Raise your hand if you’ve been hearing about generative AI everywhere and from everyone. If you’re a B2B marketer reading this right now, you’re definitely raising your hand, and for good reason. AI, i.e., Artificial Intelligence, is something we’ve all been hearing about for the past year or so. However, it’s always been semi-elusive. You’ve likely been asking yourself: “What is Artificial Intelligence?” “How should I be using Artificial Intelligence?” “Does Artificial Intelligence work for B2B marketing?” “Does Artificial Intelligence actually provide valuable insights?” “Will Artificial Intelligence make my life as a marketer easier?”
Well, not to worry, because you’re about to get the ultimate guide to leveraging AI in B2B marketing. You’ll learn how AI is used in the B2B marketing landscape, what role AI can have in the B2B marketing sales funnel, and how AI affects B2B marketing campaigns and processes.
In an attempt to not put the horse before the cart, let’s first talk about what AI is. Artificial intelligence refers to the development of computer systems that can perform repetitive tasks that typically require human intelligence. Think recognizing patterns, learning from data, providing data-driven insights, and making decisions. AI plays a critical role in automating processes, optimizing marketing campaigns, and delivering personalized experiences to target audiences.
How is AI used in B2B marketing?
When you’re talking about B2B marketing, the goal is sales. But how do you get to sales? How do you get the big fish? Traditional B2B marketing suggests you use account-based marketing, lead generation, and personalization. Thanks to AI, there is now a world beyond traditional B2B marketing strategies, so much so that 96% of executives say generative AI is a hot topic of discussion with their boards.
When it comes to B2B marketing, the goal is to create segmentation and personalization with your paid media strategist, CRM strategies, content marketing, and sales tactics. The only real way to close the big deals is to understand who your audience is. Prior to AI, being a data analyst in a B2B SaaS company required a team of people who crunched numbers all day. Now, AI can do all of the hard work on a consistent basis.
Imagine this, you want to understand what time of day a person with a specific job title clicks on your ads, visits the page, and hits “request a demo.” Now, instead of relying on dashboards built into Salesforce to provide you with actionable insights, you can automate the entire process. No more surveys and customer interviews. Now, you can get the high-quality data you need to plan out marketing strategies that will actually work.
This means less money spent on ads, higher ROAS, and clients with a longer LTV. AI can unlock data that is necessary in B2B marketing, such as cohorts that are likely to schedule a demo, which online customer is more likely to engage, and what times you need the B2B customer to engage to have the highest success rate.
B2B marketers tend to focus on one thing for brand awareness: content, content, content. Why? Because in B2B, brand awareness means B2B sales. Content is king because it’s in everything you present to your potential customers.
As a B2B marketer, you’re constantly churning out marketing content such as blogs, ebooks, ad copy, etc. It’s the way your B2B business gets discovered. Turning to an AI platform such as ChatGPT can significantly help your productivity and can even inspire new ideas. Leverage generative AI tools to personalize your high-quality content, feed it cohorts to come up with ad copy, or even use it to write your blogs (just remember to add a human touch).
B2B audience insights & predicting analytics
AI-driven tools can analyze vast amounts of data to gain customer insights into buyer behavior, preferences, and demographics. By harnessing these insights, B2B marketers can create highly targeted and personalized content, improving the chances of engagement and conversion.
AI algorithms can predict future trends and behaviors based on historical data. In B2B marketing, predictive analytics help identify potential leads and guide sales teams toward the most promising prospects.
Essentially, this provides data analysis at scale. AI has the capacity to process and analyze vast volumes of data far more quickly and accurately than humans can. This includes data from various sources, such as website interactions, social media engagement, email interactions, and historical sales data. By aggregating and analyzing this data, AI can uncover patterns and trends that might go unnoticed through manual analysis.
What is the role of AI in the B2B sales funnel?
B2B is all about sales, right? B2B marketing creates a B2B sales funnel. The funnel gets filled with prospects, whether from organic traffic, paid media, or outbound calls; there is a way to fill your sales pipeline with more qualified leads that will hopefully turn into customers.
The name of the game is prospecting. But how can you ever really know what a prospective buyer wants to see? AI can analyze individual customer preferences and behavior to personalize content recommendations. This goes beyond simply addressing the recipient by name; it involves tailoring the entire content experience to match a customer’s interests and needs. This kind of personalization at scale allows the sales team to deliver content and recommendations to a large audience, fostering stronger connections with potential clients.
Improve sales data analytics
Thanks to predictive analytics, AI can gather deep insights into customer behavior and preferences to help your team make better decisions about how to approach each interaction. Furthermore, the problem of never having clean data to make those decisions, consider it gone.
AI-powered tools can automatically clean and enrich sales data. This includes removing duplicate entries, standardizing data formats, and filling in missing information. Clean and enriched data ensures that sales teams are working with accurate and complete information.
AI can also provide your B2B sales team with forecasting models that use historical sales data, market trends, and other relevant factors to predict future sales performance accurately. These forecasts help businesses plan strategy, allocate resources, and set realistic sales targets.
Qualify leads and lead scoring
What is the likelihood that a prospective lead will actually convert? It’s a trick question, but even if you think you know, you never really know. Therefore, you could be spending time on a prospect that could be wasted time. AI can help when it comes to lead scoring and qualifying promising leads. How? AI algorithms can automatically score and prioritize high-quality leads based on their likelihood to convert. This ensures that sales teams focus their efforts on leads with the highest potential, increasing efficiency and conversion rates.
To take it one step further, AI can track leads and prospects through the sales funnel, providing insights into where leads are getting stuck or dropping off. This information guides marketing efforts to optimize the sales process and improve conversion rates.
How does AI affect B2B marketing processes?
So now we know AI is powerful. But how powerful? 58% of marketers whose companies use generative AI for content creation said increased performance is the top benefit. That means, by using AI, the marketing processes in your company can improve tremendously.
Scaling your company is hard work. Luckily, with AI, scale isn’t a problem like it used to be. The time that it would take a team to complete a task can simply be cut in half. Your AI software can consume far more information than a single human or marketing team. It can analyze thousands of leads at a time, create endless personalized messages, and predict trends you need to get ahead.
Artificial Intelligence is just that: computer learning. The algorithms are constantly evolving, learning, and getting better. AI can optimize paid media, leaky funnels, drop-off points, and more by consistently getting better at what it does. If you leverage AI, you’ll be able to stay ahead of the curve before you even realize you’re behind it.
Artificial Intelligence is not just a buzzword; it’s a transformative force in the world of B2B marketing. From refining customer insights to automating processes and enhancing the efficiency of sales teams, AI empowers businesses to stay competitive and drive growth. As AI continues to evolve, its role in B2B marketing will only become more significant. Embracing this technology and harnessing its capabilities is no longer an option but a necessity for businesses looking to thrive in the digital age. So, start exploring the world of AI in B2B marketing today, and prepare to reap the rewards of innovation and progress.