AI is here, and it’s inescapable. Spend five minutes with our Managing Director Steve, and you’ll agree – Marketers love to talk about AI. Recently, Steve attended October’s SXSW in Sydney, and he noted almost all the presentations and panels he attended were either partially or completely focused on AI.
But it’s more than a buzzword. It’s a legitimate and powerful tool in a marketing arsenal.
We’re a forward-thinking, progressive digital marketing agency in Melbourne, and to provide our clients with the best and most relevant digital marketing plans, support and advice, we test out every software, gadget and digital marketing tool under the (internet) sun. AI elbowed its way in as an effective and versatile weapon for our clients in both B2C and B2B marketing.
In this article, we’re going to focus on the effective ways to utilise AI for Marketing in B2B businesses. If your business sells products or services to other businesses, there will be something in here for you – a marketing tool utilising AI.
AI Analysis and Insights
One of the most profound applications of AI in analysis and insight is in predictive analytics. By analysing analytics data, AI can forecast:
- customer behaviours
- market trends
- sales outcomes.
AI has the ability to process and analyse large quantities of data at speed, providing alternative insight.
You can use ChatGPT to provide insight and analysis into your data. Below is an example of a screenshot from a client’s GA4. We asked ChatGPT to provide insight into the data. Not only is it able to understand the data from a basic image, but it can analyse it and provide insight. For this example, we only provided geographical demographic information, but it helps visualise what ChatGPT can do. Try it out. It can handle much larger pieces of data, so don’t be shy.
Personalisation and AI
Did you know: 71% of consumers feel frustrated when website content is not personalised. source
Imagine having a genie that knows exactly what your customers want, even before they do. That’s AI in B2B Marketing.
It dives into your sea of data, hunting for what your customers like and dislike, and voilà, you’ve got marketing messages that speak directly to each customer.
Whoa there – it’s not just about bombarding your customers and subscribers with emails or ads. When AI is utilised effectively, it will know the right time and the right words to encourage your customers into the action you want them to complete. Ie. It understands when your customers are most likely to check their emails or scroll through social media and apply your marketing then.
Jane manages an office building, and she’s considering a new air conditioner. She’s browsed your website that sells refrigeration services and installation. She didn’t submit an enquiry, but she did browse your sustainability information and prices. You did collect her email and your email software (in this case, Klaviyo) is going to utilise this information to retarget Jane, with information about the brand, not just as a reminder to encourage her back, but it will reiterate your environmentally friendly practices, the ethics behind your brand and your great pricing in the market.
Jane is impressed. The email feels crafted for her. It’s not just a sales pitch; it’s an engaging experience. She clicks through and submits and enquiry.
AI in your Customer Relationship Manager (CRM)
AI in your CRM system can enhance your customer engagement and sales efficiency. It can create predictive analytics for lead scoring (identifying the most promising prospects based on their interaction history and behaviour).
Perhaps you’re already utilising identifiers like ‘lead score’. Anyone who’s used email software or a CRM like Salesforce won’t be new to that term.
In a B2B software company, AI in your CRM could analyse customer data to predict which clients will be most likely upgrade to a premium service.
And, don’t forget – where there’s a CRM, there’s the opportunity for a chatbot…
Chatbots in B2B Marketing
AI-powered chatbots in B2B marketing automate and enhance customer interactions. They provide instant responses to enquiries, guide users through complex product portfolios, and qualify leads by gathering initial information.
For example, in a B2B tech company, a chatbot on the website can engage visitors, answer basic questions about products and services, and gather contact details. This improves customer experience and filters potential leads to the appropriate sales personnel.
Content Creation and AI
Note: a bot did not write this article. A hard-working content creator who winces at the thought of content generation by AI did.
None of the content we publicise or generate for clients is 100% written by AI, but that doesn’t mean we won’t use AI content generation where applicable and beneficial for the client.
In some cases, AI content generation can be incredibly useful for prompts, topics, grammar checks and sentence structure. As of February 2023, Google said it won’t penalise users for providing AI-generated content as long as the content reads well, provides information and engaging content, and isn’t duplicated. We can’t speak to whether Google (and others) will change their mind on that in the future, but for now, we can assume AI-generated content will be included in SERPs, if it’s of value and delivers positive benefit to your users.
With that in mind, we’d always strongly recommend your content is checked by an experienced copywriter/editor. Because, even if a crawling bot can’t tell it’s not written by a human, we can.
Ethical Considerations for AI in B2B Marketing
AI typically needs large pools of data to work. ChatGPT is useful because it was trained using over 500 billion words. And with large quantities of data comes the risk of infringing on individual privacy rights. Your business is responsible for compliance with regulations like data protection (eg. GDPR) and protecting your users’ data.
It’s a good idea for your business to stay on top of your AI tools. Whether you audit and review them or keep up to date with their upgrades/roll outs to ensure they operate fairly and ethically.
Competitors Using AI:
One final consideration – if you’re still reticent to use AI in your B2B marketing, just consider whether your competitors are.
Opting to utilise AI can be a significant decision, but it’s one your competitors have likely already considered. If you don’t use AI, they probably will, and it will give them an advantage.
If any of this feels overwhelming. You’re not alone. If it were easy, digital marketing agencies like ours wouldn’t exist. And, if you’d like help understanding your site’s analytics and/or reporting, our digital marketing experts are happy to help. And why not sign up for a complimentary 45-minute strategy session – obligation-free.