Generative AI is a particularly useful tool for creating at scale the type of complicated communications and messaging B2B marketers are typically delivering, said Margo Kahnrose, chief marketing officer of omnichannel marketing platform Skai.
“In software and tech, narratives and product offerings are often complex, and these functions can be difficult to hire for and scale, with a knowledge gap in the ramp-up,” Kahnrose said. “B2B buying decisions are generally more practical than emotional, and practical, information-based answers are where generative AI shines. Generative AI can help functions like content production, SEO and corporate communications accelerate and scale output, leaving knowledge workers to focus on inputs like strategy and quality control.”
Felsten said AI is also helping B2B marketers expand into new media channels they wouldn’t have otherwise tested including connected TV, podcasts and digital out-of-home.
“If we said a couple of years ago, to any of our B2B marketers, ‘We think you should be on connected TV platforms,’ we would have seen resistance because they just didn't understand the space or how that really applies in a B2B sense,” Felsten said. “But with AI, you can tackle data and targeting within CTV and digital out-of-home. That's where we can bring more of those innovative solutions to our [B2B clients] and they're more willing to invest in those types of channels.”
She said The Marketing Practice is helping B2B companies, for example, capture an audience that is working from home on their laptops and searching for a B2B service or product and retarget them on their CTV platform.
Many CTV platforms including NBCUniversal’s Peacock, Hulu and Roku have introduced new targeting and audience recommendation tools that are driving better results.
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“We know that you're hitting the same household and the same people that are within your target market,” Felsten said. “Historically, you couldn't necessarily know the impact of a lot of linear TV and CTV [buys], outside of your reach and awareness, but now you can really measure even the impact to your site traffic.”
She said the same strategy goes for podcasts and digital out-of-home, two other mediums where B2B companies wouldn’t have necessarily tested before. Now, with AI, they can target specific audiences there as well.
Felsten advised B2B marketers to start expanding their media buys now before the space becomes overcrowded.
“As it picks up over the next couple of years, [the market] will start to get more saturated,” Felsten said. “The companies that are starting to test it now and get in that market are going to start to prove the value and be ahead of the game in terms of optimizing and pricing.”
‘Start with the why’
When Accenture came out with its massive brand campaign in 2020, “Let There Be Change,” created by ad agency Droga5, which is part of Accenture Song, it was one of the first examples of a splashy B2B marketing campaign that spanned channels including linear and digital TV, display, programmatic video, social media and search.