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Today’s B2B sales customers have increasingly sophisticated, evolving expectations.
Instead of simply dealing with the company as a faceless entity, they want and respond best to targeted, personalized, tailored campaigns that reflect past interactions.
Brian Glover, senior director of product marketing and B2B strategy at Adobe, said: “Consumers expect to see the full context of who they are and how they were previously involved.” “The challenge for brands is to connect with customers on their own terms and create personalized experiences on a scale.”
B2B marketing and sales departments are increasingly embracing AI and machine learning (ML) capabilities to identify buying patterns and identify responses and engagement with specific campaigns and marketing channels. This hyper-personalization helps to target customers and predict their future buying patterns.
According to AIMultiple, 71% of B2B marketers are interested in using AI for personalization, 63% are interested in using AI to identify trends and 59% expect AI to help identify potential customers.
AI powered by Adobe Sensei
Adobe is looking to strengthen its presence in this area with many new and expanded products unveiled at its Adobe Summit – The Digital Experience conference this week. With driving personality in mind, these capabilities are powered by the company’s AI engine, Adobe Sensei, and embedded throughout its software-as-a-service (SaaS) platform, Adobe Experience Cloud.
“It comes down to, how do you get a better idea of who the customer is going to be?” Said Glover.
He quoted John Vanameker, a one-time US postmaster general, businessman and father of marketing, as saying: “Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; The trouble is I don’t know which half.
“The challenge today may be, ‘I know I should double my resources on accounts, but I don’t know which half,'” Glover said.
Adobe’s broad predictive lead and account scoring helps brands determine account context by identifying the people in their accounts and their behavior, he explained. This helps them understand the sales opportunity and the possibility of becoming a paid customer, thus leading to better ROI.
For example, models can look at leads and accounts that have become customers and their previous digital behavior – such as opening emails or filling out website forms – and cross-referencing it against other accounts. People with similar patterns of digital behavior are given higher scores. Depending on those matches, marketers can then shift their tactics from a broad-based campaign to a more targeted direct digital advertising, one-on-one reach, and small field events.
The tool could be used in the Adobe Real-Time Customer Data Platform (CDP) and will be available later this year with the company’s B2B marketing automation app Adobe Marketo Engage, Glover said.
Similarly, the new offering Adobe Marketo Measure provides visibility in marketing costs and campaign performance. With Adobe’s Real-Time CDP, marketers can then identify account leads and shift dollars to the most appropriate online and offline channels.
“You can get more ROI through interactions against some digital channels and live event or conference sponsorship,” Glover explained. “It helps solve the John Vanmaker proverb. I get more valuable insights that help me make better decisions.”
Engage with your customers – with the help of AI
Adobe also announced the release of Adobe Dynamic Chat, which allows marketers and potential customers to integrate and accelerate the purchase of AI-powered product recommendations and live search results for both B2B and B2C brands through its ecommerce software Adobe Commerce.
Glover noted that with multiple people buying teams and numerous touchpoints in digital and physical interactions, determining who is likely to respond to a given campaign has been historically challenging for marketers and will translate into purchases, Glover noted.
“Which people should I focus on, what are the leads in each account?” He said. “It helps marketers gain a more consistent, personalized experience in emerging channels.”
Glover said real-time customer behavior data based on their interactions and similar customer interactions helps establish “people-level profiles with context.” Creating a complete picture of how the campaign works across the entire customer journey translates into a broader connection as marketers can point out who is responding and what they can best follow based on history and preferences. Emails, mobile and web interactions, events and interactive chats can be synchronized and capitalized to make marketing more effective and create new opportunities and pipelines.
All told, Glover pointed out, the nature of the relationship between marketing and sales is evolving more deeply and in symbiosis – when compared to the past when one hand leads to the other.
“They link the main accounts at the same time,” he said. “The challenge is how they stay integrated; how does the left hand know what the right hand is doing? We’re moving from an age-based age of marketing to an AI-driven age of marketing.”
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