysts and content marketers need to be evaluated as technology can change a part of their daily tasks and different skill sets may be required in the future.