This week I visited Scottsdale Arizona for the first time. It is a beautiful place to visit in February because of the desert sun and B2BMX event - if you are a B2B Marketeer, that is.
And if you haven’t heard about B2BMX yet I encourage you to check it out as it's a place where all the best B2B minds meet every year and come up with truly inspirational ideas and solutions to our problems.
The thing that impressed me most is that the topics discussed were things we don’t talk about that much in Europe. Things like #ABM, Artificial Intelligence, Robots - are what people not only talk about at an inspirational level, but they are actually putting in place in their organisations, NOW.
In Europe we still talk about Marketing Automation as a novelty but here in the US it is a done deal. Something that is part of the stack for a while now and although it helps orchestrate marketing, it is not a solution to all your problems. Companies want more and need more from technology in order to get to where they want to be.
Probably up to one third of the buzz and sessions was around ABM. We do talk about ABM in Europe too but most companies are still considering it or thinking how to go about it and usually start with a pilot.
The general consensus here was that you just need to get started. ‘Build the plane’ while you are flying they said. The data and the content will never be perfect and if you’re waiting for the perfect time to start, you will probably never do it. There were great examples of brilliantly successful campaigns that are now in phase 3, 4 and still bringing in direct revenue to the company.
AI writes paragraphs of content in milliseconds. It also taps into creativity, writing video ads, compelling advertising that works.
In her keynote presentation Pam Didner talked about Artificial Intelligence and gave SO many examples of where AI is being used NOW. Let me name a few here but be sure to check out her book for more examples.
‘Home-grown’ AI that writes. Yes, it writes content. Content that we struggle so much with because of limited budget and time. We saw it in action for the Washington Post - where they have been using AI to write 850 articles, with half a million views. Also check this link to see how it works for ‘predictable' content. I.e. feed it some numbers and it will write a paragraph about it in milliseconds!
Another awesome example was AI that taps into Creativity. It creates video ads, compelling advertising that works.
Driftbot is an AI-based chatbot for your website. Rather than having your prospects fill out a contact form, Drift helps you qualify leads through a series of simple questions and conversational marketing. I helped a few EU based companies implement Drift and I can tell you it works wonders in terms of conversion and generating CQLs (conversation qualified leads)
Final example is Virtual Assistants. A lot of thoughts come to mind - is it Alexa? No, it is Rachel! Rachel from Conversica helps Sales qualify leads that are passed on from Marketing. For example all those emails that Sales need to follow up with after an event can be taken care of by Rachel. Rachel is polite, on brand and diligent. She will get those leads qualified and even book face-to-face meetings for your sales team, and she will even update your CRM with any out of office or change of phone numbers that sales ‘love’ doing.
Conversica estimates that 2.3 million new AI jobs will be created between 2020-2025. What?! Are you worried that Rachel will take your job? Don’t be! Once they try it, sales love it because Rachel is THEIR Assistant and helps THEM bring more value to the company and do more sales, in effectively less time.