AI and Marketing: How to Further Your Lead Generation

Hushly AI & G2 Crowd

Regardless of industry, if you want your business to be successful, you need marketing and sales teams that perform. 

And teams that perform well bring one core thing to the table: leads. Without leads, you can kiss the idea of a successful business goodbye. The problem is generating leads in 2020 differs from lead generation a decade ago. 

Technological advancements have multiplied since the turn of the millennium, and now more than ever, it’s important for companies to take advantage of the tech available to help with day-to-day business processes like lead generation.

In the recent past (and still to this day), companies rely on methods like cold calling, direct mail campaigns, and in-person networking events to generate leads. When the internet became a must-have, the whole lead gen process changed. 

Now, marketers and salespeople had extended access through technological advancements to help them with lead generation. Cold emailing, digital content creation, and social media platforms became must-haves in addition to more traditional lead gen methods. But now none of the aforementioned “new technologies” are actually considered new anymore. For example, a social media presence is no longer an option; if your company isn’t online, you’re letting potential customers look past you and move toward your competition. 

The lead potential that social platforms and the internet bring are undeniable. That said, everyone’s using them now. To overtake your competitors, you need to implement new high-tech add-ons to your lead gen strategy. That’s where artificial intelligence comes in. 

Using AI to further lead generation 

Artificial intelligence isn’t “new” technology, but its prevalence in the business world is relatively new – and rapidly growing. We’re going to explore how AI functions as a tool for marketing and sales teams, and ultimately helps with the necessary task of lead generation for a business. 

AI technology has grown and developed so much since the 1950s, though the concept of artificial intelligence existed long before then. The main business use case for AI tech is obvious: automation. With general marketers’ roles being so multifaceted: writing, researching, conducting outreach, event planning, and more, automation is more than welcome in today’s business environment. Even with more specific offsets of general marketing, demand gen marketers are stretched thin, too. 

How is AI currently being used for lead generation purposes? 

Even if your demand gen team isn’t currently utilizing AI for lead gen purposes, perhaps a landing page sales funnel is more of your speed, there are other people out there who are. Let’s explore some real-life use cases of AI in lead gen in its current iteration. 

1. Identifying potential leads 

Finding leads on your own is a laborious process, so many companies put lead generation off unless and until their pipeline is close to “dry”. Identifying where a customer falls in the stages of awareness and targeting different awareness groups can prove tiresome. AI-powered solutions, however, can help identify new leads in a less labor-intensive way than that of a human. 

Data science and machine learning platforms can be used to mine customer data by combing through the internet looking for specific people, companies, or products that might have existing customer lists that can be used by your in-house sales/marketing teams as a jumping-off point of contact. There even are specific AI-based platforms that completely automate the lead development and generation process, ultimately resulting in new business relationships. 

2. Generating lead insights and data-based instincts 

Getting insight into your leads is one task that sales and marketers must do in order to properly, seamlessly engage. Instead of using a human instinct to draw conclusions or assumptions about leads, utilizing data to make informed insights is the way to go. In fact, your teams can develop lead profiles based on data points and factors, such as a lead’s online presence (i.e. social media, purchase history, most visited websites, and more). 

For instance, LinkedIn’s Sales Navigator allows users to search for people, companies, and types of experience to discover whether they are potential leads or not. Further, it allows you to segment based on territory and includes features like tagging and saving accounts of interest. Another tool of interest is Einstein, Salesforce’s CRM platform. Einstein provides automated lead scoring, which can help businesses learn about accounts or users that are most likely to convert. 

Lead scoring software is essential for helping your teams be successful. It saves the hassle of wasting time on leads who won’t convert and identifies leads who need more outreach, what kind of interactions your leads need, and how you can push them to convert. That way, you can nurture the leads who will likely bring you what you need: conversions. 

3. Providing personalized experiences to possible leads 

It isn’t surprising to hear that most people don’t trust salespeople. In the same vein, few people trust marketers, either. The campaigns seem tired, overdone, and impersonal, and the overarching message to users is “give us your money” or “buy our product,” which makes the whole experience not something anyone can look fondly upon. That doesn’t mean people don’t want to be sold to, but it does mean that people need more of an incentive than a campaign targeted to just anyone. 

People crave personalized experiences, and with how competitive the market is these days, you need to implement personalization to get your leads to convert. Gone are the days of mass phone calls with a messaging sheet for your salespeople to read off of. You also can’t rely on canned emails that follow a generic template that all people see right through. Research shows that 80 percent of people are likely to buy something if a brand offers a personalized experience. The same holds true for companies and lead generation. If you personalize your campaigns and messaging to your users, they will more likely turn into customers. 

But you might wonder how to achieve this and take your personalization to the next level. Content experience software utilizes AI to help companies personalize digital content. The purpose of content experience software is engaging an audience with thoughtful, curated content that is specific to types of users rather than a pool of leads as a whole. An example of this might be ads and written content that speak to a user’s interests or pain points, thus providing a value-add of sharable content they can take with them, rather than relying on “tried-and-true” calls and emails to do the job for you. 

4. Offering follow-up to prevent leads from going silent 

A huge missed opportunity for businesses is following up with their leads. In your personal life, you might avoid “double texting” someone as not to seem annoying, but in the professional world, follow-up is key for maintaining a full and abundant pipeline. Companies tend to become complacent if or when they have a multitude of leads, falsely assuming that their pipeline will never run dry. But that’s simply not the case. 

However, you can’t necessarily rely on your sales or marketing teams to have the bandwidth to follow-up with leads if they’re focusing their efforts on more obvious leads who seem closer to conversion. Instead, using AI sales assistants can fill the follow-up gap your teams are neglecting to close. 

These sales assistants use AI engagement tactics to follow-up with leads via email, live chat, and text messaging – a variety of ways to re-engage with different audiences. Plus, the messaging coming from these AI sales assistants is personalized, not canned, as mentioned above. The tools are crafted with natural language processing software, which can help AI to learn how to best communicate with specific leads, down to matching/reflecting the tone and type of messaging most comfortable per person. The more natural the conversation, the more likely potential customers will be open to re-engaging with your company, and the more comfortable they’ll be communicating with a member of your sales or marketing team after the first re-engagement via an AI-powered assistant. 

Don’t wait to integrate – start using AI today 

Artificial intelligence is no longer a “future” need or a nice-to-have; to move ahead of your competition, you should be using all available technology to boost business visibility. While AI-powered solutions aren’t the only way to connect with leads, they do help with streamlining lead communication and acquisition processes. 


If you’re worried about the cost or potential implications of artificial intelligence on your business, throw those fears to the side. AI opens channels of communication and brings peace of mind to your sales and marketing teams. If you’re not already using AI for your lead generation purposes, you’re falling behind your competition. As time progresses, more businesses will adopt AI as a standard inclusion in their lead generation strategy. Don’t get left behind.

Meet the AI in B2B Marketing Revolutionizing Demand Generation

You use artificial intelligence all day long – often without even realizing it.

AI in B2B marketing has become pervasive over the past few years yet hardly anyone seems to be talking about it out in the open.

It is no secret, however, that the B2B buyer’s journey is long and arduous for marketing, sales, and the buyers themselves.

The median B2B conversion rate is just 2.23%. In other words, you are spending most of your time and money targeting and nurturing 97.77% of visitors and leads who will never convert into customers.

Thousands of smart B2B companies have realized there is an easier and more profitable solution: artificial intelligence.

Not only does AI in B2B marketing makes it easier for teams to connect with visitors and leads, but it also creates a user-friendly and personalized experience your visitors expect.

B2B unicorns with conversion rates of nearly 12% have figured it out. Slowly but surely, B2Bs are increasingly incorporating AI into their websites and marketing strategies.

The AI revolution has already begun in B2B and those who are not using it to automate their strategies are already behind.

If you have not started working AI into your demand generation strategy for B2B just yet, there is still time.

Yes, it can feel overwhelming and most marketers have a lot of questions like

  • What does AI in B2B marketing look like in practical terms?
  • Where does the data come from?
  • How do the algorithms work?
  • Can AI make mistakes and put my strategy at risk?

​Below we’ll break everything down so you can learn how to let go and let AI take the reins to create a better experience for your leads AND customers while boosting conversion rates and ROI.

AI in B2B Marketing Is the Secret to a Successful Demand Generation Strategy

Simply put, AI is effective because it can complete tasks faster AND more efficiently than humans ever could.

At least 74% of organizations say they already incorporate artificial intelligence in their mobile strategy. AI in B2B marketing is quickly becoming the norm – not the exception.

Let us say you are trying to create a personalized content strategy using data you have collected on your visitors and leads.

You might look for patterns in your data, put spreadsheets and charts together, look for patterns, and draw conclusions to create personalized content.

How long do you think this process would take? A full week up to a month?

Artificial intelligence can analyze massive datasets instantly and interpret them to present the right piece of content to visitors in real time.

No fumbling with risks. No sorting through Excel sheets. AI handles everything from start to finish and the results are far more accurate than anything humans can do.

How Is AI Used in B2B Marketing? Your Demand Generation Guide

When you think of AI, what comes to mind? A live chat or automated phoneline perhaps? Sure, that is part of it but AI in B2B marketing goes so much deeper.

Self-Nurturing Landing Pages for AI in B2B Marketing

B2Bs complete between 57% and 90% of the buyer’s journey all alone without ever contacting someone from your team. Not one email or message and certainly not a phone call.

When those hot leads arrive at your website, what do they see and interact with?

Unless you are running AI-driven personalization software, they probably have to spend time navigating your blog and landing pages to find the information they need.

Self-nurturing landing pages allow your leads to educate themselves at their own pace.

Normal landing pages leave visitors at a dead-end: When they finish reading the content, they have no real reason to stay on the page if they are not ready to buy or give you their contact details.

Instead of fizzling out, self-nurturing landing pages keep the conversation flowing – and flowing and flowing. A self-nurturing landing page will recommend similar content assets based on several pieces of data from earlier visitors, time spent on each page, topic categories, and more.

Each visitor gets a uniquely personalized experience and they can continue consuming content for as long as they please.

It follows the same binge-worthy strategy as Netflix: An algorithm recommends fresh pieces of content to keep visitors on the site. However, unlike Netflix, AI in B2B marketing guides each visitor down the buyer’s journey towards conversion.

In other words, the algorithm will recommend pieces of content based on where each lead or visitor is at in the buying cycle so every interaction is 100% optimized for conversions on every front.

Adaptive Content Hubs for AI in B2B Marketing

Let us face it: Normal blogs are not easy to navigate. You can only browse the latest four or six pieces of content. If you do not see anything that sparks your interest, you can either keep scrolling backward or use the search bar. Some websites may even offer well-categorized blogs for different verticals.

Regardless, these outdated blog organizational systems still require a ton of cognitive effort from the visitor. We are all spoiled these days with access to infinite information at our literal fingertips. We cannot muster the effort to dig through one website if the content we need is not in front of our face.

The visitor needs to know what kind of information they are looking for AND how to find it through your system.

Relying on your visitors to make these choices leads to cognitive fatigue. If a lead cannot find what they want right away, they will just navigate away from your site and over to Google, or worse: a competitor.

Plus, sometimes your leads simply do not know what they want to read but they will know it when they see it. The Netflix-driven concept of browsing personalized content recommendations and looking for something that speaks to us has penetrated every digital experience.

Your buyers do not exist in a vacuum. They know these personalization algorithms exist and they expect to enjoy them in every situation – including B2B sites. As Brian Stolis from Altimeter Group says:

“Business buyers don’t go to work and forget what they do as humans. There’s a new normal that blurs the line between B2B and B2C. They just want things personalized. More successful companies are looking and prioritizing things like understanding customers’ evolving behaviors and preferences to design more meaningful engagement opportunities.”

Enter adaptive content hubs for AI in B2B marketing.

Instead of putting the burden on your visitors to figure out what they want to consume, the adaptive content hub organizes your content by category and uses an algorithm to present personalized content recommendations.

An adaptive content hub takes information from several sources including the visitor in question, earlier similar visitors to your site, and third-party data sources to create a true one-of-a-kind experience.

Plus, it is customized for each unique visitor’s stage of the buyer’s journey so every interaction is ALWAYS optimized for conversions.

Interesting Exit Intent Popups for AI in B2B Marketing

Think with Google estimates that B2Bs spend up to three hours each day researching from their smartphones and about 70% of all B2B searches happen on mobile devices.

If there is one thing mobile visitors hate more than anything in the online world, it is lead magnet forms standing in their way from accessing your amazing content.

Unfortunately, there is a huge trend right now in the B2B world (and B2C for that matter) that involves throwing popup forms at visitors as they try to navigate away from your website.

Exit-intent popups CAN be effective – but not when they are asking visitors to fill out a form.

B2Bs have to fight against higher bounce rates than their consumer counterparts – 61.04% on average – so the odds are already stacked against you in that field.

Incorporating AI in your demand generation strategy for B2B can help you use exit-intent popups to everyone’sadvantage. Instead of a generic form, a personalized exit-intent popup uses data from several sources to offer personalized content recommendations.

People are much more likely to stay on your site when you offer them relevant content instead of confronting them with a clunky form. Plus, AI-driven exit-intent popups continue nurturing leads instead of driving them away. It is a win-win.

Creating Personalized Buyer’s Journeys

The average buying process involves between six and seven team members ranging from key decision makers to rank-and-file workers.

Without artificial intelligence, it is almost impossible to analyze, track, and create content for every visitor at every stage of the sales funnel – even with a limitless marketing budget. B2Bs have been more reluctant to adapting high-level personalization compared to their B2C colleagues.

Not only that, but failure to use AI-driven insights is costly. Studies show that only 20% of organizations are running effective personalization strategies and 80% will abandon their personalization efforts by 2025 citing poor ROI.

Using AI in B2B marketing creates a unique experience for every visitor – no matter where they are at in the sales funnel – so you can use minimal technology for maximum ROI.

You no longer have to guess and retroactively offer halfway personalized content. Instead, artificial intelligence guides the entire interaction from start to finish.

Plus, AI in B2B marketing can help you develop an effective account-based marketing strategy. 84% of B2Bs say ABM strategies deliver higher ROI than traditional approaches. However, ABM is tricky to get right and involves a ton of risk if your personalization is off.

Incorporating AI into B2B marketing removes the guesswork and closes the information gap so your ABM strategy is always as relevant as possible – from content topics down to each stage of the sales cycle.

But Where Does the Data for AI in B2B Marketing Come From?

Data is everywhere and it is normal to feel overwhelmed.

If you are like most marketers, you already feel like you are collecting way more data than you know what to do with. You probably also feel like you cannot use your data effectively either because it quickly becomes outdated or it is stuck in places you cannot access swiftly.

You are not alone. Data hygiene is a massive problem no one in B2B seems interested in addressing. Unfortunately, bad data is also costly.

Up to 62% of businesses are using data up to 40% incorrect to guide their marketing decisions with a quarter of databases housing critical errors. Not good. It is no surprise then that 40% of goals go south due to poor intel.

The wonderful thing about AI personalization is that it does not need to dig through outdated pieces of data to create unique experiences – it personalizes every experience in real time.

Your AI algorithm sorts through different pieces of information across the internet to understand each visitor’s interests and behavior. It also analyzes how they consume content on your website to build a detailed picture of their potential behavior. Finally, AI in B2B marketing also brings in intel from intent data to paint a picture of where every visitor is at in the buying cycle.

AI personalization does not analyze visitors in a vacuum either. It compares each visitor to other similar visitors and uses machine learning to constantly improve itself with personalized content recommendations.

The longer you employ AI on your site, the better it gets at personalizing each experience.

That is the real beauty of AI: You do not have to worry about collecting email addresses and firmographic details about every visitor before they disappear into the depths of the internet because you can nurture them anonymously while they are on your website and every time they return.

Eliminating Outdated Lead Generation Tactics with AI in B2B Marketing

When a prospect does decide to convert into a lead and provide their email address, AI removes the need to ask them a dozen questions. All you need to collect is a business email and a country.

Your AI B2B marketing system will then cross-reference the email address with publicly available information on sites like LinkedIn to verify the firmographic details like:

  • Company name
  • Company size
  • Location
  • Phone number
  • Job role
  • Buying power

Say goodbye to your outdated demand generation strategy for B2B data collection forever.

AI in B2B Marketing: How Does It Work?

While the coding for AI in B2B marketing is indeed complicated, the basics of how it works are super easy to understand and fascinating.

Hushly AI, for example, uses several layered models to provide a unique experience on multiple levels.

Content Similarity Models

Content similarity models are trained using an unsupervised machine-learning method. With natural language processing (NLP), they read content of assets and group them into related topics. 

Using content similarity models, Hushly AI recommends similar assets based on the assets already a web visitor already viewed.

For example, if a web visitor views a piece of content that includes words like “non-profit” or “SaaS,” these models recommend other non-profit or SaaS assets.

Collaborative Filtering Models

Ready to be wowed? Collaborative filtering models use a supervised machine-learning method. They take the interaction history and visitor information of all previous web visitors and form connections between content assets for similar users.

Using this model, the Hushly algorithm recommends pieces of content viewed by similar visitors who also viewed the content viewed by the web visitor.

Do not worry. It is not as confusing as it sounds. Think of Spotify with its “people who listened to X also listened to Y and Z.”

Session-Based Similarity Models

This is a deep-learning model trained using a recurrent neural network (RNN) methodology on the entire session history of past visitors. By modeling the whole session, the AI B2B marketing engine can provide the most accurate recommendations.

Using this model, Hushly AI suggests pieces of content viewed by users who took a similar path in viewing your website as the current web visitor.

Popularity Models

These models consider how popular a piece of content is across all historical visitors on your website.

Using these models, the algorithm recommends trending content assets as well as the most popular content assets to a web visitor. These models offer useful personalized recommendations for a brand-new visitor despite lacking any interaction history.

Use AI in Your Demand Generation Strategy for B2B or Get Left Behind

Artificial intelligence is not the next big thing in B2B: It has already revolutionized the marketing and sales processes.

AI works for improving your demand generation strategy in B2B because it eliminates the need for people to complete tedious tasks. Long gone are the days of downloading Excel sheets, examining data, and using the information to retroactively create relevant content.

These days, AI in B2B marketing can create a personalized experience for every single website visitor – whether known or unknown – in real time.

People are exposed to artificial intelligence everywhere they turn online from Netflix and Amazon down to Spotify and Facebook. B2B buyers are aware these hyper-personalized algorithms exist and their expectations for instant gratification do not suddenly disappear when they get to work.

With studies showing that 80% of B2Bs will abandon personalization by 2025 due to failure to capitalize on data and deliver ROI, the pressure is on to get it right before it is too late.

Incorporating AI into B2B marketing is not about bloating your martech stack as large as possible, it is about using minimal pieces of technology for maximum ROI.

Hushly can help you take charge of data you are already collecting to offer personalized experiences for every single website visitor. Take Hushly for a test drive and give your leads the experience they expect!

6 Crucial Mobile Marketing Automation Strategies for Lead Generation

Businessperson on Mobile

Only smart B2B marketers seem to realize this right now, but
a solid mobile strategy is critical for generating leads and driving sales today.

However, putting mobile marketing automation strategies into
action is easier said than done in B2B.

While consumer brands can afford to play around with new
tools and tactics, B2Bs don’t have the same luxury – lost leads can cost
thousands or millions.

However, going into 2020, it’s important to implement the
strategies below if you want to meet the expectations of your leads and boost
revenue.

Start slow and always keep your buyers’ experience at the
forefront.

Why Bother Caring About B2B Mobile Marketing Automation?

A mobile marketing strategy isn’t just “nice to have” in B2B
anymore.

According to research from Think
with Google
, your buyers spend up to three hours every day conducting
research from their smartphone. To top it off, by next year, 70% of all Google
business searches will take place on mobile devices.

The question is: is your website prepared?

A truly mobile-friendly B2B website puts user experience
above everything else. Your website and landing pages should have no hurdles
between visitors accessing the information they came there to get.

To sweeten the deal, you can use mobile marketing automation
strategies and tools to collect data and personalize every visitor’s experience.

Think personalization
is reserved for the consumer sector? Think again. Salesforce
data shows that 65% of businesses will consider switching brands if a vendor
doesn’t try to personalize their content and communications.

Your buyers are younger than you think, and they’ve come to
expect the same personalized on-demand experience from businesses that they get
everywhere in the consumer sector.

6 Mobile Marketing Automation Strategies You Need for Lead Generation

Use the mobile marketing automation strategies below to create
an experience that your buyers expect.

1. Mobile-Friendly Landing Pages Without Forms

The first step towards creating a mobile-friendly experience
for leads is getting rid of forms.

That’s right – they must go.

Forms are holding you back. When someone arrives at your
lead magnet or landing page, they aren’t happy to see a form.

When was the last time you tried to fill out a form on a
mobile device? It’s not fun – even if you use Google’s auto-fill feature.

Instead, un-gate your best content and give your visitors a
sample. Give them the opportunity to supply an email address if they want to
download the whole piece.

Removing forms is excellent for keeping your data clean,
too. When you stop forcing visitors to fill out a form to access content, only
highly qualified leads will give you their email address. Otherwise, you’re
stuck with data on a bunch of leads who will never convert, and this screws up
your overall personalization strategy.

2. Self-Nurturing Landing Pages

Instead of forms, give your visitors what they came to your
website for—valuable and relevant content.

A self-nurturing landing page brings the Netflix-style
content bingeing features into the B2B world.

When your leads can learn at their own pace, a beautiful
thing happens: they nurture themselves. By the time they finally give you their
email address or contact you, they’re further along in the buying process.

In other words, your job becomes 10x easier.

3. Interactive and Dynamic Content

Hyperlinks aren’t great on mobile devices. Buttons are
better but interactive and dynamic content is best.

You don’t necessarily need to gamify your website, but it’s an
innovative idea to include some interactive elements like drag-and-drop
features, drop-down menus, and clickable filters.

Behind the scenes, incorporate some mobile marketing
automation AI to take notes of their actions on the page so you can collect
data and supply personalized content on other platforms.

4. Adaptive Content Hubs

Most mobile-friendly websites still aren’t specifically
designed for use with mobile devices.

A dynamic content hub is an important mobile marketing
automation tool because it organizes your content in an easily accessible
fashion.

Visitors arrive at your website because they want to learn
about your industry and company. Some like blog posts, some like eBooks, 65%
want podcasts
, and 49% crave video.

An adaptive content hub organizes all your content in one
place so visitors can easily find exactly what they want. Here’s where the
adaptive and interactive part comes in: once they start consuming content, the
algorithm takes over and continues showing them similar content.

Not only do they stay on your website longer, but you can
also learn more about them.

Source: Hushly

5. Personalized Exit Intent Content

When you finish reading a blog post and motion your cursor
to another browser tab, you’ve probably noticed that most websites throw a
popup form in your face.

When you go form-less, you need to replace them with
something.

At Hushly, we suggest using mobile marketing automation
tools to give your visitors more of what they came to your website for in the
first place: highly relevant content.

Instead of asking them to fill out a form when they want to
run, use AI to offer them personalized content based on the content they’ve
already consumed.

6. Clean and Current Data

62% of businesses say they’re working with data that’s up to
40% incorrect.

Bad data is a major problem holding businesses back because
every mobile marketing automation strategy needs correct data to personalize
content.

Using a combination of algorithms and human
verification
, you can make sure you’re only collecting leads from real
people working for real businesses. Your data will always be correct.

Remove Forms and Watch Your Lead Conversions Grow

Moving into 2020, a truly mobile-friendly website and
user-friendly experience means getting rid of your forms.

Instead of bombarding your leads with a form to collect
data, let them nurture themselves at your own pace by consuming your content.

You can still collect data about the content they consume
and use it to provide personalized content, you just won’t bother them with
annoying forms. Don’t worry – they’ll give you their email address when they’re
ready.

Are you curious about creating an abandonment strategy
that doesn’t involve forms? Hushly has you covered.
Learn more here.