Disruption of B2B Sales and Marketing: How Digital Marketing and AI are Changing the Game
Updated: Mar 5
The world of B2B sales and marketing is undergoing a major transformation. With the growing popularity of e-commerce, the B2B e-commerce market was expected to surpass US $18.97 trillion by 2028 (US $ 6.92 trillion in 2021). At the same time, B2B buyers are spending less time directly interacting with the vendors and their salespeople, including email (down to 17% of the total time spent on purchasing decisions as per Harvard Business Review). This shift is largely due to the ease and convenience of online research and purchasing.
But now, with the advent of ChatGPT and other advances in AI, B2B sales and marketing are set to change even faster. The combination of digital marketing and AI has the potential to revolutionize the way businesses sell and market their products and services.
Outlined below are the capabilities that are driving the transformation of sales and marketing, along with a company/product example and a description of their specific sales and marketing use case.
Text generation supporting Writing Assistant, Research Assistant and Chatbot use cases
Can help users create long-form content up to 10x faster
Creates images from textual descriptions
Produce a single video and personalize it to thousands of recipients
Analytics & Integration
Perform language and quantitive analytics on your marketing and sales data and make optimization recommendations.
Deliver up to 25x More Conversions on Ad $ Spent
What is Demand Generation?
Demand Generation in marketing is the process of creating interest and excitement among potential customers for a product or service with the aim of generating demand and increasing sales. It involves a range of marketing activities designed to attract and engage potential customers, nurture relationships with them, and ultimately drive them to take action, such as making a purchase.
Demand generation can include a variety of tactics such as content marketing, social media marketing, email marketing, events and webinars, advertising, and more. The goal of demand generation is to create a pipeline of qualified leads that can be passed on to the sales team for follow-up.
The key to effective demand generation is to target the right audience with the right message at the right time. This requires a deep understanding of the target audience's needs, pain points, and preferences. By tailoring marketing messages and content to the specific needs of the audience, businesses can create a more personalized and engaging experience that is more likely to drive action and generate demand.
What B2B Demand Generation isn't?
B2B Demand Generation isn't solely focused on increasing brand or product visibility to boost revenue. It involves first comprehending customer challenges and then effectively conveying the advantages of your solution. Alternatively, it may entail assisting customers in identifying issues and possibilities before explaining the benefits of your solution and optimizing the buyer's journey. This is the key to achieving revenue and profitability.
Traditional Demand Generation vs. Digital Marketing
ChatGPT had the following to say about traditional demand generation.
While ChatGPT's earlier response is precise and impartial, it fails to consider the influence of recent advancements in AI technology. The subsequent table offers a better breakdown of traditional demand generation vs. digital marketing and the writeup below elaborates AI-specific considerations further.
Traditional Demand Generation
Trade Shows & Conferences
Advertising (Not Digital)
Social Media Marketing
AI's latest advancements offer digital marketing distinct advantages over traditional demand generation by enabling 1) faster and more cost-effective content creation, 2) the ability to personalize content quickly and at a large scale, and 3) near-real-time optimizations.
It's also worth noting that while many individuals recognize the lower cost of acquisition associated with digital marketing, they may not fully comprehend the additional advantages it offers. Digital marketing generates vast amounts of data, allowing for more accurate and near real-time measurement and attribution. This data provides insights that can be used to enhance targeting, messaging, and the overall customer experience, all of which can contribute to increased revenue and profitability.
How does Demand Generation work in B2B?
ChatGPT's response on B2B demand generation below outlines the traditional process, where marketing generates Marketing Qualified Leads (MQLs), which are then handed over to sales for qualification as Sales Qualified Leads (SQLs), and ultimately closed by sales. However, according to this Harvard Business Review article, this model is becoming obsolete. Alternative flows such as sales generating leads, with marketing providing support to opportunities already in the funnel need to be incorporated.
Rethinking B2B Sales and Marketing with Digital Marketing and AI
At Semantic Brain, we have found that Analytics and Generative AI can be successfully merged to increase conversions, generate high-quality content at a much faster rate, and achieve up to 25x more conversions using AI.
Apart from generating more high-quality leads, B2B executives remain concerned about achieving better alignment between sales and marketing. Semantic Brain addresses this issue by leveraging the same analytics that delivered a 25x increase in conversions for Ad $ spent to assist sales in prioritizing accounts and sales calls. Additionally, the same Generative AI used to create marketing content can be utilized to draft sales emails. By implementing shared analytics and Generative AI across sales and marketing, companies can promote better alignment between these functions.
Note: Leads are qualified based on both online and offline behaviour and input from both sales and marketing. Semantic Brain refers to these leads as Demand Qualified Leads (DQLs).
Conclusion and Recommendations
To sum up, the recent advancements in AI are expected to give a significant boost to B2B Sales and Marketing transformation. The successful implementation of digital marketing and AI can not only increase growth and profitability but also become necessary for staying competitive and surviving in the market. B2B companies should explore the various Analytics and Generative AI tools available and adopt solutions that can elevate their company to the next level.