The AI Wave and B2B Transformation Acceleration
Artificial intelligence and machine learning have been with us for a while, and we’ve pointed it out. Now, though, more and more B2B executives, from IT to marketing, are beginning to realize the height and power of that wave of change, and they’re taking steps to ride it. Surf’s up!
As eMarketer pointed out in a study last year, only 54% of executives had become aware of artificial intelligence, which struck us as kind of low.
Didn’t any of these peeps buy a ticket to Transcendence? Then again, did anybody?
AI is going to be so integral to future competitiveness, especially in ABM, CRM and customer service, that it’s hard to imagine most execs are more acquainted with 3D printing than they are with machine learning.
Contrast the eMarketer results with more recent research from Salesforce, where marketing types said they expected AI to drive improvements in efficiency and personalization over the next five years. The impacts they envisioned?
- 61% said AI will deliver the right message on the right channel at the right time (sound familiar?).
- 61% of them think AI will improve the efficiency of campaign analytics, digital asset management and collection of business insights.
- 61% also can see AI creating dynamic landing pages and websites.
- 60% saw AI impacting programmatic advertising and media buying.
Other research bears this out: marketers are (kind of) catching on:
- In Europe, 81% of executives believe AI and machine learning will dramatically affect their businesses within the next four years.
- Gartner, meanwhile, say that “by 2020, 30 percent of all B2B companies will employ AI to augment at least one of their primary sales processes.”
- By 2025, the AI market will surpass $100 billion, according to Constellation Research.
- But even with 80% of respondents to one survey saying AI will revolutionize marketing by 2020, only 26% said they are very confident they understood how AI gets used in marketing. And only 10% said their company was using AI as part of its marketing efforts.
Wax your board now!
What’s the big takeaway we see from this?
The danger, from the looks of these stats, is that a lot of marketers and business execs know something is on the way, yet they aren’t sure how to take advantage of it. Or even survive it when it arrives.
Our advice to them?
Get schooled now, because it’s as apparent as a Tahitian Teahupo’o that the AI wave that’s going to hit the marketing business will empower those who are prepared to reach new crests of success (to beat the surfing analogies to death), while those who aren’t ready for it will get sucked under.
For a great primer on AI’s impact and potential for marketing, check out our own bitchin’ white paper on the subject. Then wax up your board, or at least strap on your water wings, and get ready to dive in. Because B2B marketers really won’t have much other choice.
Cowabunga, dudes and dudettes!