Artificial Intelligence for Technology Marketers – Part 3: How to Leverage AI for B2B Marketing

In the second post in our series “Artificial Intelligence for Technology Marketers,” we dove into AI’s specific marketing use cases, particularly as they relate to data. This third post covers how AI is being used in B2B marketing.

AI has already been fully integrated into consumer marketing applications, such as Facebook, Google, Netflix, and Amazon, and is quickly making inroads into B2B marketing. That’s because “AI-driven solutions can be a boon throughout the marketing and sales lifecycle, distilling huge swaths of data into actionable insights. AI’s power to predict consumer behavior and automate aspects of the buyer's journey is helping B2B marketers make smarter decisions and improve efficiencies like never before.”1 Indeed, AI has become so important to B2B marketing that “it has a significant impact on strategic marketing tasks including assessing total addressable market (TAM) analysis, selecting target accounts, enriching databases with key insights and informing demand generation strategies and tactics.”2

Those are just a few of the ways that AI is aiding B2B marketing. Let’s look at one of the more difficult tasks on marketers’ plates -- targeting and segmentation. We know that better targeting and segmentation can lead to more accurate and, therefore, more compelling personalization. And with so much data available, B2B marketers are turning to AI for help. According to the Fourth Annual State of Marketing report by Salesforce, “top B2B marketers are 2.9x more likely to extensively use data targeting and segmentation. While data targeting is a foundation, it’s not as far along the personalization spectrum as it could be. Top teams are looking to emerging technologies to move the needle. High-performing B2B marketers who use or plan to use AI are 1.7x more likely than underperformers to say it will have a transformational impact on customer segmentation/lookalike audience modeling.”3 The great news is that instead of wading through firmographics or manual data to create look-alike audiences, “AI will allow B2B marketers to tap into more data and understand the entire business network of a company from customers, partners, suppliers and more. This 360-degree view will allow marketers to better predict potential buyers, personalize campaigns and close more deals, further extending the value of marketing in the C-suite.”4

Having a single, comprehensive view of the customer is considered the Holy Grail and AI makes it possible. But how do you get started from a practical standpoint? Next up in our blog series is a post on the technical considerations of integrating AI into your marketing technology stack.

About the author

Kim Ann King is the author of “The Complete Guide to B2B Marketing: New Tools, Tactics, and Techniques to Succeed in the Digital Economy.” She has helped launch and build several pioneering Internet companies and writes frequently about artificial intelligence, marketing technology, e-commerce, and cybersecurity.

1. Meredith Brown, “Five Ways Artificial Intelligence Is Transforming B2B Marketing,” DemandGen Report, December 13, 2017.

2. Deborah Holstein, “How to Find the Right AI Platform for B2B Marketing and Sales Success,” Martechseries, Marketing Technology Insights, October 31, 2017.

3. Fourth Annual State of Marketing report, Salesforce Research, April 2017.

4. Peter Isaacson, “2017 predictions: Why artificial intelligence will blow account-based marketing out of the water,” Martech Today, December 1, 2016.

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