B2B Trending Conversations: AI, IoT, and More

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This week, B2B Trending Conversations finds itself at the intersection of business, technology and politics. We’ll ask whether artificial intelligence is our friend or foe, pick the brains of  B2B CMOs to learn their top priorities, listen to a podcast on selling to complex B2B buyers and see how tech companies are resisting President Donald Trump’s xenophobic — and, gladly, overturned — Muslim ban. We’ll also learn how the Internet of Things is evolving in a data-packed infographic. Time to get started…

 

Artificial Intelligence

Do you understand the differences between artificial intelligence, machine learning and deep learning? CreativeCafeHQ founder and CEO Leslie Hancock helps demystify the burgeoning cognitive era, in which highly specialized computing systems will get better at learning at scale, reasoning with purpose and interacting with humans more naturally than ever before. These intelligent systems will be able to do much more than just solve numerical problems; they will soon “offer hypotheses, reasoned arguments and recommendations.” But is AI a friend or foe of B2B marketers? “AI is what you make it,” writes Hancock. “It all goes back to how you feed, nurture and train your intelligent systems. Just as you wouldn’t toss a five-year-old child into a mosh pit to learn how to dance, you can’t leave AIM technology on its own to learn from unlimited inputs and ‘dirty’ data sources.”

 

B2B Marketing Priorities

Sweet Fish Media founder and B2B Growth Show co-host James Carbary says he is “obsessed with helping B2B companies develop new relationships with their ideal clients.” To that end, he asked eight B2B marketing executives to share their top priorities. Their answers varied widely, from employing free-thinking leaders to building awareness in new and emerging marketing segments and, for BravoSolution CMO Andrea Brody, “turning customers into heroes.” Team cohesion and competency was the most common priority shared by the execs. Cross-departmental cooperation and education make for a well-oiled machine. Or, as TwentyEighty CMO Tim Geisert believes, “marketing is playing a team sport, not a solo round of golf.”

 

Resisting Trump’s Muslim Ban

Much of the world is united in outrage and opposition to U.S. President Donald Trump’s attempt to ban refugees, immigrants and travelers from seven predominantly Muslim nations from entering the United States. The tech industry has been significantly impacted by the ban, and the Daily Beast reports around 100 tech companies, including Apple, Google and Uber, have joined a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the president’s xenophobic and Islamophobic executive order. There were cheers in Silicon Valley, across America and around the world as a 3-judge panel upheld a restraining order on the ban, a ruling Trump said he would not appeal.

 

B2B Sales (Podcast)

How do you sell to today’s increasingly complex B2B buyer? In the second part of this CEB Sales Roundtable podcast, B2B sales experts Jill Konrath, Brent Adamson, Lori Richardson and Nick Toman discuss complexity and tactical solutions to maximize sales success. Konrath, who has dedicated her stellar career to devising fresh strategies that work in the ever-evolving world of B2B sales, is a strong believer in constantly up-skilling sales teams. “The most important thing we can do is to turn our sales organizations into continual learning organizations,” she asserts.

 

Internet of Things (Infographic)

The Internet of Things continues to evolve and connect more machines and devices to each other. Tens of billions of things are Internet-connected today, with experts predicting that number will soar to 40-50 billion within the next few years. What can we expect to see next on the IoT frontier? Look for sensors to become even more ubiquitous — even your body will be IoT-enabled. Yes, there will be risks, but these will surely be outweighed by the benefits, and the economic impact will be huge — up to $14.4 trillion by 2020, or the equivalent of the gross domestic product of the entire European Union!

 

That’s all for this week’s edition of B2B Trending Conversations. Have a great weekend and a productive week and we’ll see you again here next week. Until then, you can review last week’s column here, and as always, we look forward to hearing your comments, pitches and tips. Contact us at @B2BNewsNetwork.

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Brett Wilkins

Brett Wilkins

Brett Wilkins is Digital Journal's Editor-at-Large for U.S. news. Based in San Francisco, he is the editor and publisher of Moral Low Ground and is a Yahoo! Featured Political Contributor.