B2B Trending Conversations: AI, Brand Rivalry, and More

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Another week has come and gone and it’s time once again for another edition of B2B Trending Conversations, wherein we bring you the latest B2B buzz from Twitter, LinkedIn and other social platforms. This week, we’ve got a couple of AI-related links, a look at the efficacy of brand rivalry in the B2B space, an infographic on influencer marketing, and a warning about lead generation mistakes you can avoid if you know how. There’s a lot to cover, so let’s get started, shall we?

 

AI in B2B Sales

If 80 percent of marketing executives predict artificial intelligence will revolutionize marketing in the next few years, then why are only around 10 percent of marketers using it today? Leading digital influencer Sam Hurley details the advantages that AI has the potential to bring to your B2B sales team right now, including prospect identification, lead conversion, better marketing communications, appointment optimization and more efficient data cleansing. “AI in sales is focused on predictions, and the greatest, most successful brands are also the best predictors,” writes Hurley. “AI helps to clear the muddy waters of client and prospect relationships, providing sales professionals with the ammo they need to accurately understand the behaviors, motivations and hesitations of both their existing and target accounts. This deeper level of understanding has the power to drive insane loyalty — minus floods of guesswork and errors.”

 

B2B AI/FinTech

The risk of non-payment is one of the most worrisome challenges facing small businesses from trading internationally. James Daly, CEO at Euler Hermes Americas, told PYMNTS why technologies like artificial intelligence (AI), data analytics and APIs are providing security and peace of mind to business owners. “Small businesses have always been aware of the risk of non-payment, but are only now starting to become aware that there are affordable and easy tools to help them mitigate risk, while at the same time grow their companies,” said Daly. “Over the next few years, as technology becomes easier to access and integrate, these tools will become even more accessible to the SME market.”

 

B2B Brand Rivalry

Is a public brand rivalry an effective marketing tool for your B2B enterprise? Kent Huffman examines the differences between B2C versus B2B brand rivalries, noting the latter are not usually as public as consumer branding competition. “In the B2B marketplace, decisions are usually motivated by business drivers that include profitability and performance,” writes Huffman. “To earn business contracts, you need to prove domain expertise and a history of success built on long-term relationships.” Instead of duking it out with competitors, identify what your target market needs and fill the gap. Let prospective and current customers know why you’re best able to serve them. This doesn’t mean a little braggadocio isn’t in order; Huffman advises companies to “seek and publicize industry awards that demonstrate how you provide solid and desirable products or services.”

 

B2B Lead Generation

Strong Social shares the seven biggest lead generation mistakes you can easily avoid. Start by using a dedicated landing page; it’s the most critical weapon in your lead gen arsenal. Be sure to have a call-to-action button on your website to better convert your visitors to leads. And speaking of visitors, your content should always be focused on their needs. Don’t get so caught up on features that you forget to educate potential customers about the benefits they stand to enjoy from your product or service. Avoid having too much text on your page and always make your offers obvious. Finally, optimize your lead gen pages for mobile; if your site visitors have to zoom, scroll or pink just to read your content, they won’t read it and they’ll take their business elsewhere.

 

B2B Influencer Marketing (Infographic)

Social media manager @Beth_Knox_ shares this infographic with a five-step action plan for influencer marketing. First, define your influencer by finding people with three key attributes — reach, context and expertise. This can be as easy as a Google search. When engaging with influencers, provide value and give them what they want. Maintaining relationships with these people is the key to long-term success, and utilizing tools like ninjaoutreach, tapinfluencer or Hootsuite Syndicator will help you measure the outcome of your efforts.

 

That’s all we’ve got for this week. We’ll be back again next weekend with another edition of B2B Trending Conversations. Until then, we invite your feedback, pitches and B2B news at @B2BNewsNetwork. We love hearing from you!

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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.