Predicting the future is never an easy task, especially when it comes to technology. But that hasn’t stopped industry experts weighing in on the impact of AI on the demand generation industry.
Some say AI will cause a fundamental shift in how B2B marketing is done (more than what it has already done), whilst others maintain that it will simply augment traditional methods. So, what’s the truth? And more importantly, what should you be doing to stay ahead of the curve?
AI and lead generation
Despite being in use for decades, AI has only recently been employed in B2B sales and marketing. Lead generation experts find it rewarding to automate repetitive tasks, generate high-quality leads and get AI-powered valuable insights into lead datasets. Variety of lead-generating software that you can find online uses AI to score leads and prioritise them according to their likelihood of converting.
In this way, AI helps salespeople focus on what they do best with access to strategic and valuable data. It will not replace them but work in tandem with their skill set for increased accuracy when making decisions that are crucial towards customer satisfaction.
AI gives sales accurate insights into business decisions, identify profitable investments from unprofitable ones, collect passive sales records, marketing strategies, and circumstances to improve customer relationship management.
AI-driven platforms and algorithms decode valuable data, in a time-efficient manner paving the way to boost the ROI of companies like never before.
Why is AI so important for B2B lead generation?
It goes without saying that today’s businesses are facing increasing demands to deliver superior CX; 84% of customers say that the experience you provide is just as important as the product or service itself. And AI is the best bet we have.
Human beings can’t supply the around the clock care that prospects need. AI-powered chatbots, voice support, email delivery systems help automate tasks. The biggest takeaway? You can grab every opportunity to make a deal or turn leads into customers even when your marketers’ hands are full.
Of course, we’re only scratching the surface here. Just wait to see how AI shapes marketing in the next one-two decades with limitless use cases in B2B where the technology can automate and reduce human effort.
That being said, it’s not a magic wand that will automatically solve all of your problems. If you want to get AI onboard, just refrain for the sake of it and focus on proven use cases where it’s absolutely useful.
1. AI in lead generation reduces the headache of scoring
Lead scoring is typically a tedious and drawn-out process. After a while, you reach information overload and pick the most critical factors. For example, you might just focus on link clicks or email opens instead of checking every little detail.
Enter AI. It can process volumes of data sets 24/7 without any sign of fatigue or loss of accuracy. What’s more, thanks to machine learning capabilities, AI only gets better at its work as it analyses more data.
AI-powered lead scoring tools often pick up on subtle details that otherwise get ignored by humans, such as scoring leads based on data-driven insights rather than marketers’ gut feelings. In this way, AI drastically reduces time spending, resulting in a more efficient lead scoring process, offering a more objective, reliable and accurate way of lead scoring.
2. AI in lead gen reduces your website bounce rate and increases engagement
What does your website bounce rate look like? If your website bounce rate is high, you’re not alone. Average rates vary by industry, but if you rely on social media, your bounce rate may be over 50%. This is where AI can help.
Marketers can personalise and contextualise their content for specific needs. Tools such as Natural Language Processing (NLP) and machine learning help users access information without any barriers.
AI can look into customer details such as purchase history and browsing behaviour. This not only gives marketers intuitive insights into customers’ needs, but also eliminates the need to get in touch with salespeople: customers buy when they’re ready, not when a marketer convinces them.
A low bounce rate matters. Only when people are interested in your content, products, and company, they’ll stick around longer on your website. The more time someone stays on your website, the more likely they are to convert into a lead and self-nurture.
3. Collect better information on leads
It’s no secret that one of the challenges facing B2B companies is figuring out how to make the best out of their data. In some cases, data from different sources is unavailable, or it is impossible to create a cross-section of information. It forces companies to choose what information to use and which data to ignore. AI helps solve this problem by taking in various types of data that can create a better understanding of your leads, visitors and customers. For example, a company could use AI to collect educational data from a business blog and combine it with information from LinkedIn.
Similarly, AI-driven automated email lists help you figure out how often a lead clicks on links, their mail-open rate and what they usually do in reaction. The more interesting or valuable the content is for them, the more chances they’ll move forward with it! If you have a new lead, the AI system can validate their contact information in seconds and assist with locating your Total Available Market (TAM).
It’s also important to analyse conversation history to find out more about your target audience. You can use markers such as region, occurrence frequency or word strings to figure out who chats with you and how often they do so!
AI is great for generating leads, but the focus should be on identifying and reducing customer churn. Focusing on an existing client’s needs will make a much more significant impact than acquiring a new lead.
4. AI creates a hyper-personalised experience for B2B lead generation
The future of business is personalised. B2B buyers expect a hyper-personalised experience everywhere they go online, and that includes your B2B lead generation website as well. On a single platform, you have access to rich and complete information about the individual customers, and you can provide them with what they require.
Here are a few ways you can use AI to improve your lead generation:
- Adaptive content hubs: The perfect way to organise your blog! If you’re tired of scrolling through pages and pages of blogs, this will be a breath-taking experience. You can choose any vertical or pain point for the algorithms to make it easy to give personalised suggestions based on what they know about you so far.
- Self-nurturing landing pages: The average buyer consumes at least 13 pieces of content from a single vendor before deciding. Landing pages are a great way to capture visitors’ contact information without overwhelming them with too much irrelevant content. By providing personalised, relevant information in exchange for an email address or survey responses, you can be sure that your audience won’t get bored before making their decision, and they’ll provide valuable customer insights as well!
- Exit-intent popups: Personalised content suggestions are great for remembering why people came to your website in the first place. If visitors know you’re going to be sending them emails or pushing notifications of new blog posts on their feeds, they’ll want that information right away!
5. AI keeps your data clean
Incorrect data is why 80% of organisations generate poor ROI, forcing them to forgo their personalization strategies by 2025. The rise of AI allows the opportunity to clean their data in a matter of minutes. Machine learning tools like KNIME can build automated processes that incorporate this technology, often with greater accuracy than possible otherwise.
Machine learning is a way to take large data sets and use them for your benefit. It can produce estimates or learn about new things based on how well they work with other collected information. As we discussed above, high-quality data is required for segmentation, scoring leads, and creating content. You’ll jeopardise all your marketing goals if your intel is incorrect, incomplete or out of date. AI eliminates any data that isn’t accurate from the start. It scans public sources like LinkedIn to verify a lead’s company, job role, and contact information when they initially enter your system. Bad data will never be a worry again with AI in place.
In summary, the key is getting this technology right; it’s all too easy to send the wrong message via channels like email or social media, which could miss opportunities at conversion rates if not carefully planned-out beforehand with an AI strategy in place!
The major impact on demand generation is on creating a hyper-personalised experience for visitors, keeping data clean, and adapting to the needs of buyers.
Implementing AI will help your business overcome incorrect data, providing you with insights that will improve your lead generation process in leaps and bounds.