PYMNTS MonitorEdge May 2024

AI’s Impact on B2B Marketing Spotlights Value of Workflow Automation

Today’s increasingly digitized business-to-business (B2B) tech stack has transformed the way companies do business. At the same time, it is also transforming the way companies get business.

That’s because, with the news last week (June 27) that accounts payable (AP) management firm Medius has introduced a pair of artificial intelligence (AI)-powered offerings, B2B firms are beginning to explore where else AI can be applied across their operations.

And companies across sectors are finding that — from lead generation and automated sales, to personalized outreach and forecasting — AI can create more effective and efficient outbound strategies, driving higher conversion rates and better customer relationships while saving on resource and labor costs.

AI offers powerful tools for analyzing data, predicting trends and automating tasks, streamlining operations and providing deeper insights into customer behavior and preferences. This allows for the development of more sophisticated and personalized marketing strategies.

Within the confines of an uncertain macro backdrop, staying ahead of the competition for B2B businesses requires embracing technology, and with a generational shift in B2B with younger buyers and Generation Z decision-makers, providing the frictionless and personalized digital experiences they’ve come to expect is crucial.

But that doesn’t mean that an automated B2B marketing program will be as easy as 1, 2, 3.

Read more: AI’s Essential Use Cases Across B2B Operations

AI Transforms Outbound Strategies

To capture the benefits of AI, businesses must integrate AI seamlessly into their existing processes. This includes determining what the company wants to achieve with its AI-driven marketing, whether it’s improving lead generation, increasing conversion rates, enhancing customer personalization, or optimizing campaign performance.

Recent PYMNTS Intelligence in the June report “SMBs Race to Critical Mass on AI Usage” found that 96% of small to medium-sized businesses (SMBs) that have tried AI tools see it as an effective method to streamline tasks.

As Andre Machicao, senior vice president at Visa Acceptance Solutions, and Josh Scheer, president and owner of White Lotus Travel Design, explained to PYMNTS in a discussion posted June 28, SMBs can use AI to create marketing plans and product descriptions in minutes without a big marketing team to do it.

And by using automated AI solutions, B2B firms are able to personalize outreach efforts at scale. AI technology is able to optimize the content of the emails and manage the timing and frequency of outreach, maximizing the potential for successful connections.

Read moreThe Power of Precision: Driving Revenue From B2B Customer Data

Automation is another area where AI is making an impact, streamlining various sales processes and freeing up valuable time for sales teams. AI tools can uncover trends, patterns and correlations within massive datasets that might be missed by human analysts.

Plus, while traditionally lead generation is labor intensive, reliant on manual research and broad outreach, AI is revolutionizing this domain by leveraging advanced algorithms to analyze vast amounts of data and identify potential leads with a high probability of conversion.

These insights enable companies to refine their targeting and messaging strategies, ensuring that their outreach efforts are based on solid data rather than intuition.

“The moment you slice the world through the lens of historical transactional behavior, you can then leverage a predictive GenAI framework and say something about the likelihood of those future transactions,” Pecan CEO and Co-Founder Zohar Bronfman told PYMNTS. “It’s evolutionary in terms of how businesses can operate.” 

Still, it is crucial for firms to ensure that the AI tools they select can scale with their business and integrate seamlessly with existing customer relationship management platforms, marketing automation platforms, and data management systems.

“AI has the potential to really move the needle for so much of the industry in terms of … the ability to be more proactive with their buyers or suppliers,” Nick Izquierdo, executive vice president of payments at Billtrust, told PYMNTS.  “And alongside that, the productivity AI brings is really driving more success satisfaction out of both sides of the equation.”

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