What are AI techniques and how are they useful to B2B Marketing?
I’m willing to bet, if you’ve attended a marketing conference in the last couple of years, there will have been a really engaging speaker who passionately demonstrated the future of Artificial Intelligence in the marketing world. Well let me break it to you, it’s already here.
Artificial Intelligence is a subject that is on the tip of the tongue of every marketing and Martech event there is. To support that activity, nearly 2 billion people worldwide are using chat apps and managing 85% of their relationships with companies without interacting with a human. I’d also be willing to bet that you have AI embedded in your marketing tech stack, you just maybe don’t realise it.
So let’s start by making it really easy to understand what artificial intelligence is. In its simplest form, AI is using technology to assist you in making decisions, predict outcomes and be more efficient. You have to teach a computer how to make a decision before it can do that with its own automation or robot mind.
Do you remember the ‘Chihuahua or Blueberry Muffin’ quiz? This test for a human isn’t too difficult (although the similarities are pretty close), but for a computer, this would be a real test. The colours, shades and positioning are complex to analyse. However, if you taught the computer the finer details, the reflection in the chihuahua eyes, the inclusion of a whisker etc., the computer would be able to identify them just as you and I can, once it’s had that human programming and instruction.
So let’s have a look at how some of the common B2B marketing businesses are already using AI where our marketing colleagues are teaching systems new tricks every day:
In the current world, pretty much every business is using, or indeed has used and perhaps removed their chatbot functionality. Most Marketing Automation tools these days enable some kind of chat bot or chat flow but before most companies have even learned to use them to good effect, the very latest chatbot functionality is storming ahead with conversational AI.
From very simple live chat capability which links your customers to a sales representative (not really a bot), chat flows now enable more automated conversations to take place based on key words of questions asked which your AI will be expecting. This kind of AI is really low level but does allow some of your customers to get the answers they need without impacting on the business time and resources. It’s also really easy to do and not often done well.
However, in this modern age, chat bots are now an expected and often considered an annoying part of a process. Some customers will actively avoid using them if they cannot detect any human presence within the conversation. Enter the conversational AI with a level of training that enables AI bots to make jokes, express feelings, and discuss philosophical topics such as friendship, love, and existing like a human in the real world. Take a look at the GTP-3 and their rather disturbing conversation between two AI’s discussing their desires to be human here.
The content marketing industry is growing at an exponential rate which means it is more demanding to not only produce, but to be found. Come out from behind the sofa content writers. AI still has a long way to go to replace content creation fully. However, there are some really key ways which businesses are using AI content creation to speed up their day to day operations.
Maybe not writing content but providing support in content journeys is one of the most common ways businesses manage AI/automation with their customers. Creating personalised content becomes even more powerful when it is part of a wider journey, not just a single campaign. Each piece of content should be written, not for contents sake, but inspired by the buyers journey and arrive with the potential customer at just the right time.
Even for simply advising on what content to produce, AI is analysing your website and latest SEO tools and informing you how to produce content that is interesting for your potential customers and, more importantly, is more likely to be found by them. Then there are tools like Quill which is one of several (and growing every day) content creation tools which performs specific content creation activities. Quill producing engaging commentary to support your analytics, producing you engaging reports to sit beside your real time data saving you not only the time in analysing the data but also the time to produce the content reflecting it.
You should all be familiar with personalised landing pages. Once a dream of dynamic communications managers, the ability to produce content on a live website, personalised to the individual who is viewing it is now well and truly here. Tools like Demandbase allow you to uses visitors’ attributes like source, demographics, past behaviour, and other characteristics to present dynamic landing pages to help convert visitors. It also helps you to carry out A/B tests and track performance.
In the ever growing ABM world, creating personalised content for the business you are trying to market to is a very valuable tool with ability to customize web pages with unique images, copy, CTA buttons, and links to deliver the right message to the right visitor as they visit.
So before you think that robots will take over the world, it may be less comforting to know that they are already here. But maybe you can relax a little when you know that you at least have to show them how to take over the world first.