Over the last couple of years, the digital marketing ecosystem has changed dramatically, thanks to numerous technological advancements and the overall increase in web usage. As expected, business-to-customer marketing campaigns were quick to adapt and look into new tools, strategies, and techniques that would improve the efficiency of their marketing efforts. However, trends differ when compared to the business-to-business (B2B) sector.
The Impact of AI on B2B Marketing Trends
As part of this article, we will cover the impact of AI on the current and future B2B digital marketing trends. Since the overall growth of the B2B market is bound to continue, it is essential for businesses to adapt and constantly work on improving the creativity of their marketing campaigns. These trends will be backed by a series of interesting digital marketing statistics that will help put things better into perspective.
The current and future influence of artificial intelligence, machine learning, and automation in crafting smarter B2B campaigns. While you may not actively notice, artificial intelligence already plays an important role in our daily lives. As such, numerous digital processes are carried out leveraging the power of AI.
Relevant examples include search engine results (which are backed by AI-driven algorithms that analyze the value of web pages, their relevance, and your interests), advertising campaigns (since AI is used to analyze customer behavior to facilitate efficient targeting and personalization of services), and social media feeds (which are all supported by AI, as social engines attempt to learn more about your interests and likes).
Future implementation of AI technology in B2B digital marketing campaigns is bound to completely disrupt the industry. Here are some interesting B2B AI implementations that you might want to keep an eye on:
Analyzing customer data for better lead generation
At this moment in time, 61% of marketers believe that generating traffic and leads is their number one challenge. The process here is simple and mostly similar to AI-driven B2C marketing campaigns. As such, to facilitate a smart marketing strategy, businesses must leverage user data to learn more about their behavior, products of interest, and whether the services/products being offered are relevant.
Hands-on analysis of this data via traditional tools is certainly slower, but also bound to offer less accurate predictions. On the other hand, AI tools can instantly analyze massive sets of data, in search of patterns, inconsistencies, and opportunities. It does this by also taking into account what it has learned so far, therefore increasing the conclusion and prediction accuracy.
Therefore, AI has great potential in identifying potential B2B customers, while also giving valuable suggestions on how to reach out to the business in question. A fully fledged integration of AI into a business’ sales processes will offer much better leads that are more likely to convert. Of course, AI is also a great time-saver, as teams can now focus on more pressing tasks and let the software do analysis work instead.
Facilitating the automation of numerous marketing processes
Generally, businesses spend valuable time doing repetitive tasks required for lead attraction. With the power of AI, tasks such as creating customer lists, cold-calling, cold-emailing, and answering customer tickets, can all be automated. A study has shown that company sales representatives spend as much as 80% of their work time carrying out monotonous activities, rather than working on preserving relationships with existing clients or improving brand awareness.
AI software can be embedded into customer relationship management (CRM) databases, and allowed to make decisions of its own in terms of who to email, call, or arrange meetings with. Sales representatives, therefore, do not have to carry out their own research anymore, and can simply start discussing to a potential business partner
This is a widely accepted fact in the digital marketing industry, granted that by 2023, spending on automation tools is bound to reach $25.1 billion. Additionally, 79% of top-performing companies are already leveraging AI-based marketing automation tools, thereby leading to a 10% bump in revenue in only 6-9 months.
Thanks to its large automation potential, AI can replace a part of the current workforce, saving company resources. This doesn’t mean that existing employees need to be laid off. Rather, they can focus on carrying out creative thinking to come up with smarter marketing ideas and spend more time talking to potential and existing customers.
Improving SEO results
The importance of SEO in B2B marketing is monumental. If you don’t rank on Google, you will fail to reach the majority of potential customers. After all, Google is currently responsible for roughly 94% of the total internet organic traffic. Yet, it’s important to mention that simply ranking on Google won’t cut it. Rather, businesses must try their best to rank on the first page, granted that 75% of users do not scroll past the first page of search engines
AI software can easily carry out SEO audits to help determine what works for a company based on its niche, customer base, and current SEO practices. SEO generally requires massive effort, since marketers need to constantly trial new approaches to help increase SERPs.
AI software can do keyword and website analysis, in order to suggest smarter approaches to your SEO campaign. With the implementation of such a tool, you may quickly find that the keywords you’ve been ranking for aren’t actually competitive, or that your website consists of numerous negative SEO practices.
Considering that over 40% of business revenue comes from organic traffic, quality SEO is a must-have for any company. AI tools can do a lot more than simply audit your current SEO status. Rather, if instructed accordingly, they can actively make changes to your content to ensure better optimization. Thanks to machine learning, AI software has great feasibility in the long-term, as the more you use it, the better it becomes at providing valuable SEO advice.
Making your business more human-like through personalization
At this moment in time, both independent and business customers seem to respond well to hyper-personalized marketing campaigns that target them directly. While the heading sounds like a paradox, artificial intelligence can indeed make your business sound more human-like. It achieves this by increasing the relevancy of emails, messages, and ads that are shown to customers, based on specific sets of data.
By anticipating the needs of customers through AI-driven predictions, it will seem like your business always has the right solutions for every customer it reaches out to. AI can carry out email campaigns, advertisements, and pop-up messages to market specific tools, services, and products to businesses that are in need of them.
Here’s a relevant use case scenario: you operate a human resource organization that newly founded and existing businesses make use of to find prospective employees. AI software will then consult all company databases in your region to learn more about the existing companies and their current needs. It finds that a tech company recently lost its social media manager and predicts that it will soon attempt to recruit someone for the position.
Then, the system scans your database of professionals to find potential fits. If a fit is found, the AI system can then personalize an email to the company in question, advertising your database of social media experts looking for extra work. The potential of personalization for B2B purposes is virtually endless.
Based on everything that has been outlined so far, some of these AI trends are already actively used in the B2B marketing industry, whereas others will only become relevant in the medium-term future.
At this time, 23% of businesses have already incorporated AI into their current processes, whereas only half of large-scale companies have an AI strategy. Considering the opportunities that have been discussed, it is essential for all B2B firms to look into artificial intelligence and determine the right implementations for their current and future needs.