The 9 Ways B2B Marketers Should Be Using AI

It's an exciting time to be a B2B marketer. Through the power of artificial intelligence (AI), we have the ability to create more engaging and meaningful customer experiences than we ever could before.

AI is fairly new technology, and has only been available to marketers in the last decade or so. The majority of B2B marketers still don’t use AI, but adoption is swiftly increasing. 30% of B2B marketers used AI in 2018, a 25% increase from the previous year.

Today, 69% of business buyers say they expect personalized customer experiences. What better way to deliver those than through the power of AI? Whether you’re yet to adopt AI or you’re a seasoned user, here are the 9 most important ways B2B marketers should be using the technology.

What is Artificial Intelligence?

Artificial intelligence is the concept of having machines “think like humans” — in other words, perform tasks like reasoning, planning, learning, and understanding language. While no one is expecting parity with human intelligence today or in the near future, AI still has a big impact on how we live our lives. The technology that makes AI possible is called machine learning, and there are many ways it can make our jobs easier and more productive. Now that we've covered the definition of AI, let's talk about how you can use it to power and grow your business.


Merging Online & Offline
Customer Data

Your customers have experiences with your brand online as well as offline. One of the most exciting things about AI is that it can bridge the gap between those experiences and give you a 360-degree view of each customer.

To gather online data, you can use AI-powered nurture campaigns, which send tailored emails based on what an individual may have accessed or downloaded on your website. When it comes to capturing offline data, you can use AI to measure intent data, which allows marketers to determine the implicit meaning of customer actions. Rather than counting clicks and downloads, intent shows whether a customer is actually ready to buy.

No matter whether your customers buy in-person or online, information about their purchasing actions can be valuable to your marketing. By merging your online and offline data with AI, you can gain a more complete understanding of your customers and how to reach them more effectively.

B2B marketers use AI to facilitate online experiences with offline customer data

B2B marketers use AI to facilitate offline experiences with online customer data

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Driving Next-Best Offers in Real Time

Next-best offers like product subscription renewals, upsells, and cross-sells are an essential part of the B2B sales process. However, sometimes it’s tough to know what the perfect offer for a given customer might be. AI can eliminate this mystery and make the next-best offer process significantly easier.

When a customer takes an action with your brand — online or offline — AI can instantly start computing strategies to deliver personalized content and offers that will drive that customer’s next interactions with your brand. This can include special pricing and promotional discounts for value-conscious buyers, or demos and free samples for usability-focused customers.

of B2B marketers use AI to drive smart next-best offers in real time

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Taking Customer Segmentation to the Next Level

Accurate segmentation is key to great B2B marketing. You don't want to send messages to the wrong audiences when the right audiences are sitting right under your nose. However, segmenting audiences manually can be tedious.

For years, marketers have spent time, effort, and brain power attempting to accurately segment their audiences. What if there was a better, data-driven way? AI can help!

AI studies all of your data and segments customers automatically based on the criteria you choose. In addition to segmenting your existing audiences, you can also use AI to help you score and prioritize leads for account-based marketing based on demographic data. Use this information to build accurate customer personas that you can tailor your marketing content to.

of B2B marketers use AI to improve customer segmentation

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Predictive Lead and Behavior Scoring

With AI, it’s easier than ever for B2B marketers to rank leads based on their likelihood of becoming customers. Predictive lead scoring technology automatically organizes leads according to persona, allowing you to prioritize the leads you want and choose who to focus your marketing on.

This predictive technology gives you full control and visibility of which fields influence lead scoring the most, and makes for a much quicker and more accurate score than traditional rules-based approaches. The same AI machine learning that powers lead scoring also powers behavior scoring, which tells B2B marketers when leads are ready to buy.

Predictive behavior scoring allows you to map your leads to the right accounts, and identify new prospects in those accounts. Deduplication rules can even automatically connect leads to accounts! AI can also generate lookalike accounts based on your best customers, and target them to reach new audiences at scale.

EVP of Private Wealth

Lead Status:

Commercial Banking

AI Lead Score:


Has Budget:

Product Interest:
Marketing Cloud
Account Engagement

AI Lead Score:

SVP of Lending

Open Opportunity:

Decision Maker:

AI Lead Score:


Engineering Powerful Programmatic Advertising

Similar to segmenting customers, AI can also help B2B marketers ‘segment’ channels and determine the most effective way to engage with business buyers. With this ability, AI is essentially revolutionizing media buying and programmatic advertising.

Machine learning analysis of customer data allows AI to evaluate your audience’s channel use habits and pinpoint exactly where you’re most likely to reach them. Then, you can use AI-powered marketing automation to deliver personalized content to the right person at the right time.

of B2B marketers are using AI for media buying and programmatic advertising

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Personalizing Customer Journeys

AI-powered segmentation and channel-choosing is also the key to advanced personalization. With AI, it’s seamless and simple to personalize not just individual customer interactions, but entire customer journeys and life cycles.

B2B marketers using AI to personalize customer journeys are taking the business buyer experience to an entirely new level. With AI, you can share personalized ads with customers, use dynamic content to deliver personalized web experiences, and take accounts on personalized journeys based on their interactions — so they receive the content that matters to them.

Predictive behavior scoring allows you to map your leads to the right accounts, and identify new prospects in those accounts. Deduplication rules can even automatically connect leads to accounts! AI can also generate lookalike accounts based on your best customers, and target them to reach new audiences at scale.

B2B marketers are using AI to personalize overall customer journeys

The highest-performing B2B marketers are satisfied with their ability to use data to create more relevant experiences

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Automating Customer Interactions

Social media is an excellent application for AI in B2B marketing, and so are messaging apps. You can automate customer interactions through both of those channels. AI can make use of customer data to help inform your employees’ social media and messaging interactions, making them more efficient and relevant.

For example, if a customer makes a complaint about a purchase on social media, you can use AI to quickly access their data file and purchase history. This gives you a full understanding of all their past interactions with your brand, and allows you to engage with them accordingly.

While AI can be a huge help, it’s important not to rely on it for all of your brand’s real-time interactions with customers. The technology still has a long way to go before it can replace the warmth and authenticity of a human interaction, even through a digital interface.

of B2B marketers currently use AI to automate customer interactions through both of those channels

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Delivering Relevant Experiences on Every Channel

The best thing about personalization powered by AI is that it can be distributed across every customer-facing channel. From in-person, offline interactions to email and digital web ads and content, there’s no limit to how AI-based personalization can improve business buyer experiences.

While in-person experiences, social media, email and digital advertising should all be part of your personalized engagement strategy, the ultimate channel for delivering relevant customer journeys and generating leads is the one you own: your website. Easy-to-navigate landing pages with smart forms and other AI-powered content are key to engaging business buyers.

This is especially important as business buyers’ purchase journeys are rarely linear. Most B2B customers consider many different options across many different channels. The more you can meet them with personalized messaging on every channel, the more you’ll stand out.

of B2B marketers use AI to personalize channel experiences

Additional Resources


Campaign Performance Measurement and Optimization

AI can give B2B marketers real-time insights about active campaigns, allowing you to optimize them to marketing assets and discover new audiences in the moment. With performance-tracking AI technology, you can immediately know which campaign channels were most successful in attracting new leads to key accounts.

The best AI also gives B2B marketers a visual testing interface, which allows them to see and control how prospects move through active campaigns, and how target accounts move through the sales funnel — with account tracking at their fingertips.

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How AI Can Transform Your Business

Business applications for AI are as dynamic as the technology itself. In B2B marketing, there are many opportunities to deliver personalized experiences across every channel by using the power of AI to leverage your customer data.

AI can help you blur the lines between online and offline customer experiences, segment your audiences, personalize customer journeys, and more. You can choose the right messaging and content for the right audience, and send different content types to different audience segments. It can even engage directly with your audience on your behalf.

Yet, for all of these useful applications, AI is still a very young technology. It’ll only evolve to become more advanced from here on out — and so will your B2B marketing.

Einstein Artificial Intelligence

Marketing Cloud Account Engagement is fully equipped with Einstein artificial intelligence, so your sales and marketing teams will always know the best ways to find new leads and the right times to reach out with personalized content.

You can think of Einstein as a personal data scientist for your teams — able to completely transform lead scoring, behavior scoring, campaign insights, and account-based marketing with deep insights unique to your business. It’s cutting-edge AI, built on the world’s most intelligent CRM platform, designed to help you deliver the experiences expected by today’s leads and tomorrow’s customers.