Artificial Intelligence within marketing automation is an area in which many developments have taken place for a long time. The expectations are therefore high: What will it bring me as a marketer and as an organisation?
Another development is the emergence of (new) channels which can be used easily in B2B marketing. Think, for instance, of chatbots or SMS, but also forms of communication that we cannot yet fanthom. So what influence will these new forms of communication have on marketing automation?
Artificial Intelligence in marketing automation
The use of artificial intelligence (AI) in marketing technology has been around for a while. AI helps marketers to make better strategic choices, and work more efficiently by using the right insights in data. In marketing automation, AI is used in the form of machine learning.
Machine learning optimises predetermined objectives. An algorithm recognizes data patterns and learns from them. Machine learning enables you to:
- Automatically segment your database based on profile and behaviour. This allows you to show personalised content in emails, landing pages and web pages, therefore creating product recommendations based on the visitor’s profile.
- Optimise email subject lines. Machine learning can analyse thousands of used subject lines and identify why certain ones have a higher open rate. Thus with these insights, it can recommend subject lines that are most likely to achieve a better open rate.
- Send emails at the right time with the highest chance of the recipient opening the email;
- Predict with predictive analytics which prospects are most likely to convert or which customers are most likely to churn;
- Optimise nurture campaigns automatically, therefore shortening the purchase process.
Many of these actions are still done intuitively and manually. AI allows marketers to automate and optimise this directly.
Conversational Marketing: The rise of Chatbots
Live chat is already widely used. A good live chat function ensures that a company can be contacted easily for information, support or even to make purchases.
However, 300 live chats per day can be quite a challenge for any organisation. Can your sales or customer service team handle this? New generation conversational AI platforms, often referred to as chatbots, offer a solution.
These chatbots help website visitors with their questions. Think of the automatic answering of frequently asked questions. Does the customer have an additional question or the need to speak to an employee? Then the chatbot is able to switch to a live chat with the right person within the organisation.
Such chat functionality is not a standard part of most marketing automation platforms. But of course, you want to integrate it into your marketing automation stack.
Besides chat, there are many other marketing technologies you might want to integrate with your marketing automation tools. Think of advertising platforms, social media publishing software, reporting tools, etc. All part of your MarTech stack.
How complete is your Martech stack and is it helping your B2B Campaigns advance?
B2B Campaigns Maturity Model
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Ecosystem of MarTech Tools
If we look at the needs of the marketing department, they differ from organisation to organisation. For example, each market approach may dictate different tooling.
Some companies focus on the large corporate market, for which an account-based marketing strategy often works well. But here you focus the marketing activities on a small number of companies in your market with the aim of increasing engagement.
Other organisations focus on SMEs, where a demand generation strategy usually works better. Here, you try to get as many qualified leads into your funnel and convert them to a qualified opportunity.
Yet other organisations focus on the lower end of the market, in which an e-commerce-oriented approach can work well.
“Each strategy requires different functionalities. It is impossible for a marketing automation platform to meet all the needs of different organizations.“
Therefore, an ecosystem of different marketing tools needs to be created. An ecosystem that meets all the needs of your organisation. In which the different systems integrate with each other and can exchange data. With the advent of tools like Zapier and Microsoft Flow and HubSpot Operations Hub, integrating and exchanging data has become child’s play.
In addition, the well-known marketing automation solutions are continuously expanding the number of systems with which they can link as standard. The standard integration possibilities are therefore an important criterion in the selection of a marketing automation platform.
A list of MA platforms and integrations:
- Salesforce AppExchange
- Adobe Exchange
- Oracle Cloud Marketplace
- Act-On Apps & Integrations
- HubSpot App Marktplaats
- Shopify App Store
AI is not going to replace the marketer but it is going to help you to get the full potential out of B2B marketing. Hence, this will allow us to show the added value of marketing more and more within the organisation.
We still need to talk to our target group and we can still use our creativity in coming up with content and campaigns.
If we combine our skills with the possibilities offered by marketing automation and AI, our mission will therefore be successful. By making the ecosystem work for us, we can continue to surprise the customer, grow the business and build our brand.