If you have spent any time on social media lately - or the internet, for that matter - you’ve probably heard about a little invention called ChatGPT. Late last year, OpenAI launched the tool to the public, and the response has ranged from boundless enthusiasm to complete doom and gloom. Some have jumped right into it, while others are more hesitant.

But of course, the big question on everyone’s lips is how AI will impact businesses.

At Brand chemistry, we’re not the type to resist change. So we dove deeper into the world of AI for b2b marketing and what it can offer marketers. We wanted to find out:

  • The current state of AI for b2b marketing and where it is headed
  • How AI can be used to scale marketing without compromising on ethics

Here’s where we landed with our findings.

What does using AI for b2b marketing mean?

Before we get into the nitty-gritty, it’s essential to understand what using AI for marketing actually means. According to Mike Kaput and Paul Roetzer, “AI is the umbrella term for the algorithms, technologies and techniques that make machines smart and give marketers [or people in general] superhuman capabilities.“ 

AI is a tool to help us work faster and better, not to replace our expertise or take over marketing altogether. But enabling how exactly and to what extent?

Assess the power of AI

To truly understand the value of a specific AI tool, it’s vital to assess its capabilities and understand where it sits on the marketer-to-machine (M2M) scale. This framework, created by the experts at the Marketing Artificial Intelligence Institute, can help assess the power of the tool based on five levels:

🤖 Level 0: All Marketer - This is the traditional way of marketing, with all aspects done by humans.

🤖 Level 1: Mostly Marketer - The tool has limited automation and is dependent on humans.

🤖 Level 2: Half and Half - The tool can manage most aspects but requires input and oversight.

🤖 Level 3: Mostly Machine - The tool can operate without input or oversight in select conditions.

🤖 Level 4: Full Autonomy - The tool defines the outcome, and the system does all the work.

To determine where a tool sits on this scale, it’s essential to ask questions about the following variables when you’re assessing vendors:

  • Information - What structured and unstructured data do humans provide to the tool to learn and predict success?
  • Oversight - How much training, monitoring, and intervention does the tool need?
  • Dependence - How reliant is the tool on the marketer to complete its objective?
  • Improvement - How does the tool learn and improve?

Leverage the power of AI for b2b marketing

While the M2M scale and relevant variables can help assess a tool’s technical capabilities, it’s also essential to determine the areas of your marketing where AI can deliver the most value. This will very much depend on your marketing strategy. 

There are three broad categories of AI application, each with many different use cases:

✍️  Language: Language AI tools can be used for content creation and repurposing, transcription, identifying and extracting data points, and social media monitoring. Some great examples are ChatGPT and HubSpot’s Content Assistant. 

👁️ Vision: More relevant to consumer marketing, vision AI tools can be used for recognising faces, images and emotions in photos and videos. Amazon Rekognition is a great example.

📈  Prediction: The most exciting application, prediction AI tools can be used for forecasting, pattern recognition, personalisation and recommendations. Commonly used tools include SAP Predictive Analytics and Salesforce.

Use cases of AI for b2b marketing

So you understand the benefits of using AI for marketing and how it can be leveraged to enhance your business. But how do you decide what to prioritise in your business? The easiest way is by understanding use cases.

AI in advertising

Digital advertising can also be costly and ineffective. A survey suggests that a whopping 71% of b2b marketers believe their digital advertising fails to meet expectations. It can also be challenging to guess what creative will perform best, and human-only testing is limited in scale and speed. 

That’s where AI can save the day by helping you:

  • Predict what type of creative will work best for a specific goal
  • Test and optimise thousands of variations at once
  • Decrease overall investment in advertising spend while improving results

One of the most common use cases of AI in marketing is advertising. If programmatic advertising is part of your marketing strategy, you already use reasonably sophisticated AI. 

AI in analytics 

As the amount of data available to marketers grows, so does the challenge of making sense of it. Fortunately, AI can help make sense of data in a way humans cannot.

Marketers are often overwhelmed by the sheer amount of data available, which often needs to be completed or updated. Finding insights can be time-consuming, and acting on those insights can be even more challenging.

By using AI in analytics, you can:

  • Use historical data to predict future outcomes
  • Find insights fast to improve performance
  • Adapt audience targeting based on their behaviour
  • Score and nurture leads based on actual data

Did you know that AI is already available in your current Google Analytics platform? Instead of navigating the platform, you can simply use the Insights feature to gather the data you need. However, this still requires a lot of oversight and interpretation as a marketer to be useful.

A new tool to keep an eye on is HubSpot’s new ChatSpot feature. Recently launched as a public alpha, you can use chat-based commands to accomplish almost everything you already do in HubSpot - even faster. This tool has great potential - so watch this space!

AI in content creation

AI is revolutionising the way marketers approach content creation. In the past, marketers have struggled to create engaging content at scale and track organic search performance at scale. Search engines have also increasingly demanded high-quality content that meets user intent.

By using AI in content creation, you can:

  • Create optimised content at scale that’s likely to engage your target audience
  • Analyse large amounts of data to determine keywords, optimise content and suggest improvements
  • Assist in developing your SEO strategy by identifying opportunities and monitoring performance

Are you using traditional SEO tools to guide your content strategy? You’re probably aware of how difficult and time-consuming it can be to manage and draw insights from. 

AI-powered SEO and content engines like MarketMuse can make this process easier, with features that can give you keyword recommendations and topic ideas. It can even tell you how well-optimised content is for a certain keyword!

AI in social media 

Concerns around the misuse of AI, particularly for creating fake news on social media, have only risen in recent years. However, it’s important to acknowledge that AI can be leveraged for responsible social media marketing in many positive ways.

By using AI in social media marketing, you can: 

  • Scale content repurposing and optimise it for different social media platforms
  • Reduce the cost and labour required for content production
  • Predict what type of content will work best on different platforms, ultimately improving engagement rates, traffic and conversions

A great AI-powered social media tool that can do this is Lately. Designed to help turn long-form content into short-form social media copy, it identifies the content most likely to receive engagement on your chosen social media channel, and helps you edit and schedule the post for optimal performance.

Ethics for using AI for b2b marketing

As the great sage Spider-Man once said, “With great power comes great responsibility.” While AI can be leveraged to drive some incredible outcomes for your business, it’s essential to consider how you will ethically use these tools.

Luckily, there are a few practical things you can do to set your business up for success:

✅ Engage with the technology regularly to educate yourself about the benefits, limitations and risks

✅ Identify your three highest-priority use cases and test tools

✅ Develop an AI code of conduct for your brand

✅ Invest in editorial style and brand guidelines that outline your rules about AI usage

✅ Review and amend your privacy policy (if necessary)

Leveraging AI for good

Since our dive into AI technology, our curiosity about the potential of this technology and how it can be leveraged for good has grown. Despite an underlying concern about the negative potential of AI for b2b marketing, we believe it’s essential for marketers and business leaders to get involved to ensure we steer the technology in an ethical direction. Ultimately, we must use AI to enhance our customer experiences and achieve our business objectives without compromising ethics.

Streamlining content production and enabling creatives to focus on more value-driven work are among the many drawcards of AI marketing tools. But along with all the buzz surrounding these technologies comes questions and concerns of ethics. Watch our on-demand webinar to learn how to effectively and ethically use AI in marketing. 

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Brand chemistry is a b2b marketing agency winning your customers' hearts and minds through inbound, brand, content, lead generation and digital strategy. Our marketing specialists achieve stellar results with the latest lead generation techniques.

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