Companies are using AI technology to get a better handle on who their customers are, before they even begin selling to them. Marketing professionals are tasked with providing customers with the information they want, when they want it.
As a result, marketers today are retaining their relationships with customers long after the hand-off to the sales team.
The impact of AI on the marketing world was the topic of discussion at a two-person panel hosted by Jon Arnold (Moderator), principal at J Arnold & Associates, in the Future of Work track at ITEXPO in Fort Lauderdale, FL, on Feb. 14.
The title of the talk was “AI and the Sales & Marketing Cycle.”
“The way buyers are buying has drastically changed,” says Angela Leavitt, chief executive officer at Mojo Marketing. “Most sellers are still stuck in the old ways.”
Her full-service marketing firm serves telecom IT companies and cloud services providers with end-to-end marketing services. Used to be, companies would buy a list of potential customers and hammer out the cold calls. Now, it’s all about your online presence.
“Eighty percent of the buying journey is done digitally,” she says. “They learn about you before they talk to you.”
“It’s called personalization,” says Jeff Dworkin, principal at Ghostpoint. Dworkin offers B2B marketing and support to technology companies. Today’s standard involves the production of multiple campaigns, all designed to see what works.
“People are bad at marketing,” Dworkin says. “What resonates with a company owner doesn’t always resonate with the buyer.”
AI helps track buyer behavior, so companies know what their buyers want before they send out marketing. When that marketing goes, it’s specifically tailored for consumption. The goal is to raise response rates, but if everyone is doing it you need to personalize your marketing just to stay afloat.
“The number one reason prospects disengage is because the content isn’t personalized,” Leavitt says.
To improve the customer experience, marketers remaining in contact with potential clients further into the sales funnel than before. “Marketing may hold the lead deeper into the process,” Dworkin says, “so you can hand the salesperson the best quality leads.”
“Even after they hand off to sales, marketing continues to engage,” Leavitt says. She says it’s imperative that marketers learn about the entire group of buyers, not just the person who made the initial inquiry. According to her, large buyers’ time is spent:
That’s where AI can help, getting to know your buyers, Dworkin says. “We need to do a better job of figuring out who they are, without asking,” he says.
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