Artificial intelligence (AI) is a fast-growing technology with a wide range of applications. In 2021, the global AI software market is predicted to grow 54% year-on-year - so it’s no surprise that AI is being used to optimize B2B marketing!
That’s all well and good, but many of us are still wary of AI and its potential. Are you worried that AI will replace all our jobs? Or are you worried about a robot apocalypse that brings about the downfall of human civilization? Or maybe you just want to know if AI can make data analysis less tedious?
While we can’t tell you if your job will be replaced or if we will all end up in a robot apocalypse - we can tell you that yes, AI can make data analysis less tedious! So, if you’re interested in that and some other ways AI can help you out - keep reading.
What is AI?
AI uses machine learning alongside algorithms to make decisions that mimic a human’s reasoning skills. It can complete complex tasks by splitting them into smaller, simpler tasks but cannot fully replicate some human decisions - yet (dun… dun… DUUUNNN).
In marketing, AI can be used for a variety of tasks that are fairly time-consuming for a human, such as data analysis or research. The big brains at Forbes have said it’s going to change the face of B2B marketing forever and transform digital marketing. So let’s find out why!
Applications of AI marketing
There are many different applications of AI in marketing. In this article, we will discuss 4 broad ways to use AI in your B2B marketing.
Gaining quality leads (and keeping them)
Lead generation is essential in B2B marketing - without it, there are no new customers. Due to the length of the B2B buying cycle (roughly 4-7 months), gaining a continuous stream of quality leads is important.
The capabilities of AI can easily capture data from a wide range of sources, increasing the number of leads and information about each. Using AI can also improve lead quality by analyzing the new data quickly and effectively. This could be put to use in building your marketing database - providing you with detailed customer insights and leaving your team more time to spend closing the deal.
AI can also help you nurture customer relationships. AI response emails and chatbots allow for engaging two-way conversations, without the need for a member of your team replying to customers. They do this by analyzing customer responses to work out their needs and respond, while keeping the conversation going.
With all that data collection, why wouldn’t you tailor your marketing efforts to your customers’ needs? And with 80% of marketers agreeing that personalized content does better than un-personalized, what are you waiting for?
Using AI means you can essentially target every lead on your database individually. The right algorithms with enough data will allow an AI-based application to pick out the most relevant content and offers and send them at the right time for each customer. And these segmented customer groups are automatically updated in real-time. This level of personalization well works for message-based marketing, like email marketing and SMS, but also on your website.
The algorithm learns your customers’ preferences and can tailor what they see to their unique data set. This is like when Amazon sends you emails about products you might like based on your previous purchases. But don’t forget you still need to make the content for the AI to send out!
By personalizing your marketing approach, customers will feel more engaged in your content and more likely to respond positively. This personalization makes your brand more agile - which can lead to a 5-10% boost in sales!
SEO and PPC
Both SEO and PPC can be improved with the help of AI.
With advances in AI technology, time-consuming aspects of SEO such as researching and tagging keywords, and analyzing data can be automated. This saves you and your content team from tedious tasks, allowing them to devote more time to more worthwhile assignments.
When it comes to PPC campaigns, AI can go a step further by bidding for ad space automatically, even taking into consideration the relevancy to the searcher. This saves your team time as you don't need to monitor your bids as closely and money, as your audience should be more relevant. Win-win!
Content creation and delivery
Wouldn’t it be great if you could set up an AI program to write content for you?
Well… AI can’t actually write engaging blog posts for your site - yet (cue the "dun… dun… DUUUNNN" again). But with advances in technology, it may be possible in the future. In the meantime, AI can write content with specific rule sets such as profit and loss summaries or quarterly business reports.
However, AI could help you to deliver your content more effectively to your audience. By scanning all your content, an AI could easily recommend other content to your audience that is related to what they’re looking at. This could direct them to another blog post and prompt them to spend more time on your site. This is like when YouTube or Netflix suggest new content for you based on what you have watched (and what’s popular). You could also use the AI to analyze when the best time to post content is so you can reach the most people.
Benefits of AI marketing
If it wasn’t clear enough above, there are plenty of benefits to using AI in your B2B marketing.
Here is a quick list of the main benefits of AI in marketing:
- Save time on tedious tasks.
- Faster data analysis.
- Personalize marketing content easily.
- Increase your agility.
- Optimize SEO.
- Have better control over PPC bids.
The capabilities of AI in the future are (almost) endless. Who knows what technology will exist in 10 or 50 years? Maybe machines will be in charge of content creation? Maybe AI will replace buyers entirely? Or maybe it will usher in a post-labor society and we can just chill on a beach forever?
But for now, there are still plenty of ways to use AI to your advantage in B2B marketing.
Got questions about AI B2B marketing applications? Seen some really cool ways of using it? Share them on the B2B Marketing Alliance Community!