B2B marketing has come a long way from the days of direct mail. This, of course, comes as no surprise, given the recent rise and projected growth of B2B ecommerce. With the sector heating up, there’s a greater need for connecting with and attracting sophisticated business buyers. Current digital marketing technology certainly has the capacity and ability to capture the attention of these buyers.
But as the B2B ecommerce space becomes increasingly more saturated and buyers become more discerning, companies need to consider how they might break through the noise. Luckily for them, there’s a new wave of marketing technology that draws upon artificial intelligence (AI) that promises to help companies find and win over those buyers.
You’re probably well aware of the conversational dexterity of Apple’s Siri and Amazon’s Alexa. In fact, you may have even had a conversation with one of them this morning, asking about the weather, scheduling an appointment, or even requesting a compliment (because some days you just need one). The AI capabilities of today’s technology allow these machines to take over once manual processes and tasks – and it looks like the machines are coming for content.
Content generation is often time-intensive by nature, but a crucial part of any modern marketing strategy. AI has the potential to alleviate those resource and time constraints by offloading content generation to robots, and putting them to work on things like press releases, legal documents, and white papers.
In fact, Gartner estimates that 20% of business content will be generated by machines next year – which means that you’ll be able to boost your SEO, offer more valuable content, and attract more buyers, just by adding a few robots to your team.
Marketing isn’t just about getting robots to create your content, though. Because buyers are constantly bombarded with promotions and sales messaging, they don’t want another overwrought advertisement or email.
That’s why new marketing technology is working on its conversation skills. These conversations are intended to have a more natural flow, rather than the stereotypical sales call, and are conducted via chat or other online forms of communication, much like what happens in customer service.
Using AI to generate conversations with potential buyers actually shifts the interaction away from “selling” and more towards supporting and guiding the buyer in their journey. By reframing marketing as a conversation rather than a sales pitch, buyers are that much more willing to listen to what you have to say.
How B2B ecommerce companies find buyers is also undergoing a revolution thanks to new marketing technology. By now, everyone knows that you have to target your marketing efforts to ensure that they’re successful, but sometimes, even then, it’s still not specific enough to those buyers. That’s where hyper-targeted marketing comes in.
The recent innovation in AI has enabled marketers not only to find more qualified, specific buyers – but to find them quickly. Using AI, companies can now gather data points from across the Internet – from Web pages, keywords, profile interests and more – and understand what motivates and interests those buyers.
After the AI scans that information, it can even predict whether buyers might make a purchase. Armed with that sort of information, B2B ecommerce marketers can ensure that their messages are perfectly tailored to their audience, and increase the likelihood of a conversion.
AI-Assisted Business Metrics
With AI on a company’s side, there is seemingly no limit to what it has the ability to do and learn about its buyers. However, there’s also the potential to examine and revisit metrics related to content engagement or other meaningful interactions through the AI lens.
These robots can point out which actions are noteworthy and how marketers can better capitalize on said actions to turn them into opportunities. With this knowledge in tow, marketers can fine-tune their strategy to ensure that every touchpoint has the potential to bring a buyer closer to a purchase. Naturally, this is only good news for companies’ marketing campaigns, as they’ll be able to meet their KPIs, and personalized sales structures.
It’s normal to feel a bit skeptical when the words “robot” and “AI are thrown around often, but when thinking about the future of B2B ecommerce, these words – and the technology behind them – could actually be a harbinger of great things ahead. These novel marketing practices are truly indicative of the large growth spurt that’s to come for B2B ecommerce, and new technology shows that the industry is ready to take the lead.