Eight out of ten B2B marketing executives predict artificial intelligence (AI) will revolutionize marketing by 2020, according to a December report by Demandbase -- but is it the key to unlocking a future without email spam?
Demandbase, an account-based marketing (ABM) platform, partnered with Wakefield Research to poll 500 B2B marketers from the manager level to c-level executives, at companies with at least 250 employees, about AI-driven marketing. The results of the study suggest that marketers are eager to embrace artificial intelligence, yet only 10% of respondents are currently using AI and only 26% of marketers are confident that they understand how artificial intelligence can be applied to marketing.
Education and integration concerns are the largest hurdles obstructing marketers with regard to artificial intelligence. Integrating AI into an existing marketing stack was the top-ranking challenge expressed by marketers when they considered incorporating AI into their marketing campaigns, with 60% of marketers selecting it as their top concern. Training employees followed in second place with 54% of respondents, while 46% of marketers said that interpreting the results of AI could be difficult.
One integral component of integrating artificial intelligence into a marketing technology stack is data quality. Darian Shirazi, CEO and co-founder at Radius, calls data quality “foundational” and a “prerequisite” to delivering AI predictions.
“Many companies have not addressed how they will ensure that the data their AI models are built on is high quality,” says Shirazi. “Data quality is key to pulling accurate insights and actions and in 2017, we will see more companies focus on solving the challenge of maintaining accurate, valuable data, so that AI technology lives up to its promise of driving change and improvement for businesses.”
Although many marketers are still unsure how to incorporate AI into their marketing programs, that concern has not dimmed their hopes for the benefits that AI could bring. The top three benefits listed by B2B marketing executives in Demandbase’s study included garnering better insights into accounts, more detailed analysis of campaigns and expediting daily tasks.
Aman Naimat, SVP of technology at Demandbase, says the value of artificial intelligence in marketing lies in delivering more personalized conversations to customers and prospects by understanding their pain points, goals and ambitions.
“This type of personalized communication eliminates the worthless spam that often plagues marketing today,” says Naimat, referring to email marketing fatigue.
“Each of a company’s 10 million Web site visitors can expect to have a unique conversation with a brand based on their specific needs,” says Naimat. “From dynamic ad copy, to 1-to-1 emails and customized Web site experiences, AI will make hyper-personalization at scale possible.”
Chris Golec, founder and CEO at Demandbase, also expressed how artificial intelligence could eliminate spam mail by “automatically scanning out the ‘bad’ leads and creating custom, personalized communication instead.”