B2B Wins #18: Make AI do your data laundry
Clean you data. Make better decisions
There’s a lot of talk about data these days. For B2B marketers, heck, marketers of all stripes, most of that revolves around the use of third-party data. But there’s a different topic that’s been important since people first uttered the words “data warehouse”. (You do remember data warehouses, right?)
The topic is data quality. This is a classic garbage-in, garbage-out problem. And it’s one where AI is particularly helpful at cleaning things up. Once clean, AI also helps to put that data to work.
1. Data Accuracy Powered by AI
Accurate data is the foundation of successful marketing, and AI algorithms can help B2B marketers to achieve this goal. Accuracy is a complex topic so it’s helpful to break down what we mean by data accuracy.
There are five areas that contribute to more accurate data:
Data Cleaning: AI can automatically detect and correct errors, such as typos, duplicates, and incorrect information, in customer data.
Data Standardization: AI can standardize customer data, ensuring that all data is in the same format and structure. So information coming from various systems doesn’t cause problems in analytical or operational processes.
Data Validation: AI can validate customer data, ensuring that the information is complete, accurate, and relevant. For example, AI can check customer data against external sources, such as demographic information, to validate the accuracy of the data.
Data Integration: AI can integrate customer data from multiple sources, such as social media, email, and website interactions, into a single, comprehensive view. This helps to eliminate duplicates and provide a more complete picture of customer behavior and preferences.
Data Anomaly Detection: AI can detect anomalies in customer data, such as unusual spikes or drops in behavior, and alert B2B marketers to potential issues.
Many data platforms provide AI-powered cleaning technology that improves data accuracy. Talend, C3, AWS Glue, and many others will help get your data right.
2. Unlocking Segmentation with AI-Driven Analytics
AI technologies really shine when they help you discover information that’s hidden in the patterns of the data. Customer segmentation is exactly one of those areas where AI shines.
Here's how AI can help with customer segmentation:
Customer Profiling: AI can analyze customer data, such as demographic information, purchase history, and online behavior, to create detailed customer profiles. These profiles can be used to segment customers based on common characteristics, such as age, income, location, and more.
Predictive Analytics: AI can use predictive analytics to analyze customer data and identify future trends and patterns. This can help marketers to segment customers based on their likelihood to engage with the brand or make a purchase, allowing for more targeted and personalized marketing efforts.
Behavioral Segmentation: AI can analyze customer behavior and interactions with a brand, such as website visits, email engagement, and social media activity, to segment customers based on their behavior.
Natural Language Processing (NLP): Often we miss the important information in what customers literally say to us. AI-powered NLP algorithms can analyze customer feedback, such as survey responses and social media comments, to understand customer opinions and preferences. Opinions and preferences can allow for more targeted and personalized marketing efforts.
The good news is that many of the marketing platforms that exist today, Salesforce, Marketo, Hubspot, etc. have AI built in to assist with segmentation. B2B marketers can create targeted and personalized messaging and content, increasing the chances of conversion.
3. Relevant Messages Drive Personalization
Did somebody say personalization?
Now that you have clean data that’s been properly segmented you can put that data to work.
If you’re a B2C marketer and you don’t personalize customer experiences you haven’t paid the price of admission in today’s market. This is increasingly becoming true for B2B as well. Accenture published a piece of work a few years ago that said 73% of B2B buyers wanted B2C-like personalization. That number is certainly higher today.
B2B personalized experiences should deliver relevant content that is useful, engaging, and timely (more on this in a moment).
Content relevance should take advantage of all that has come before. Your understanding of the needs, preferences, and interests that are hidden within your data can be revealed and put to use.
You will build trust and credibility for your solutions if you’re able to provide the customers with valuable information and insights that solve a specific business problem or help them achieve a specific goal. This is where the data really shines. When you know what they’re looking at you’ll get some insight into what they’re looking for.
AI can determine the best time and channel to engage with customers, improving customer engagement and increasing the chances of conversion.
4. More Efficient Processes
While marketing effectiveness is certainly important, efficiency has its place, especially in a world where budgets feel tighter.
There are so many manual processes in marketing that automation is a natural place for technology to help. Technical solutions are nothing new in the efficiency space. What is different is how those technologies work.
In the past, those technologies were ruled by rules. Humans had to figure out how each data element was going to be used to score a lead, nurture it along, and ultimately, lead it to conversion. Rules are a pain. Not only do they have to be created but they have to be maintained.
AI-powered systems can score leads based on criteria that are discerned from the data and automatically nurture them with personalized content, reducing the need for manual intervention and rule-making. This can help B2B marketers to focus on other strategic tasks, such as developing new marketing strategies and refining existing ones.
5. Get Real…Time
AI can provide real-time insights and analysis, enabling B2B marketers to quickly respond to changes in customer behavior and adjust their marketing strategies accordingly.
AI can monitor customer interactions with a company's website, email, and social media, providing real-time insights into how customers are engaging with the brand. This can help B2B marketers quickly identify and address areas of improvement, leading to better marketing results and increased customer engagement.
None of this can be achieved, however, unless the data we began with is of high quality. Start there. If you haven't already, now is the time to start exploring the potential of AI technologies for your B2B marketing initiatives. The good news is that plenty of tools have embraced machine learning, natural language processing, and other “AI” technologies to make your entry into the world of AI easier.