Front-running B2B marketers have been using predictive Martech tools to power their demand generation strategies for a long time. With the rise of AI-fueled marketing technology, marketers can now benefit from intelligent solutions in more areas of the B2B marketing playing field.
The increased adoption of Martech tools over the last decade has led to companies obtaining more data from their customers. The logical thing for Marketing to do was 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 means more response and happier customers. For Sales predictive lead scoring improves lead prioritization, resulting in higher win-rates and less time wasted on low quality leads.
Now that more intelligent Martech tools become available, the marketing functions they are applied to reach beyond the lead routing and response modeling area.
This is good news for B2B. B2B marketing still relies on models and tools that are not data-driven. Buyer persona interviews, buyer journeys and content mapping, to name a few, are marketing 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 can change that.
AI-fueled technology can change how marketers, analysts and demand generation specialists perform their day-to-day activities. Tasks that previously required human beings, such as content creation and workflow design, can now be automated and optimized by technology.
When investigating 25 AI-powered Martech tools, four impact areas emerge where AI can already change B2B marketer’s jobs:
AI-powered marketing tools can create content autonomously and help marketers to produce content that leads to higher conversion rates.
Buyer journeys are often manually created and implemented in marketing automation platforms. AI can optimize this process and ongoingly adapt and personalize individual customer journeys for maximum result.
The role of AI in Sales ranges from prioritizing leads based on profile and guiding sales reps to take the next best action, to automatically enriching CRM databases.
AI-powered analytics and optimization solutions provide advanced insights and they can proactively recommend appropriate actions and trigger execution based on data.
This article explains how B2B marketers can use AI-powered Martech tools to increase marketing impact. It is by no means a full overview of AI-tools in the market, but it gives an impression of what is out there and how marketers can leverage smart technologies to become more efficient and effective.
1. Content Production
Art and science. Left brain versus right brain. The classic marketing divide may fade with AI.
It is not only the analytical marketing tasks that can be taken over by machines. The new breed marketing technology solutions can change the creative process as well.
AI-powered tools can autonomously create banners and advertisements, write copy, design websites, optimize landing pages and assist marketers to create emails that lead to higher conversion rates.
Wordsmith is Automated Insights’ natural language generation platform. Marketers can use Wordsmith to automatically explain dashboard visualizations, to build reports that automatically update when data changes or to automatically create product descriptions.
Evolv AI (previously Ascend) is a conversion rate optimization solution. Marketers can use Ascend to rapidly test webpages. Instead of manually testing variations and measuring results, Ascend allows marketers to test at scale en pick the best designs in short time.
Atomic AI identifies and measures the impact of language on your marketing communications. Findings and insights are supported with a writing and editing platform that provides real-time guidance on the most important elements of communications during the writing process.
Quill is Narrative Sciences’ natural language generation platform which marketers can use to transform data into perfectly written, meaningful narratives. Instead of manually analyzing and communicating insights to employees and customers, Quill can do that automatically.
MarketMuse helps content marketers to create better content by grading it and benchmarking it against similar, high-performing posts. MarketMuse helps companies to identify new content opportunities, attract the right audience and to improve search ranking results.
Cortex provides marketers with a custom strategy optimized for their goals and that adapts based on audience’s behavior. With Cortex, marketers know which photos, videos and text will drive customer engagement and purchases.
Phrasee is language optimisation software marketers can use to generate better performing emails. Phrasee gives human-sounding, machine-optimised email marketing language that leads to more opens, clicks and conversions. Phrasee’s artificial intelligence algorithms generate your subject lines, body copy, and calls-to-action.
Marketers can use Persado to automatically create content and advertisements. Advanced reporting provides insights into the persuasive language that drives engagement, including the emotional language that drives the highest rates of campaign response.
2. Journey Orchestration
Today most marketing automation platforms require manual configuration to automate campaign flows.
AI-powered tools take marketing automation to the next level by automatically adapting and optimizing individual customer journeys.
With AI, companies can adapt touch-points and personalize content at scale and send messages when customers are most likely to read it.
Zeta Global helps brands use artificial intelligence to drive engagement and build meaningful relationships with their customers. AI-powered insights help understanding each customer at an individual level and enables you to act on that understanding, automatically in real-time.
Act-On is an integrated marketing automation platform. Act-On anounced adding an AI-powered customer journey mapping layer to its marketing automation capabilities. With this layer, customers can have a unique journey, rather than being part of a generic workflow based on their profile and online behavior.
CaliberMind is a next generation B2B Buyer Journey Orchestration solution. Using natural language processing (NLP) and deep machine learning, CaliberMind generates rich persona models that update in real-time. CaliberMind then prescribes content based on individual personality traits and your model.
OneSpot personalizes branded content across websites, email, paid media and more. OneSpot automatically shows the most personally relevant content to visitors across channels. The machine learning technology is continually improving content recommendations.
Sia is Opentopic’s bot marketers can use for cognitive insights, machine learning personalization and campaign predictions. Sia can create dashboards, share insights or fetch content. Sia is integrated with platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, WordPress and HubSpot.
3. Sales Automation
There are many ways in which AI can help sales reps to spend more time on activities that help closing deals.
Intelligent marketing solutions can, for example, help companies to find new leads, they can give recommendations to sales reps concerning the best ways to reach out to their clients (or even take over the conversation) or they can automatically enrich databases real-time with contact and social profile data.
InsideSales analyzes thousands of closed opportunities to isolate the factors that fueled wins. It correlates these factors with open opportunities to expose the top factors to deal closure as well as the actions reps can take to get deals done.
Conversica’s AI software uses a persona to engage every lead in conversation, automating the lead contact and qualification process. Conversica identifies which leads intend to purchase and are ready to buy now.
Infer is a predictive sales and marketing platform, helping marketers to identify and target the best prospects using thousands of external signals from proprietary web crawlers and scoring records quickly.
6sense helps companies find accounts in active buying cycles for their products and services and focus media spend towards the right accounts which are actively researching your products and solutions.
Mintigo takes your company data, their own data, and your highest value leads and uses machine learning to find the set of indicators that make customers unique compared to all of the other leads in your database. The result is a scoring model that can predict the likelihood to convert.
LeadSpace finds leads in social media, contact databases and CRM systems by comparing people’s online presence to ideal buyer profiles. Leadspace can be used by inside sales teams for finding new prospects, and by marketing teams for creating lists and for ranking leads.
Salesforce Einstein can help marketers and sales professionals with recommendations, predictions and automated processes, all based on your own data. Einstein helps teams to sell smarter by intelligently prioritizing top leads and opportunities based on history and past deals.
SalesFlare is a smart CRM systems that gathers company info such as telephone numbers, email addresses or postal addresses and social profiles for every customer. Salesflare intelligently brings the opportunities to the surface for which action is due and shows the information you need to take that action.
4. Analytics & Optimization
Turning data into insights is a large part of the Marketing Analyst’s daily job. With AI, a part of that can now be automated.
Data analysis can be a labor-intensive task, involving retrieving data from different systems and platforms, building statistical models, creating reports and dashboards, interpretation and communication of results.
AI can automate different aspects of the marketing analyst’s job, from generating models to automating reports including recommendations.
PaveAI creates automated reports and recommendations, based on Google Analytics. PaveAI takes into account your marketing goals and personalizes your reports for you. It gives you custom data-driven recommendations on how to increase your ROI.
Goedle helps marketers to create the right combination of predictions and classifications to achieve marketing goals. Goedle observes user behavior and generates initial predictive models. The Goedle suite of tools can be used to engage customers in a highly targeted and personalized way.
Bizible unifies behavioral and ad data with sales outcomes and machine learning so companies can make better marketing decisions. Bizible provides insights via multi-touch attribution, account-based measurement, funnel insights and detailed media insights.
IBM Watson is probably the most widely known AI platform in the market. With guided data discovery, automated predictive analytics and cognitive capabilities such as natural language dialogue, Watson helps marketers to quickly spot trends or create dashboards.
Preparing marketing teams for AI
AI-powered Martech tools can be used in many areas in B2B marketing. ROI-minded marketing leaders should reconsider the capabilities they need in their marketing teams over the next few years.
It is true that some of the day-to-day marketing activities can be replaced by technology. Especially the roles of marketing analysts and content marketers need to be evaluated carefully as technology can take over a part of their repetitive tasks.
Tech savvy marketers and marketing operations specialists that understand how the new breed of marketing technology solutions fit into the marketing infrastructure and how they add value to the business, can be given a more prominent role in strategy implementation and optimization.
To justify AI investments, marketing leaders can use AI benchmarking data to build a business case for repurposing marketing staff members.