If Predictive Analytics and Machine Learning sound like a dystopian digital future, you might already be behind the curve – chances are you’re probably already using this technology without knowing it.
As Artificial Intelligence technology becomes more entwined in our everyday marketing tasks, B2B trend forecasters predict that AI will revolutionise marketing in the next couple of years. A recent commercial study reported that nearly 75% of B2B buyers prefer to buy products online when purchasing equipment and supplies for work, yet contrastingly just 25% of B2B companies actively sell online.
B2B marketing and sales departments that choose to recognise and adopt enhanced marketing intelligence are bound to see results very quickly. But in order to get started and to build a strong business case for this type of technology within your organisation, it is essential to understand how it can benefit your business now.
Behaviour shapes strategy
It’s an indisputable fact that 60% of business buyers online, will switch brands if a company doesn’t actively anticipate their needs. The ‘era of the customer’ is not just reserved for consumers, web-driven sales and services increase customer expectation and that goes for business users too.
Companies that can position their clients and prospects at the centre of their marketing and sales efforts are going to be rewarded more quickly. When it comes to sales teams, a defined process using technology can save hours, if not days spent on prospecting.
Who specifically, has engaged with an email, what did they react to, did the campaign triggers you set up work? When and what did they look at your website, how many times did they visit your site – and crucially what influenced their purchase decision? This is just one small example of machine learning and a combination of accurate data and insight can lead to practices which shape and determine your sales and marketing practices.
All about the Data
Brands can use behavioural analysis and machine learning to understand their customers’ buying needs and wants and in a cost-effective and efficient way. “We use data technology that is way ahead of most commercial partners knowledge, and normally we temper our insight of a clients’ data and marketing requirements, say’s Victoria Pooley, MD of TDP Marketing. “The ability to seek out prospective clients’ needs, whilst they are still in the ‘browsing stage’ of buying for us has been a real game-changer for how we market our services and allows us real competitive advantage”
Whether it’s as simple as selecting an audience-base for a social media advert or letting your email broadcast platform optimise the best time to send out your next monthly newsletter, you’re possibly already allowing software to suggest a course of action based on the data it already has. The more you allow your software to integrate with your client database; from segmentation to reverse IP lookup, to sector specific and targeted direct mail, all these help to shape customer buying. The volume of information available to brands continues to grow at an exponential rate and if used efficiently, this process is only bound to become further refined, but it’s pivotal the foundations are built on good data integrity and relevance.
Customer modeling and learning helps you understand your audience and buyer at a much deeper level, developing a message that will be relevant to them at the most convenient time. Ask your marketing team, when was the last time you looked at cleaning, refining and optimising your data?