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How to Create a Truly Buyer-Enabled Journey with AI
Blog Feature

By: Nick Edouard

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July 12th, 2019

How to Create a Truly Buyer-Enabled Journey with AI

Artificial intelligence is the new normal in B2C—and it should be the new normal in B2B, too.

Machine learning is used to shape industry-leading B2C brand experiences, like Netflix and Amazon recommendations or Spotify music suggestions.

But B2B buyers demand these same types of experiences—the ones that are highly customized and self-directed.

In fact, Forrester says the number of B2B buyers who prefer gathering information online on their own rose 13 percentage points from 2015 to 2018, now comprising a full 68% of buyers. These types of experience, as B2B brands already know, can only be delivered at scale using artificial intelligence and related technologies.

That’s because AI can analyze enormous sets of consumer data, then make predictions about how to hyper-personalize marketing messages and content based on that data. In a previous post, we talked about why AI matters to B2B marketing leaders.

But how do you actually apply it to create a truly buyer-enabled journey?

This post should give you some practical, profitable ideas.

1. Frictionless Content Experiences

Fundamentally, the promise of AI-powered B2B marketing is about frictionless buyer experiences. When friction enters the equation, self-directed buyers (i.e., the majority of them) drop out of your funnel and into someone else’s—someone who gives them the right content at the right time.

Removing friction requires B2B marketing experiences that deliver the next, most relevant content asset a consumer expects, in a completely customized way depending on where they are in the buyer journey.

AI is here to help. Based on engagement and intent data, machine learning powered tools can predict which content your consumers want next, with a high degree of accuracy. It’s the same idea as Netflix showing you the next great thing to watch, right when you’re ready.

2. Insights That Lead to Improvements

An AI-powered B2B buyer experience also gives you critical insights into how to further personalize the buyer journey. Every buyer visit generates data, and that data holds critical insight that, at scale, machine learning solutions can use to supercharge your marketing experiences.

As B2B buyers increasingly engage with more frictionless content, this data can shed light on which users are most engaged, which ones binge on content, and which ones are more casual content consumers.

This data then informs further content recommendations, which in turn generates more data. As a result, you create a virtuous flywheel that both answers critical questions about visitor interactions with your content and uses the answers to those questions to inform better experiences.

3. Attribution That Leads to Action

AI facilitates frictionless content experiences, then gives you the data necessary to improve those experiences further. But it also provides insights that help you close the loop.

An AI-powered B2B marketing system won’t just serve more relevant content. It will show you exactly which content assets lead to pipeline and revenue increases. This data helps your sales team determine each visitor’s sales readiness, so next time around you can identify and close sales-ready visitor even faster.

It’s all thanks to the data generated by personalization and AI’s ability to use that data, at scale, to turn personalization into real ROI.

There’s a reason brands like Netflix and Amazon seem to read your mind about what you want to see next.

It’s not magic, it’s the power of AI predictions at work.

To learn more about creating frictionless buyer experiences, see this profile on how PathFactory hyper-personalizes the B2B buyer journey using AI.

 

About Nick Edouard

Nick serves as the President and CPO at PathFactory, a content insight and activation platform that helps B2B marketers understand the role of content in the buyer's journey.

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