Marketing is about reaching people. But far too often, marketers spend their time performing repetitive, robotic tasks that could be better handled by software.
Artificial intelligence (AI) is poised to substantially change this. According to research from McKinsey, the marketing and sales sectors have the largest possible benefit from implementing AI-based solutions in the coming years, with up to $2.6 trillion in increased value.
Here are three ways modern marketers are using artificial intelligence (AI) tools to create more effective lead generation strategies and get them back to what they do best: Connecting with people.
How to Leverage AI for Lead Generation
Artificial intelligence makes marketers more efficient by shortening the time it takes to move from research to outreach. AI tools can be trained to spot patterns and draw conclusions that might otherwise need a human expert to spotlight.
1. Create Ideal Customer Profiles (ICPs) that match your biggest wins.
When your sales team wins a deal, the next logical move is to go after similar accounts. But replicating that ideal customer and tracking down best-fit, lookalike prospects can be a slog. AI software can dramatically speed up this process by analyzing closed-won (and closed-lost) opportunities and generating a profile that can be matched against your contact database for strong lookalikes.
For example, say your sales team just closed on a medium-sized business in the SaaS industry that has 50+ salespeople, uses Salesforce, and is located on the East Coast. AI can take these attributes (and others) to create a target list of lookalike accounts.
This process works for buying committee members, too. If most of your customer buying committees consist of marketing directors at enterprise-sized companies who use Marketo, AI can identify that trend and provide you with a dynamic list of prospects who fit the criteria of an ideal buyer.
To accomplish this, you need the right tech at your disposal. Tools like ZoomInfo’s RevOS platform, with its database of over 100 million company records, can automatically analyze your past deals, identify similarities between them, build your buyer persona, provide a list of lookalikes, and create a targeted account universe.
Automated demographic, firmographic, and technographic data all play a part in drawing your absolute best-fit accounts — which means you can spend time crafting a compelling message instead of conducting research.
2. Personalize your campaigns with up-to-date data.
Professionals who run account-based marketing campaigns know that one size definitely does not fit all. How can they cover all the angles of a large buying committee without spending too much time trying to qualify their prospective leads?
The answer is buying signals. With a modern, AI-driven marketing platform, marketers can be alerted when a target account has significant changes that might inform, alter, or elevate their ABM approach:
- A prospect gets a new round of investment: They're likely to be greenlighting budgets for new or upgraded tools, so tailor your ABM campaigns accordingly.
- A new executive is hired, or an internal champion gets promoted: Now's the time to strike with an ABM campaign that targets a new leader who is likely reassessing their team's contract.
- A target account visits your website: With real-time insight into the companies visiting your site and which pages they landed on, you can quickly send a targeted message while you're still top of mind.
There are dozens of different types of buying signals that can inspire personalization.
For example, Rocks & Gold sends real-time alerts of B2B companies in buying mode based on their history of hiring dynamics. This includes when a prospect, customer, or stale deal:
- Starts growing or decreasing in company size
- Makes leadership changes
- Announces a new fundraising round
This type of insight gives you a competitive advantage by helping you customize your message to speak directly to the circumstances that make them a good fit right now.
3. Use intent data that illuminates the last mile of prospect interest.
You know which accounts you’d like to target. You have the campaigns that will resonate with their buying committee. But timing is everything — are they ready to hear your value proposition right now?
Intent data answers that question. By using AI-driven systems that can match corporate IP addresses and user profiles to web data, marketers can be aware when a prospect is actively in the market.
How does it work? Say a prospect account visits your website and downloads your marketing content on a pretty predictable but relatively rare basis. As the second quarter is coming to a close, that company is suddenly filling out lots of forms and engaging with your how-to videos. An AI-powered intent data system connects those dots — and elevates the significance.
On top of that, it connects the dots outside of your website. Say your company sells project management software. Intent data can track which companies are searching for terms like “project management vendors” or “project management software free trial” and consuming content on external websites — including your competitors.
If a current customer is searching these terms, it could be an indication of future churn and you can get ahead of the problem. If it’s an ideal prospect, it indicates a level of interest in making a purchase and enables you to target them with relevant content.
There are many tools that track and monitor intent-based keywords in HubSpot’s partner ecosystem. Benefits include:
- Market clarity: Gain a clearer understanding of whom to target and how or when to engage with them
- Efficiency: Increase ROI by reducing wasted time and effort pursuing bad-fit prospects
- Impact: Quickly increase leads and ABM effectiveness
AI Marketing Tools & Software
There are hundreds of AI vendors, each with unique tools and technology to help make your marketing efforts easier, faster, and more successful. Here are a few we’d recommend:
1. Personalize your website experiences with Justuno
According to Forrester, 56% of marketers strongly agree that personalized content is key to ABM success. Justuno empowers marketers to convert more website traffic through personalized pop-ups and onsite messaging that is customized to speak to the unique visitor’s interests and priorities.
2. End-to-end content engagement with Paperflite
According to the Marketing AI Institute, the top use case for Marketing AI is analyzing existing online content for gaps and opportunities. That’s exactly what Paperflite does. Paperflite centralizes and curates all of your marketing and sales content into a single interface, and provides recommendations to surface the right content for the right opportunity.
3. Manage email replies for B2B sales and marketing with LeadGnome
As your company grows, manually managing email replies becomes daunting — at a certain point you need AI to scale your business. LeadGnome automates email reply management, which helps increase open and deliverability rates so you can engage customers faster.
Marketing is part art and part science. Using AI to eliminate the drudgery and cut down on the guesswork gives marketers the ability to bring their A-game to every campaign.
With AI-driven marketing tools, your next campaign can use the science of cutting-edge technology, while your reps tackle the part that only a seasoned marketer can supply: the art of connecting with people.