B2B buying is more intricate than ever. It is no longer the CXO’s decision, and multiple stakeholders are involved. Procurement, once regarded as the showstopper or in certain scenarios a facilitator, has got the prominent seat in the decision-making process. Procurement leaders are now critical in shortlisting digital transformation vendors.
According to Gartner, “Overwhelmed B2B buyers face a crisis of confidence as they increasingly struggle to make large-scale purchase decisions”. The root cause of customer struggle is the lack of confidence in making the right buying decision due to the availability of high-quality, yet conflicting information and additional market research. Learning does not lead to greater clarity but profound uncertainty. B2B suppliers and sellers are investing in thought leadership content to stand out in the customers’ eyes. In my view, leading suppliers should engage customers with a “Buyer Guide” that helps customers in making sense of all the information they encounter; the focus should be on “Buyer Enablement.”
How AI can be the catalyst for B2B Marketers
Customers, today, value suppliers who help in making the purchase process easier by providing the right information across multiple channels. Here are two examples of how AI can empower B2B marketers:
1.AI-powered copywriting: How Natural Language Generation (NLG) can personalize digital content
While I was pursing my digital marketing certification, I never fathomed that copywriting could be automated, or AI algorithms could build content. Now our best friend, the green wheel, Grammarly saves us from making grammatical mistakes while we write emails, LinkedIn posts, etc. It is an extremely flexible, AI-enabled copywriting tool. Tools like Wordsmith and Acrolinx are more robust, and like many others in the market, these are NLG platforms that transform your data into insightful narratives and help you in building your content strategy.
My idea is not to list down AI-powered copywriting tools; I would like to point you towards a robust technology process called Natural Language Generation (NLG), which turns data into plain English language. In other words, this means NLG can look at your data and write a story from it, just like a human analyst would.
Key takeaway: NLG can help digital marketers build personalized customer communications while saving money and time. NLG will help you develop hundreds or thousands of product descriptions in a few minutes.
2. Personalizing website experience
AI’s capacity in building a new website is still science fiction; however, it can help in creating a jaw-dropping experience for your visitors with intelligent personalization. Personalization has been widely used by leading B2C companies (Amazon, Netflix, etc.). Website personalization should be a part of the rule book and not optional for B2B companies as well. AI on conventional marketing platforms can personalize the experience visitors have on your website, resulting in qualified leads and make the buying process a lot easier. For many enterprises, website personalization is a challenging task; here is how you can implement it:
- Leverage AI-powered chatbots as a real-time engagement team – As per research, B2B companies have spent $7.8 billion in 2019 to drive people to their website and landing pages. Hence it is all the more critical for B2B suppliers to give quick responses to leads and drive a personalized experience. To engage the prospect and build a unique experience for them, the chatbot should ask relevant questions on the pricing, product, demo, and other high-intent and high-traffic pages.
- Helping is new selling –Build a community for potential buyers and existing customers to ask questions on the competition, latest releases, integration, etc. Intelligent 24/7 chatbots provide visitors with meaningful information not only about your brand but also its key differentiators, regulations, etc.
- Account-Based Targeting –ABT helps engage target accounts in real-time and lets your sales leaders know the content they have absorbed or the questions they are asking. Your inside sales representative can then make a real-time phone call to help them co-browse the product page or pricing page.
Key takeaway– I see a massive gap between B2B marketers who understand the potential of personalization. You need to keep your company relevant by making each customer experience personal. If consumers don’t get what they want, they’ll go elsewhere.
I believe AI is here to help us, not conquer us. B2B buyers and enterprises have thousands of problem statements, and they are out researching for platforms and service vendors and have solved similar problems in the past. As marketers, are you leveraging AI to optimize the opportunity and engaging your potential customers?
Stay tuned for part 2 of ‘How Al-Led Marketing can be the catalyst for B2B purchasing’, which would cover specific use-cases.