What Do We Want? Ubiquitous AI Driven Data Access! When Do We Want It? NOW!
By Chantal Reed, EMEA Growth Marketing Strategist
There seems to me that there are two big movements in B2B Marketing at the moment: ABM and AI. I want to talk about these as a follow on to my interview, within which I talked about personalisation and your use of data, as a marketeer, to find out the customer story.
Ok, let us stare straight at the elephant in the room between its tusks.
ABM is not new. It is not rocket science either. I worked on a solely ABM focused European regional marketing programme in the late 90’s – true, there was certainly no social around then, no mobiles either and, to be honest, hardly much of an internet – oh, for the curt ringing of dial-up…
But, there were different channels to market, different influencer points and a similar customer journey with less decision makers.
What is rocket science is AI and how to manipulate AI for the B2B Marketer within an ABM scenario, two movements combining to reach nirvana. (For this blog I want to talk just AI, I will pick up the ABM line next time.)
ENGAGE THE RIGHT CUSTOMER AT THE RIGHT TIME WITH THE RIGHT MESSAGE.
Let us pick this apart.
- The right customer: What account is showing intent to buy? What contacts are in the buying committee? Can we grade the buying committee members as to their influence?
- The right time: Where in their buying cycle is the account? When did the account buy similar solutions? What stack of solutions do they have now? Are they ready to change?
- The right message: What solutions would work better for them? What is happening in the customer’s industry that can point to the next opportunity? What is top of mind? Pain point consideration is always key but let us find something that no other competitor is talking about.
All of the above is AI’s stomping ground.
I would argue that AI’s strongest support right now for marketeers is through the data. I am not belittling the use of conversational AI in CX for example, this is a different AI proposition, which connects with personalisation, and I hope to talk about that in a future blog but first, you have to find the right customer for your product/solution.
This is where the data industry must be at the forefront of B2B Marketing. If you are a large business, you are more likely to have a contract with these types of companies, but if you are smaller, they are just too pricey and you may even have to rely on lists, your social media listening tools, sales engagement, etc. For you latter marketeers, it’s a drag… when you know the data you really need does exist to help you ‘Bullseye Market’, as I call it.
I mentioned in my interview that I feel that data houses are not very interested in the accuracy of European data, especially data outside of the big five countries. When I posted this on LinkedIn, the Head of Data at Dell Technologies liked my post, and I got favourable comments from research colleagues of mine that I have had the pleasure to work with at Microsoft. And if anyone knows a thing or two about utilising data for marketing purposes, these companies do. I have worked for both behemoths.
The data houses that sell data are holding us to ransom right now, and I suggest preventing some pretty cool innovations from reaching the right people.
SO, I HAVE A PREDICTION…
AI will change this...
It will commoditise the access to such incredibly powerful data – as the internet did for knowledge, creating an ubiquitous landscape of revenue generation opportunity. I think it will be a matter of a few years before a company will rise to provide a more affordable access and pricing model for B2B companies to the data they need, developed by AI scanning the vast internet, social media and conversational engagement hubs in milliseconds for specific signals. Not a 90k annual fee but something more bespoke and affordable – AND accurate.
This will revolutionise ‘start up’ success, in my opinion. Rarely can these guys afford data analysts and scientists, let alone the data houses. I see a new AI Data industry for Marketeers to own and drive better ROMI and revenue for sales.
In the meantime, the large players that have relationships with the data houses I suggest do need to lobby them to get more accurate regional data. In this way, marketeers and their innovations can break into new markets without so much detraction of shoddy contacts and information.
Perhaps, we need an EMEA AI Data Levelling Committee!
Chantal Reed, EMEA Growth Marketing Strategist