Aman Naimat is the SVP of Technology at Demandbase where he and his team are developing Demandbase’s artificial intelligence platform for the next-generation of B2B marketing. He has a deep background in Artificial Intelligence and machine learning.
When most people think of Artificial Intelligence they think of flying cars and talking robots. But for those of us in B2B marketing, AI means something just as cool: the ability to talk to our customers, each one of our customers, on a personal, 1:1 level.
As humans, we’re all about building relationships through conversations. It’s how we understand, connect and relate to each other. So it seems only natural that marketers would want to have these types of conversations with their customers. Unfortunately, that’s often easier said than done. This is due, in large part, to the anonymity of the Internet.
These days, most people browse a company’s website anonymously, without divulging any information (that includes details like who they are, what their priorities are, what challenges they face and what their needs are) about themselves. Without this information, it’s hard to start those relevant conversations and build those relationships.
So most of the time, companies end up resorting to standard, generic messages. The problem is that no one wants to have generic conversations. Think about how intuitive it’s become to ignore spam or click past an irrelevant ad. Then think about how much more useful and efficient it would be if these generic conversations didn’t exist.
While a world without spam sounds too good to be true, the truth is, the foundation for that reality exists today and it’s made possible by two things: AI technology and access to public data sources like blogs and SEC filings. By coupling these two things, we have the ability to understand what every single person is searching, reading or writing about. We can take these massive amounts of public data and aggregate it at a business level and convert it into enough context to truly understand our buyers and start those personalized conversations, automatically.
The knowledge you get from AI technology is very similar to the knowledge most sales reps have when they research every single buyer in-depth. As a matter of fact, given the breadth of data available, it’s now possible for AI technologies to create conversations that are far more personalized than human beings. Though this idea might sound a little scary, it’s actually a good thing. Marketers no longer have to spend hours doing time-intensive, spreadsheet level work — from feeding sales teams specific leads and actions to performing manual segmentation. Instead, they can focus on more strategic activities, like campaign development and execution.
Technology is perpetually shifting the kinds of conversations we have. Ten years ago, the Internet and Marketing Automation technology completely re-hauled B2B marketing and moved us away from personalized conversations toward one-size fits all communication. The adoption and use of AI technologies will change that. The net result of AI technologies for B2B marketing will be hyper-personalized, context-rich conversations that help businesses understand, connect and relate to each other even more.
This article was originally published in Machine Learnings.