How COVID-19 Could Accelerate AI Adoption in the B2B Marketing Industry

By Ajay Sathyanath

This article was originally published by AiThority.

By Ajay Sathyanath

It’s easy, in a time like this, to become stuck in the “now” and the “before.” How do I mitigate losses now? How do I get it back to the way things were? But the truth is, all that you did before and that you do now is always in preparation for the future. Or at least it should be. The COVID-19 pandemic is forcing marketers to think of new, innovative ways to generate revenue, pushing them to evaluate what technologies can best be utilized to enhance their strategies and fulfill their KPIs. Artificial Intelligence (AI) has long been forecast to be the next-generation technology that will have the greatest impact on the Marketing industry over the course of the next several years. However, gaps in the marketing process that have become more apparent in the last two months have given way for AI to make its mark much more swiftly. COVID-19 will be a catalyst to help accelerate the rate of AI adoption in the B2B Marketing industry. And if marketers want to capitalize on it, there are a few trends they must pay attention to now. 

Streamlining Communications 

Retaining and growing clients is key to any business but especially so during times of distress. Businesses who poorly communicate with their core clients during a crisis cannot expect to keep them during the rebound. Right now, one of the most common uses of AI in the B2B Marketing world is the use of Chatbots. Chatbots are useful in answering frequently asked questions, relieving some of the tensions placed on customer service representatives, and providing businesses the ability to connect with their customers around the clock. 

However, AI can be used for so much more in the communications department. It can be used to predict behaviors and therefore, give marketers much-needed insight into how to respond. Artificial Intelligence is a “learning” technology – it evolves based on new inputs from humans and from past interactions. Therefore, in the B2B realm, its ability to analyze copious amounts of customer data and help marketers make informed decisions is priceless. 

Content Dissemination 

It’s clear that as a society, we are by no means lacking in content. It follows us everywhere we go. However, much of that content is irrelevant and useless. A pandemic, such as the one we are experiencing at the moment, is probably the best test a company will have of how well it delivers its content. Misplaced ads and marketing efforts can create unintentionally negative and tone-deaf messaging, alienating the very consumers you are trying to keep.  

The manpower needed to manually deliver valuable content in a timely manner is nearly impossible to coordinate and manage. However, AI makes it possible to deliver the right content to the right people at the right time. By allowing AI to do its job – sorting, categorizing and analyzing your content in preparation of targeting the appropriate audience – marketers can focus more energy on creating content that matters. And AI has a place there as well, but it’s still far from replacing human creativity.  

Account-Based Marketing 

Account-Based Marketing was created to deliver an increased level of personalization to B2B campaigns. But where personalization comes into play, data is key. And while there is no shortage of data, the challenge is not only finding the time to analyze it but doing so well enough to make educated decisions. 

AI can help analyze data to aid inform marketers on which accounts are showing the highest propensity to purchase. Additionally, AI’s ability to identify patterns in behavior can also build relationships, helping marketers better understand human motivations, thus aiding in crafting better messages. 

These ideas aren’t revolutionary in the world of B2B marketing and it is no secret that automating different parts of your Marketing process and MarTech stack will save time and accelerate efforts. However, the application of AI to do so has been continuously overlooked. 

One reason is that many marketers don’t fully understand Artificial Intelligence. Another reason is that for those that do, the idea of implementing this technology and continuously feeding it the information it needs to evolve is daunting. But there’s no better time than a time like this to learn how to do so. 

By building the foundation now, marketers can secure rewards for the future. And whether there is another crisis or not, marketers will be well-equipped to continue improving the performance of their Marketing investments.        

Ajay Sathyanath

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