For a long time, marketing communication has been unidimensional, i.e., it has always flowed from the brand or organization to the customers or prospects. And the effectiveness of the communication has been measured with sales, surveys or brand recall.
But today, in a typical B2B scenario, content consumption is clearly a two-way omnichannel customer experience. It means that the prospects and customers are consuming and reacting to content across a range of platforms, in different forms, at different points in time. So, it is less about the channels and more about being able to engage better and offer great customer experience.
Contextualizing Customer Experience
Creating a great customer experience is the ultimate goal for every marketer, and it goes without saying that customer experience is the ultimate differentiator from the competition. While one might argue that every customer is unique, in a B2B scenario, the broad “needs” can be classified into segments with the help of AI. You can classify them based on their propensity to buy, their current sales cycle, your product fit to their environment, account journey vs. buyer journey, etc. This helps you establish a rich context for each of the accounts (read customer organizations) targeted, based on which you can build relevant conversations.
For example, if you are selling a Sales Enablement software – using an AI platform such as Fiind, can help you understand the tech stack of your target accounts. It means, you know whether your product is a good fit for their environment or not, will there be seamless integration with their tech environment, etc. Another angle to it is to be to get sales intelligence. That is, let’s say the AI sensors pick up signals like “Your target company is experimenting a trial version of your competitor” – this tells you that there is a definite need for your product and your target account is in the active buying cycle.
It all boils down to how smartly can you augment the prospect experience based on the sales intelligence delivered to you.
Data Orchestration Is the Key
Now, that we see the importance of sales intelligence in building relevant conversations and better experiences, it becomes mandatory to make sure that we have the right intelligence. Bad quality data means marketing messages are sent to the wrong people, sales professionals waste their time trying to reach prospects who aren’t sales ready.
Also, it can lead to misclassified prospect segmentation and reach out tactics. So, we need to ensure the sanctity of data.
Data needs to be continuously enriched because data tends to decay at 30% year on year. Data decay means that the data that you have about your customer may no more be relevant.
For example, they might have moved organizations, changed job roles, the organization could have been rebranded due to a merger or acquisition, etc. Therefore, you not only need to have a continuous data enrichment program to continuously improve the relevance of your data but also orchestrate the flow of data across your business ecosystem.
In such scenarios, an AI platform such as Fiind can use its AI-driven sensors to constantly look for updates in data or events, thereby activating a bot that knows where to look across the web to get the maximum value. Then with its seamless integration into business applications such as CRM and marketing automation tools, the enriched data flows into your business apps without the need for manual updates.
To sum up, you need to know your customer preferences, priorities and interests in real-time to give them a great experience. With GDPR to take the center stage from May 2018, unsolicited calls or emails or campaigns is no more an option. Know your customer, ensure you and your customer share mutual trust, and build relationships. No one wants to be sold to. Brands are remembered for the experience and not the product or service.