In the world of business-to-business (B2B) industrial marketing, the rapid adoption of artificial intelligence (AI) is reshaping your buyer’s behavior and challenging B2B marketers to adapt their strategies accordingly.
As AI continues to revolutionize search capabilities and influence your buyers’ purchasing decisions, B2B industrial marketers must proactively prepare for the evolving landscape to stay ahead of the curve and remain competitive in their industrial niches.
In this article, we discuss essential steps that B2B industrial marketers must take in the next two years to prepare for changing buyer behavior in the era of AI-driven search. Particularly for mid-size, resource starved, industrial marketers.
The outline below may seem daunting to even think about. However, at the end of this post, I will provide a strategy that can encompass these necessities into one manageable process and platform.
Invest in AI-powered Marketing Tools: To effectively engage with your AI-driven buyers, B2B industrial marketers must use AI-powered marketing tools and technologies. Investing in AI-driven analytics platforms, marketing automation systems, and predictive analytics tools enables your marketing personnel to gain valuable insights into buyer behavior, identify emerging trends, and personalize marketing campaigns at scale. By harnessing the power of AI, marketers can optimize their strategies, streamline operations, and deliver more relevant and engaging experiences to your B2B buyers.
Relax ... I’ll have more to say about AI-powered marketing tools at the end of this blog post.
Understand AI-driven Search Behavior: To effectively reach and engage with AI-driven buyers, B2B industrial marketers must develop a deep understanding of how AI influences search behavior. This includes understanding the nuances of semantic search for your specific industrial niche, natural language processing (NLP), and personalized search recommendations. By understanding the algorithms behind AI-driven search engines, industrial marketers can perfect their content and digital marketing strategies to ensure maximum brand visibility and relevance in your buyer’s search results.
At this point, let’s pause and jump up a few levels and make sure we understand what AI is and how it works. Take about 30 minutes to watch these two videos. I guarantee you will think differently about your online marketing moving forward.
Here is a 27 minute episode from CBS’s 60 Minutes about Artificial Intelligence featuring Google’s CEO, Sundar Pichai. This is a fantastic overview of how AI will change our lives … and your business. If nothing else, you will be enriched by 4 or 5 of the smartest people in the world. (not Scott Pelley!)
“The humanity at superhuman speed was a shock to me”, Scott Pelley, CBS anchor.
Here is another informative video from Deloitte US that goes a little deeper into how AI works. This is a 4-minute video related to the HR sector, but still a great overview of how AI works for the rest of us; Understand AI in Less Than 5 minutes
For those you that prefer to read, here is an article from Forbes (Feb 2024) titled, AI is Driving the Future of SEO: How to Adapt
Create High-Quality, Relevant Content: As I have talked about and written for years, content continues to play a critical role in B2B marketing, especially in the context of AI-driven search behavior. To attract and engage AI-driven buyers, B2B industrial marketers must prioritize the creation of high-quality, relevant content that aligns with the needs and interests of their target audience. This includes developing informative blog posts, whitepapers, case studies, and videos that address your buyers’ common pain points, provide valuable insights, and showcase your brand’s industry expertise. By creating content that resonates with AI-driven search queries, marketers can increase their brand visibility and show themselves as trusted authorities in their respective fields.
There is no doubt AI will dramatically increase the volume of content on the web, including your online competitors. It is critical you develop a quality content "machine" or "content culture" within your B2B enterprise.
Optimize for Voice Search and Visual Search: As AI-powered voice search and visual search become increasingly prevalent, B2B industrial marketers must optimize digital content to align with these emerging search trends. This includes optimizing your website content for voice search queries, incorporating natural language keywords, and providing concise, structured answers to common questions in your industry. Additionally, your marketers should optimize images and product descriptions for visual search, ensuring that their products and services are easily discoverable through image-based queries. By adapting to the preferences of AI-driven search behavior, your company can increase their chances of being found by prospective buyers.
Embrace Data-driven Decision Making: AI enables marketers to gather and analyze vast amounts of data to inform their decision-making processes. B2B industrial marketers must embrace a data-driven approach, leveraging AI-powered analytics to gain actionable insights into buyer behavior, preferences, and trends. By analyzing data from multiple sources, including website traffic, social media engagement, and email interactions, marketers can identify opportunities for optimization, refine their targeting strategies, and measure the effectiveness of their campaigns. This allows your marketers to make informed decisions that drive results and maximize ROI and top-line results.
Focus on Personalization and Customer Experience: AI enables marketers to deliver personalized experiences tailored to the unique needs and preferences of your buyers. B2B industrial marketers must prioritize personalization in their marketing efforts, leveraging AI-driven technologies to deliver targeted messaging, product recommendations, and offers to your audience. Additionally, marketers should focus on enhancing the overall customer experience by providing seamless, frictionless interactions across all touchpoints. By prioritizing personalization and customer experience, marketers can build stronger relationships with your buyers, increase loyalty, and drive repeat business.
Stay Agile and Adaptive: The rapid pace of technological innovation requires B2B industrial marketers to stay agile and adaptive in their approach. Marketers must continuously monitor industry trends, consumer behavior, and technological advancements to stay ahead of the curve. This includes experimenting with new AI-driven marketing tactics, testing different strategies, and iterating based on performance data. By remaining agile and adaptive, your marketers or your agency can effectively navigate the evolving landscape of AI-driven buyer behavior and position themselves for success in the years to come.
A Simple Answer: All the above can be overwhelming for resource-strapped mid-size B2B industrials. This may sound like sales hyperbole, but there is an easy path to success when it comes to adapting artificial intelligence for your online industrial marketing efforts:
Adapt a top tier marketing automation platform such as HubSpot.
For many reasons HubSpot is the ideal marketing platform for the mid-size industrial market. No longer do you have to worry about AI. HubSpot does that for you.
By leveraging AI technologies such as machine learning and natural language processing, HubSpot is able to analyze vast amounts of your data, automate repetitive tasks, and provide valuable insights to your marketers. From lead scoring and predictive analytics to chatbots and personalized content recommendations, HubSpot and AI enables your company to streamline their processes, increase efficiency, and drive better results across their marketing, sales, and service operations. Overall, HubSpot's integration of AI reflects its commitment to innovation and its mission to help businesses grow better in an increasingly digital world.
No longer do you have to worry about the next shining object … artificial intelligence, et al.
In conclusion, the rapid adaptation of artificial intelligence is transforming buyer behavior in the B2B industrial sector, presenting both challenges and opportunities for marketers. By investing in AI-powered marketing tools such as HubSpot, understanding AI-driven search behavior, creating a high-quality content culture, optimizing for voice and visual search, embracing data-driven decision-making, prioritizing personalization and customer experience, and staying agile and adaptive, B2B industrial marketers can effectively prepare for the changing landscape and capitalize on the opportunities presented by AI-driven buyer behavior.
Wheewww…that’s a lot. The good news is there are ways to easily adapt
“We must quickly adapt”, Sundar Pichai, CEO of Google.
Need a little help crafting your B2B marketing strategy and prepare for AI? , give me a call or contact me via email.
A passionate marketer attempting to change the way industrial marketers leverage the web as a growth-oriented, lead generation machine. View all posts by Tom Repp