According to Mckinnely’s 2018 analysis, marketing is the top area where the use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) can contribute to real value to the industry. After all, marketing is about reaching your customer, communicating with them and improving their experience and AI assists in doing that proficiently. Whether in regular Business to Customer (B2C) processes or Business to Business (B2B) operations, AI can amplify all marketing efforts. However, as much as AI is being implemented, it is not being put into full use in B2B demand generation and a lot of hold up stems from not understanding AI-assisted demand and AI’s applications and uses.
What is B2B Demand Generation?
Once you know B2B and demand generation, it’s easy to summarize B2B demand generation as marketing activities designed to target and generate interest in business entities. B2B demand generation goals are similar to B2C. Still, as with any marketing campaign, once the target audience changes, so do the demand generation strategies. The initial stages of the marketing process for B2B demand gen vs. B2C demand gen is where the similarities end.
B2B Demand Gen vs B2C Demand Gen
The differences between B2B demand gen vs. B2C demand gen start with targeting, and it’s not a simple matter of business vs. consumer. It’s more of a question of who controls the money and who has the authority to make critical business decisions. Once that is sorted, B2B demand generation demands a few additional steps as opposed to B2C demand generation.
- Have your facts ready. Preferably in multiple copies or easily accessible to everyone as B2B decisions can involve an entire committee.
- Garner interest from their customer base as well.
- Make sure the problem you solve helps their customers too.
In B2B demand generation, there may be more people you have to go through to secure a viable lead, but with AI, you can shorten that cycle. One great need B2B demand gen has over B2C is personalization and lead scoring. Small business owners can’t afford high acquisition costs by wasting their demand generation efforts on unproductive leads. Many businesses would also prefer to maintain the one-to-one feel they already provide to their clients.
In terms of -*B2C demand generation, you can shorten and refine channels you control, like your distribution and communication channels, to improve customer experience. And with the correct consumer data, you will be able to craft a demand generation funnel that captures more leads.
However, in B2B, you need to focus heavily on quality over quantity when it comes to lead generation due to the sheer ratio of customers compared to B2C. Hence, the rationale behind robust personalization in a B2B demand generation framework.
What is AI-Assisted Demand Generation?
AI works in marketing through either machine learning or task-oriented applications. Machine learning is a branch of AI and computer science that uses data-based algorithms to imitate the way humans learn. It can be unsupervised without human intervention or semi-supervised with some human control, which can be good when using new systems. Task-oriented applications are driven by completing tasks and are sometimes called work-flow-driven or task-focused apps. Both work in four main ways: –
Machine Learning Stand-Alone Applications
Stand-alone machine learning apps are usually complex systems that can be used to develop other applications or stand on their own as massive global data processing systems or libraries like Android, Apple, and Amazon. Because it’s driven by machine learning, most of these apps require little to no human intervention apart from system maintenance checks. All new updates and adjustments are directed by the algorithms based on what they have learned.
Integrated Machine Learning Applications
Integrated applications form part of a broader framework or server, and it involves many of the applications we use in marketing today. From the predictive analysis in Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems to Programmatic Marketing. Any application that can be integrated into another method to enhance the processes while growing with the user’s needs is an integrated machine learning app.
Stand Alone Task-Oriented Applications
Messenger and chat apps usually come to mind when discussing stand-alone, task-based apps. Like stand-alone machine learning apps and stand-alone task-oriented apps can be connected to other applications to accelerate processes and improve flow. Stand-alone task-based apps require human intervention in order to fulfill their obligations.
Integrated Task-Oriented Applications
Most marketing automation is integrated with task-based applications. Any application that allows the user to direct how it interacts and functions with other applications is an integrated task-oriented application. User experience designers can create entire websites, hardware, or software systems based on integrated task-oriented applications.
Now that you can see how prevalent AI already is in our everyday lives, and you can see how easily it can be integrated into B2B demand generation. AI-assisted demand allows for the use of AI-directed systems and processes to be integrated into your demand generation campaigns. With all the AI tools available, it is not a question of if you can implement AI-assisted demand into B2B demand generation, but more of a question of what you can do with AI-assisted demand.
Functions of AI-Assisted Demand Generation – Tools for B2B Demand Generation
The limitation of artificial intelligence is slowly becoming marginalized, and it’s not surprising that 83% of businesses are making it a top priority to adopt AI into their plans for future growth. Given that the industry itself is rapidly growing and expanding not getting on the AI train can have costly and lasting repercussions in the future. However, that doesn’t mean using every and any AI-directed demand generation tool in your B2B demand generation strategies. There are a few processes your AI-assisted demand generation tools need to accomplish to work well for B2B demand generation:
Data Collection, Analysis and Management
Various AI currently, the market performs these functions either individually or together. Google Analytics is the popular choice of many marketers as it conducts data analysis and collection and can manage data on your request. Data cleaning, segmentation, and data enhancement are other functions AI can perform. Regardless of B2C or B2B demand generation, data is always a staple of all demand generation efforts.
Next to data, content is the second pillar of any demand generation strategy. Any app that makes content creation, access, optimization, and management easier works in favor of B2B demand generation. SEMRush is just one of many apps that assists in content creation and optimization. The best apps cater to dynamic interactive content while measuring performance across various platforms.
You should acquire services if you want to quickly sift through all the middlemen in your B2B demand generation efforts. One popular tool used by B2B marketers for targeting is Facebook’s Look-A-Like Audience tool requires you to know your audience already and have source data to match. This is not feasible for new marketers or those with faulty targeting and data sources. Therefore, it is better for growth than demand generation.
Almost every CRM platform is an integrated machine learning app that assists in automating tasks and is a digital marketer’s dream for demand generation campaigns or funnel management. Some even allow for Account-Based Marketing (ABM) and management of specific clients, which is greatly needed in B2B demand generation marketing. As many apps perform similar functions, adaptability, speed, and actionable insights should be your go-to when choosing apps.
Dependable communication channels with chatbots, messengers, and mobile and email campaigns should be the goal of your demand generation strategy. Customer experience extends to your website functions, marketing automation, social media applications, and demand generation funnel or pipeline. These AI ensure that you can engage with your customer at any time of their customer journey. It may seem like AI covers almost all demand generation efforts, but it may be decades yet before AI can run an entire demand generation marketing campaign on its own. Though AI has accomplished a lot so far, it still has a lot more to learn before it can replace a human brain. Therefore, as we appreciate what AI-assisted demand can do, we have to be realistic about its pros and cons.
Pros/Cons of AI-Assisted Demand in B2B Demand Generation
As with most things, there is the good and the bad. AI-assisted demand is no different. Though you will see that a lot of the bad doesn’t stem from AI alone. For years the growth of AI-assisted demand was held back in B2B by false narratives of machine stealing jobs, threats to data privacy, and losing personalization. Though all of that has been proven wrong, there are real downsides to AI-assisted demand in B2B demand generation marketing.
Cons of AI-Assisted Demand
Ironically, data has been one of the many drawbacks in B2B demand gen. As opposed to B2C, which has databases of sources. B2B databases aren’t that plentiful or accessible to everyone, and for many applications to function competently, they need an input of accurate business data. This setback can lead to personalization, targeting, content and conversion issues.
Another con of AI-assisted demand does not understand the level of human involvement. Some apps work best without human participation, and others need personal fine-tuning to match your business needs. Therefore, you and your team need to fully grasp what type of AI the system is based on. Not knowing this simple detail can cost you unlimited person-hours on wasted demand generation efforts.
Pros of AI-Assisted Demand
One good thing about AI-assisted demand is that the pros outweigh the cons. One of the top benefits is the strides it makes in refining the customer experience. Content optimization is excellent, and faster data analysis is terrific, but it all leads to creating a better experience for the customer. And in B2B, demand generation extends to faster movement down the pipeline and a shorter courting period. Nothing does that better than programmatic marketing when it comes to pinpoint targeting and the awareness factor of demand generation.
Programmatic marketing can work across all connected devices online and off to find your target audience wherever they are. Programmatic marketing checks off many AI-assisted demand boxes for B2B demand generation campaigns, including pinpoint targeting, dynamic content, budget control and measurable results. Of course, the cons don’t include standard errors which can occur with bad coding, and not all pros are guaranteed for every marketing campaign or application. In the end, it’s about finding the suitable applications that work best with your business goals and clients. If you are not a tech whiz, using entirely self-sufficient applications or coming with managed services will be your best bet.
How Can AI-Assisted Demand Fit Into Your B2B Demand Generation Efforts?
Let’s start with data, FrescoData, to be precise. You move onto analytics which helps with strategizing your demand generation campaigns. Next, you’ll need creative SEO-optimized content for programmatic marketing campaigns or mobile-optimized emails. Or you can pair geofencing with your mobile campaigns and pinpoint targeting within your local area.
We can maximize your demand generation efforts by facilitating a smooth transition into lead generation to better score, capture, and manage leads. With the help of our integrated AI, we can help build pre-relationships, establish your brand and find your target audience across social media. All done with managed services. And, of course, being done with the help of AI!
By partnering with us, you get all the access to the relevant business data you need for your B2B demand generation campaign. Informative and creative content drives awareness and specialized apps targeting geofencing and programmatic display ads. Plus, we work with your team to plan your B2B demand generation framework.
Build loyalty and nurture leads with FrescoData. Work with our B2B demand generation team today!