Finding a Pathway to AI Maturity in B2B Customer Experience Initiatives
Brought to you by WBR Insights
AI is one of the most popular buzzwords in B2B marketing, but not all marketers are bridging the gap between its potential and its best practices. Successful companies are laying a foundation with internal education, embedding knowledge about AI use cases within their teams, and using AI to increase their marketing effectiveness. But achieving executive approval and developing AI maturity is still a ways away for most manufacturers and distributors.
In WBR Insights' upcoming B2B Online report, Leveraging AI to Increase Efficiency and Improve the B2B Customer Experience, we'll take a look at how enterprise B2B marketing leaders are strengthening their customer relationships and the practical ways in which AI has helped them. We'll hear from managers, directors, vice presidents, C-Suite executives, and others who represent manufacturers and distributors of all sizes--from under $100 million to over $500 million in annual revenue--on their pathway to AI-driven customer experience success.
In the preliminary data, we found that the vast majority of manufacturers and distributors are not currently using AI. Among the 35% of companies that use AI as a core part of their business, 15% have implemented AI as part of their customer experience initiatives. Another 20% have implemented AI, but not as part of their customer experience initiatives.
That doesn't mean these companies aren't exploring solutions. That includes "finding more intelligent ways to map out more intelligent ways to interact with customers," and "investigating how it will fit into [their] processes," according to two respondents. But many respondents claim they don't have the foundational technologies in place to integrate AI with customer experience initiatives; or, they only see applications in other parts of their business. Most are in the exploratory stages, or they are simply are late to consider AI.
Still, about one-third of manufacturers (33%) are getting serious about AI. Among them are 21% whose leaders are actively considering a business case for AI adoption; and 12% whose leaders have approved a business case, and for whom adoption is underway or it has already taken place. Many more are considering adoption.
"AI would help immensely in personalizing [the] user experience," says one respondent. "We know it can help us be faster, smarter, and better, which will help our customers--big time." Respondents also note benefits like improving customer experiences without adding human capital to their organizations, adapting to real-time customer behavior, and others.
Even companies with serious ambitions for leveraging AI to improve customer experiences have a long way to go in terms of AI maturity. Almost half of manufacturers and distributors (45%) have no AI solution, or they are still in the planning stages. Eighteen percent claim their AI is barely out of the planning phase, and 22% claim that while their AI is in development, they are still developing their practices.
In our upcoming report, we'll uncover more about the strategies enterprise B2B marketing leaders are using to strengthen their customer relationships and the practical ways in which AI has helped. We'll investigate where in marketers' strategies and their companies' objectives AI is taking root, and how they are experimenting to innovate engagement with customers.
To see our analysis and the complete data sets, be sure to access our 2019 report, scheduled for release on March 11, 2019.
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