If there’s one thing marketers know about, it’s the endless data they have to work with. Data is a powerful tool that can empower marketers to get the very most out of their campaigns, but there are limits to what humans can do with data. Machines are much better than us at quickly collecting and analyzing data and utilizing it automatically to produce desired outcomes.

Artificial intelligence can make automated decisions based on collected data and data analysis. AI tools can use this data, and customer profiles, to discover how best to communicate with customers, tailor customized messages towards them, and send them at the right time, all without intervention from the marketing team.

In this article, we’re going to take a closer look at all the ways AI can take over that mundane, time-consuming busywork to free up your marketing team to tackle those jobs that require more creativity.

The role of machine learning in direct marketing
Data is an extraordinary tool that helps marketers better understand their customers’ behavior. Machine learning is a crucial for managing this substantial data.

Predictive analytics

Something which AI is much better at than humans is predictions. Predicting customer behavior is a crucial way to generate leads and make more sales. If you know exactly when to send out an email campaign to a customer when they’re right on the verge of buying, you increase the likelihood of them making a purchase from your organization.

But how can you read your customers’ minds like this? You can’t, but AI can give it a pretty good go.

Rather than reading minds, AI uses all the data collected from your customers and uses predictive analytics to figure out when people are likely to buy. Predictive analytics uses things like machine learning and datasets to predict future behavior. This helps marketers understand what kinds of products and services their customers are looking for and when, positioning you to implement campaigns more effectively and accurately.

The great thing about predictive analytics is that the AI will keep learning and improving. So you’ll be able to see exactly which campaigns had the best ROI, and you can continue to improve in the future while dropping any campaigns that don’t have the desired outcome.

Segmentation

Making sure you send the right messages to the right people is crucial in B2B marketing. You don’t want to waste time and resources on leads that won’t go anywhere, which is why segmenting your audiences is so important. But manual segmenting is a time-consuming, tedious process, so AI can take over this task for you.

AI algorithms can sift through all your data and automatically segment your customers based on chosen criteria. What makes the process even more impressive is that it can segment customers in ways you never considered. While manually, you might split people by gender, age, location, etc. AI can look at more specific metrics like consumer behavior, allowing you to prioritize leads that your AI has determined are more likely to make a purchase.

Marketers have seen a 760% increase in revenue generated from segmented campaigns, so imagine the benefits to your own marketing campaigns if you have an AI doing the segmentation for you.

Improving your marketing analytics through machine learning
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Churn prediction

Churn prediction refers to finding out which of your customers are likely to cancel their services or leave for one of your competitors. It’s crucial to know because it’s five times more expensive to attain a new customer than retain one.

So how can AI help? Well, machines are much better at predicting than humans, as they can process and understand data so much quicker than we can, virtually instantaneously. So rather than having to process data from website visits, purchase history, and customer service interactions yourself, an AI can do it all for you in the blink of an eye.

Churn prediction models can identify those customers at risk of leaving, indicate the issues that are causing the problem, and recommend solutions to retain the customer. It can determine the behavior patterns of potential churners, segment these at-risk customers, and take action to try and win them back before they leave. Talk about taking away some of the grunt work!

Automated email marketing

One key area of B2B marketing where AI is making waves is in email marketing. There are so many ways algorithms can help with your email marketing efforts, from email timing calibration, product recommendations, personalization, and more. 88% of people are more likely to engage with an email if it looks like it was created for them, so ensuring you’re at the top of your email marketing game has never been more critical.

There’s a fine art to deciding how many emails to send out to subscribers. Too few and you risk losing them to competitors, but too many and you risk annoying them and losing them as customers. Rather than using guesswork, AI can actually decide on the correct amount for you using data to determine the optimal number and what time of day to send them. The algorithm uses your subscriber’s activity history and personal habits to calibrate the schedule for your email marketing. So you never need to waste time coming up with the perfect email schedule; your AI system can take over this process for you.

Aside from when to send emails, AI can also assist you with the kind of emails to send out. You can completely personalize your email marketing, and it’ll do this automatically and far more accurately than any marketers could analyze data themselves. Apart from simple things like addressing your customers by name, AI can also send them specific product recommendations, discounts, and freebies based on their activity history, industry, and business requirements.

Improving your B2B email marketing with AI
For any stellar marketing campaign to be successful, email marketing is vital. From automation to personalization, capturing data and email timing calibration, AI could transform your email marketing.

Chatbots

Excellent customer service is a crucial way to keep hold of customers and making sure they don’t stray to your competitors. But it’s easy to let this slip through the cracks with everything else you have going on. Customer emails and social posts go unanswered or left too long and people are quick to grow impatient and take their business elsewhere. Fortunately, chatbots are on hand to help.

Chatbots can be set up to understand, analyze, compile, and respond to customer queries. Not only can they help your customers find answers to questions, but they are a marketing tool that can push products and services to people inputting the right keywords. All of this is an automatic process, no need for a human to be sat typing out responses in real-time.

In a study about chatbots, 68% of respondents said that they liked that chatbots could respond to them quickly, and it’s expected that 80% of businesses will have a chatbot function by the end of this year. The great thing is that they learn and improve over time; they’re always getting better. So a chatbot could be a key component of your marketing strategy, and sits at the center of the increasingly popular system of conversational marketing.

Content curation

You may not want AI taking over all of your content marketing, however, it can curate your content for you.

The more personalized your website and email marketing to your customers and potential customers, the more likely they will purchase. With that in mind, it’s essential to tailor your content to your visitors to show them the most relevant products and services. AI can personalize which content is displayed to a user, based on what they might find interesting, and it can do it pretty accurately.

For example, if someone was re-visiting your blog page, your website could show the most relevant blogs to that user based on topics they’ve already looked at on your blog. As a result, they’d be much more likely to stick around and read more blogs.

The AI algorithm uses the vast amount of data it has on your customer base to automatically decide the best iteration of your website to display to get the highest ROI. It can do the same thing with email marketing, generating email subject lines designed to get the most engagement from the specific recipients.

Forget cut-and-paste content; with AI, you can tailor everything to your customers, making them feel like you really understand their needs - and crucially, giving them more of a reason to make a purchase and remain your customer.

Perzonalize your B2B marketing with AI
In this article, we’re going to take a look at the different applications for AI in providing a personalized experience to your customers and why they would be beneficial to your relationship.

Final thoughts

In days gone by, marketers had a lot of mundane, mind-numbing busywork to get on with, but now AI can take the lion’s share of this work, freeing you to get on with the important stuff that needs the human touch.

More and more marketers are embracing AI in their digital marketing strategy, using it to provide stellar customer service, relevant recommendations, and enhancing the overall user experience. For any business, shifting some of the donkey work of marketing onto machines can only offer valuable insights and help your marketing team make the very best, informed decisions.

Want to learn more about how B2B marketers are using AI in their marketing strategies? Join the B2B Marketing Alliance Community!