B2B marketers are constantly looking for new ways to drive revenue. One approach that has gained significant attention in recent years is account-based marketing (ABM).
Unlike traditional marketing strategies that target a broad audience usually with generic messaging, account-based marketing requires focus on specific accounts, delivering personalized and highly targeted messages to decision-makers. Because of this, account-based marketing is based on information regarding buyer behavior, predictions of intent, and how engagement can be enhanced. This has led to AI-powered technologies becoming a crucial component of successful account-based marketing campaigns.
Understanding AI in B2B Account-Based Marketing
AI is becoming an increasingly important tool for B2B marketers. The involvement of AI means data is processed with greater speed and accuracy, resulting in insights to create more effective campaigns. In account-based marketing, AI can help marketers identify the accounts most likely to convert. With this information, sales reps can reach out at the right time with personalized content and messaging that speaks directly to the customer. This makes the selling process more effective.
AI-powered ABM is advantageous to businesses because it can analyze where accounts are in their buying journey. By analyzing online data from various sources like content downloads, social media activity, and website visits, AI platforms can forecast the intent and interests of prospective buyers. Marketers are thus aware of accounts most likely to be in-market and deliver highly targeted content and messaging that resonates with their specific needs and pain points.
AI also helps marketers plan and execute more targeted account-based marketing campaigns. By automating the process of delivering personalized content and messaging across multiple channels, AI platforms ensure each account receives the right message at the right time. This leads to more effective customer engagement and higher conversion rates. Over 40% of marketers see AI in email marketing as a revenue generator.
Challenges of AI in B2B Account-Based Marketing
The benefits AI-powered ABM offers also come with several challenges. One of the biggest is the need for high-quality data. AI platforms rely on large amounts of data to generate insights and predictions, so marketers must have access to accurate, up-to-date data from a variety of sources. This requires effective data management and integration, which can be a complex process.
Another challenge is the need for skilled data scientists and marketers who can effectively leverage AI-powered ABM platforms. While it’s true that these platforms are designed to be user-friendly, they still need a level of technical expertise to be used effectively. The whole exercise is pointless if marketers can’t interpret results generated by AI platforms. And more importantly, use them to orchestrate effective campaigns.
The ethics of AI-Powered Account-Based Marketing
While the use of AI in B2B account-based marketing has the potential to greatly improve outcomes for businesses, it also raises important ethical concerns. One such concern is the issue of data privacy.
As AI platforms collect vast amounts of data on businesses (and individuals), there’s always a risk of misusing or mishandling data. AI statistics show that more than 50% of consumers aren’t confident of AI safeguarding their private information. More and more, marketers must take steps to ensure that they’re complying with relevant laws and regulations. To build trust and credibility, it’s also important that they’re transparent about how they collect and plan to use data.
Another ethical concern in the use of AI-powered tools in ABM is the potential for bias. Machine learning algorithms are only as unbiased as the data they’re trained on. If this data is biased, to begin with, it can lead to discriminatory outcomes and skewed insights. Marketers must remain aware of this and ensure that they’re not perpetuating or amplifying biases through the use of their AI-powered ABM platforms.
The future of AI-powered Account-Based Marketing
AI will continue to play a major role in B2B account-based marketing.
One area where AI is likely to have a significant impact is the area of predictive analysis. Through data analysis on target accounts, AI algorithms will be able to identify prospects most likely to convert and suggest what actions marketers can take to move them closer to a purchase decision. Businesses can therefore focus their resources on the most promising opportunities, increasing their chances of success.
AI will continue to develop in conversational marketing. Today, more than 50% of telecom companies employ chatbots. AI chatbots will become more advanced. They’ll be able to engage with prospects more naturally and intuitively, providing personalized recommendations and support. This will allow businesses to provide faster and better customer experience, also improving their chances of converting prospects to customers.
There is no doubt. AI has the potential to transform B2B account-based marketing and give businesses an increased chance at success. However, marketers need to remember that AI is not the cure-all remedy. It’s a business tool and must be used efficiently, responsibly, and ethically.
By ensuring high-quality input, carefully analyzing the output, being transparent about their data collection and user practices, and taking steps to avoid bias and discrimination, businesses can get the best out of AI in account-based marketing.
Is AI a game-changer, or just another tool for your kit? Join the conversation with a global network of marketing leaders on the CMO Alliance Community Slack channel.