Account-Based Marketing has been around for a little while now. But just as we’re getting used to what ABM means and what it can do for our businesses (website personalization, digital advertising, and sales enablement processes) we also have to adjust to its marriage with artificial intelligence (AI).
ABM has already turned the traditional way of building a targeted account list on its head. Traditionally, marketers build their lists using predictive vendors that combine look-a-like modeling and basic intent data, use their database to analyze current customer demographics, or by pursuing accounts that have already been identified by their marketing team in the past.
While these tasks are still effective, ABM offers a solution to refresh targeted account lists and fill them with new leads who have already shown interest.
By bringing AI technology to an ABM strategy, companies can immediately launch personalized ad campaigns designed to nurture a relationship earlier in the buying cycle. With the types of insight AI can provide, businesses aren’t limited to their existing lists but can begin delivering a content and messaging strategy to an audience who has already shown signs of matching their ideal customer profile.
Let’s take a closer look at some of the specific ways that AI is changing ABM.
Highly Targeted Marketing
We thought we were already using a highly targeted marketing approach, but because AI is becoming more intelligent, it’s taking things to a whole new level.
Greater personalization of marketing content is one of the best solutions AI within ABM has to offer. It allows companies to identify interest at scale and craft personalized messages to potentially millions of prospects. Consumers are already tired of information overload and spamming. AI eliminates that problem by providing more personalized messaging than ever before.
Big Changes in SEO
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is still important, but it’s not going to look the same for much longer. Google’s AI (RankBrain) is getting smarter too.
The way it sorts information is based on a new blend of algorithms. It can now categorize the most important answers to queries in search results. Soon, RankBrain will determine how to rank results based on both the meta title and the meta tag.
Because of these changes, companies will have to include better SEO tactics in the writing of their content and better personalization for their ABM targets. Long gone are the days when marketers could get by with just a few emails and ads.
Improved Sales and Marketing Alignment
The old school sales and marketing reputations are that the two have either never really seen eye to eye. AI is changing that for the better. Now, marketing will be able to identify targets by wearing a sales hat, rather than just thinking about The Market. The teams actually work together as a Smarketing team rather than competing teams.
Because of the unique dynamic ABM provides, the transfer of leads is now cyclical versus linear. If a lead doesn’t convert, sales can send it back to marketing for more nurturing or remarketing, and marketing creates content with sales opportunities in mind.
Better ABM Tools With AI
As with any new tools, companies sometimes force a square peg into a round hole to make something work until its value is truly understood. Now that ABM and the use of AI have proven their worth marketers will be in a better position to devote development resources to improving their ABM software. We can expect more quality ABM providers and additional tools to emerge from the market as well.
Analytics Continue to Improve
AI is the best at responding to unprecedented levels of data. Through the use of AI, brands can learn from their existing data to determine what tactics perform best, and run analysis to predict which will perform well in the future.
Companies will no longer have to rely on manual analysis and educated guesses, but can now accurately pinpoint what content produces the most engagement, and ultimately, converts. AI brings business intelligence tools within reach for sales and marketing teams, when that data would have otherwise been siloed in data analytics, IT, or the executive suite.
Communities Becoming the Influencers
Communities becoming influencers has been around for some time now. Large brands like Apple made use of this strategy years ago. What’s new is that more marketers recognize the power of communities and meet them where they are–a tactic that ABM teams know well.
Now, rather than telling consumers what they want, communities tell brands what they stand for and care about and businesses respond by listening and understanding those communities and then meeting their needs. ABM software will be instrumental in creating communities by finding like-minded people and bringing them together.
As with most things AI touches, it continues to get smarter with every new gigabyte of data. Its foray into ABM software will shake up sales and marketing for the better.
Not only will brands be in a better position to find their ideal customers, but they’ll be targeting buyers already looking for their product or service.